Belfast International Arts Festival’s (BIAF) programme runs from October 12 to November 1, boasting an imaginative and inspirational programme of events curated for the unique times we live in.
This year, the majority of the programme will be hosted online – and for free – using venues including the QFT (Queen’s Film Theatre), Strand Arts Centre, Naughton Gallery, Ulster Museum and C.S. Lewis Square.
Festival Director Richard Wakely said: “In recent months, due to the restrictions facing the arts and cultural sectors, theatre companies – and indeed artists and innovators from right across the creative industries – have adapted their storytelling efforts to leverage technology and to showcase world-leading theatre remotely.
“Importantly, these productions are interactive, not passive. With that comes another layer of complexity in delivering a seamless production that is directed remotely. It also demonstrates how much the storytelling medium has progressed in a relatively short space of time.”
He added: “The additional £29m of support for arts and culture by the Stormont Executive is most welcome for a sector that has been devastated by the financial consequences of the pandemic. Hopefully these funds will now be quickly distributed to artists, organisations and a whole range of freelance staff across Northern Ireland.”
Some of the key features of the programme are;-
:: A new online and interactive theatrical production of Macbeth by the Portstewart-based Big Telly Theatre Company.
:: Portuguese theatre maker and performer Pedro Penim’s will present DOING IT, taking the audience on a virtual journey of earth’s most remote islands.
:: Leading children’s theatre company Cahoots NI are opening The University of Wonder & Imagination, theatrical experience for families.
:: The world premiere of Call Nina! filmed during the recent tour of Josette Bushell Mingo’s stage work, Nina – A Story of Me and Nina Simone.
:: Singing Struggle and Agreement, a choral recital of the Good Friday Agreement written by Clare Salters, a former Northern Ireland Office civil servant.
A special series of art films focusing on contemporary dance includes leading NI dancer and choreographer Oona Doherty in conversation with Italian filmmaker Luca Truffarelli.
Exclusive recitals and concerts, featuring renowned Irish pianist John O’Conor, Derry cellist Kim Vaughan; Ben McAteer, first winner of NI Opera’s Festival of Voice competition; Piatti Quartet, one of NI’s most successful young professional ensembles; and the Ulster Orchestra Chamber Ensemble.
The best of contemporary fiction in both established names, such as Sebastian Barry and Sarah Moss, and the newer voices of Daisy Johnson and Bryan Washington.
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