Now in full flow, the organisers of the Belfast International Arts Festival have saved the best events to last as they head into the final week of the 2018 festival running until 3rd November.
Dear Arabella, Lyric Theatre, 16 Oct – 10 Nov
Opening the Festival this year was the new play from Belfast born playwright, Marie Jones titled Dear Arabella. A production universally praised by the critics so far with The Stage describing it as “Touching and intimate, simple and profound.” Audiences have loved this poignant piece starring Laura Hughes, Lucia McAnespie and Katie Tumelty which runs until Saturday 10 November.
Angelique Kidjo, Grand Opera House, 29 Oct
One of the Guardian’s ‘Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World’ multi Grammy Award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter, actress and activist, Angélique Kidjo will be performing her interpretation of iconic Talking Heads album ‘Remain in Light’ on the historic Grand Opera House stage.
Opening for Kidjo is one of Northern Ireland’s most exciting musical talents, Larks.
Eric Bibb, Grand Opera House, 30 Oct
A leading bluesman of his generation, two time Grammy nominated Eric Bibb will take to the stage with his sensational band for an evening of uplifting and inspiring folk and blues. Hardly a stranger to Belfast audiences, gracing the Festival as recently as 2013, the time has arrived for Bibb to perform in a venue worthy of his status in the music world – having appeared in Elmwood Hall for the Festival in 2013 and even the Errigle Bar once upon a time.
Bibb is a remarkable live performer who has performed for Nelson Mandela and with renowned artists such as Charlie Musselwhite, Toumani Diabaté, Glen Scott, Larry Crockett, Habib Koité, Jools Holland and many more. His music rooted in tradition, but with a large helping of contemporary sensibility to make it both retro and relevant has led original Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd, to famously declare to the American born singer, “You are what the blues in the new century should be about.”
Isabella Rossellini Presents Link Link, Grand Opera House, 31 Oct
Not to be outdone by its peers in an ever growing festival scene, BIAF is set to welcome Hollywood and fashion icon Isabella Rossellini to Belfast for the Irish Premiere of her brand new one woman (and one dog) show, Link Link. Following Rossellini’s widely acclaimed theatrical lecture Green Porno (adapted from the celebrated Sundance Channel series of the same name), which explored the sexual behaviour of animals; Link Link addresses the latest scientific discoveries about animal minds, intelligence, and emotions. It’s a Halloween night not to be missed!
Freak Show, The MAC, 31 Oct – 3 Nov
A gloriously absurd expedition into the world of strange. Marvel at the Portrush Giantess and the Brainless Brothers. Behold the talking corpse and the Pig‑Faced Woman. Your jaw may drop, you may question everything you thought you knew.
A satisfyingly dark and funny show from Big Telly Theatre Company with the remnants of a dusty velvet and chipped gilt Victoriana, Freak Show never loses its humanity with its twisted heart firmly on the side of the outsiders.
Harlem Gospel Choir, Ulster Hall, 28 Oct
For over two decades the Harlem Gospel Choir has been America’s premier gospel choir and toured the globe thrilling audiences with the inspirational power of black gospel music. Their harmonious songs of love, hope and inspiration are sure to touch the depths of your soul, lift your spirit and take your breath away. Get ready to tap your feet, clap your hands and even dance on stage to their high-energy, joyous and exuberant performance!
Nine Pints by Rose George, Belfast City Hospital, 3 Nov
Rose George reveals the richness and wonder of the potent red fluid that courses around our bodies, unseen but miraculous. Rose George is the author of A Life Removed: Hunting for Refuge in the Modern World; The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste, and Deep Sea and Foreign Going: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry that Brings You 90% of Everything. She contributes regularly to the London Review of Books, the Guardian, the Independent and others.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Grand Opera House, 2-3 Nov
Closing this year’s Festival is a show featuring tutus and testosterone, blush-pink ballet pumps, fierce false eyelashes and prima ballerina attitude – it can only be “The Trocks”! For more than 40 years, the all-male comedy ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (affectionately known as “The Trocks”) have been delighting audiences of all ages at sell-out performances featuring their fabulous sense of fun and their flawless dance.
To find out more and to book visit belfastinternationalartsfestival.com