An A-Z of Belfast International Arts Festival

An A-Z of Belfast International Arts Festival

The countdown is really ramping up now! It’s days until the opening event of this year's Festival. With a programme so vast, it's hard to know where to start, so for a change we've decided to take you on a journey of The A-Z of #BIAF23

A is for…Aaron and Aimee Allen, our headline guests from Canada for our Country Roads: An Evening of New Country Music event alongside Gary Quinn on Saturday 14 October in The MAC! 

B is for…BBC Introducing! This year we’ve partnered with the BBC to showcase four of the most exciting music acts from NI in
Jordan Adetunji, Reevah, Lucy Gaffney and Cbkal in The Limelight!

C is for… Cahoots! Did you know that we’re opening the Festival on both sides of the Atlantic this year? If you’re in New York, don’t miss the World Premiere of Cahoots NI’s The Vanishing Elephant opening on Saturday 14 October in
The New Victory Theatre, New York! (Belfast audiences can catch it next year at #BIAF24!

D is for… Duncairn Arts Centre, which will be hosting our closing event on Sunday 5 November with another staging of
Ellipses: An Anthem To End Wars, created by former BIAF Artist in Residence and poet Maria McManusand composer Keith Acheson

E is for…Eileen McClory, choreographer and another former BIAF artist in residence who will be presenting the world premiere of her brand new show
GUTTER at the Festival on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October in The MAC!

F is for…FIQ! Don’t miss this year’s headline event
FIQ! by Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger hailing from Morocco, inside the majestic surroundings of the Grand Opera House featuring acrobatic feats, breakdancing, freestyle football and FIERY rap!

G is for…Gary Mitchell! One of Belfast’s great playwrights, his latest work Burnt Out will open this year’s Festival at the Lyric Theatre on Wednesday 11 October

H is for…Haxan The classic 1922 film Haxan gets a special screening at this year’s Festival alongside a brand new, specially commissioned, score from musician Nick Carlisle, performed live in the Queen’s Film Theatre on Thursday 2 November

I is for…Ionesco. Don’t miss Tinderbox’s hotly anticipated reimagining of Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros which fuses sci-fi and dark comedy, online gaming and virtual reality. 

J is for…Jacqueline Crooks. Her much lauded first novel Fire Rush is considered one of the most exciting debut novels of 2023. Join her and fellow debutant Santanu Bhattacharya in conversation at No Alibis Bookshop on Tuesday 31 October

K is for…King! Don’t miss Fishamble’s long awaited return to the Festival with King starring the great Pat Kinevane on Friday 27 & Saturday 28 October for what’s sure to be a truly special performance. 

L is for…Lay Up Your Ends, which celebrates its 40th anniversary since its premiere from hugely influential Charabanc Theatre Company. Join academics, researchers and past collaborators as they examine the company’s legacy and influence on the next generation of women and feminist theatre makers.

M is for…Mick Herron. Author of the critically acclaimed Slough House series (adapted into Slow Horses on AppleTV). Frequently praised as the best spy writer of his generation and heir to the master that is John Le Carre. Join him in conversation in the Crescent Arts Centre on Fri 20 October

N is for…Nicholas McCarthy. This year’s Featured Artist, he’s one of the most inspirational pianist in the world - born without his right hand in 1989 he made history being the only one handed pianist ever to graduate from London’s Royal College of Music. 

O is for…Opera! Join The Belfast Ensemble for an extraordinary evening where they bring back their hit show Abomination: A DUP Opera for one night only alongside the song cycle Ten Plagues from iconic pop star Marc Almond

P is for… Paul Charles. The revered music promote chats about his memoir Adventures in Wonderland featuring encounters with The Beatles, The Kinks, Robert Plant, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Carly Simon, The Police, U2, The Waterboys  – and dozens more legendary artists.

Q is for… Queen Street Studios! Now over in East Belfast the gallery will host Maiden Voyage Dance Company’s new dance installation, good times never seemed from Vasiliki Stasinaki and Sarah Gordon, free to all from Thursday 2nd - Saturday 4th November!

R is for Rachmaninoff! Known internationally for her ‘Composer Portraits’ in words and music, pianist Lucy Parham and actor Henry Goodman will present Elegie at #BIAF23 on Sunday 15 October to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sergi Rachmaninoff.

S is for…Squid! The critically-acclaimed Squidreturn to Belfast in support of their new album, O Monolith. These energetic live performers blend genres, including post-punk, indie rock!

T is for… Taroo! Catch this amazing solo outdoor circus event alongside The Cabinent of Curiatrocities on Saturday 14 October at CS Lewis Square. Free to all, all are most welcome! 

U is for… Ulster Orchestra. Don’t miss one of the crown jewels in our cultural landscape as the Ulster Orchestra perform with our Featured Artist Nicholas McCarthy on Friday 20 Octoberfor the oceanic themed Glitter of Waves.

V is for… Venous Returns. From The Dirty Laundry Collective, this short film is a collaborative work initiated by visual artist Alison Lowry, aerial performer Kate Fineganand voice artist Jess Kavanagh. Catch it for free in the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s University on 1st and 2nd of November

W is for… Work.txt. The critically acclaimed Work.txt by Nathan Ellis is performed entirely by the audience about the gig economy, financial instability and bullsh*t jobs. Absolutely unmissable!

X is for… Xenia Pestova Bennett. Described as ‘a powerhouse of contemporary keyboard repertoire’ (Tempo Journal), pianist and composer Xenia Pestova Bennett has earned an international reputation as a leading proponent of adventurous music. See her live in The Black Box on Sunday 22 October, presented by Moving on Music.

Y is for… Yoshida. Chatting about her book on Wednesday 1 November, Keina Yoshida’s How Many More Women: The silencing of women by the law and how to stop it examines the broken systems and explore the changes needed in order to ensure that women’s freedom, including their freedom of speech, is no longer threatened by the laws that are supposed to protect them.

Z is for… Zoe Seaton. Join the brilliant Artistic Director of Big Telly Theatre on a panel with Dr Eleanor Dare and Dr Dylan Yamada-Rice as they explore the ongoing debate of AI and Creativity and can it co-exist? 

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