22 Sep 2023
Belfast International Arts Festival is waiting in the wings to present its 26-day extravaganza of the best artistic talent from around the world.
Featuring performances by top-class international and homegrown artists in theatre, dance, music, visual arts, literature and film, the internationally renowned Belfast International Arts Festival (BIAF) is a cornucopia of contemporary culture.
Running from 12 October – 5 November in over 30 venues across the city, BIAF will showcase an eclectic programme of events that brings together today’s leading artists, writers, thinkers and cultural observers. This year the festival will open simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic with Cahoots NI performing The Vanishing Elephant at the New Victory Theatre on Broadway in New York, while Gary Mitchell’s new play, Burnt Out, is staged at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre.
The festival’s signature events include An Evening with The Belfast Ensemble and Marc Almond, a special two-part event that sees the ensemble joined by Canadian soprano Rebecca Caine in the first half to perform music from the award-winning Abomination: A DUP Opera, and international pop icon Marc Almond in the second to perform the multi-award-winning song cycle, Ten Plagues.
Folk artist Cara Dillon will perform songs from her new album Coming Home at The Grand Opera House which also hosts FIQ! by Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger, which will explode onto the stage with a riotous collection of acrobatic feats, figures, music, sketches and choreography.
Belfast City Centre.
Belfast is a UNESCO City of Music and a number of prestigious musicians will perform. This year’s Featured Artist is Nicholas McCarthy, who was born without a right hand and made history in 2012 when he became the only one-handed pianist ever to graduate from London’s Royal College of Music. Respected music agent and promoter Paul Charles will host a workshop and discuss his new book, Adventures in Wonderland, while an evening of new country music from critically acclaimed Ontario-based duo Aaron & Aimee Allen and the multi award winning Gary Quinn will be staged at The MAC.
Theatrical highlights include Fishamble Theatre Company’s production of the critically acclaimed King; the hugely entertaining and provocative work.txt from one of the UK’s brightest young playwrights, Nathan Ellis, and a new and innovative adaptation of Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros – Rhino –from Tinderbox Theatre Company.
The festival also features a compelling programme of talks by authors and a number of post-show discussions, while art exhibitions include a retrospective of the work of critically acclaimed Northern Irish visual artist and photographer, Victor Sloan.
As well as ticketed events, there are some free events including street theatre and outdoor circus at CS Lewis Square featuring parkour and circus show Taroo from Said Mouhssine (Morocco) and The Cabinet of Curatrocities from Baubo Theatre (Ireland).
Grand Opera House, Belfast.
Work @ Soho, Cred: Alex Brenner.
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