April has passed in a festival blur for me.
The bright blue volunteer tee of the Belfast Film Festival has been my wardrobe for the past 10 days, back for my 6th year of volunteering with the festival it was definitely the busiest year yet. The ambitious programme of over 180 films included many esteemed guests including director Ken Loach known for addressing social issues, writer of the Father Ted series, Graham Linehan and artist Colin Davidson perhaps best known for his contemporary portraits. With a busy rota I managed to squeeze in a couple of events – Tigers Are Not Afraid with a director Q&A – a beautifully dark surrealist film from Mexican Director Issa López, compared to Guillermo Del Toro’s Pans Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone it is no surprise that he will be producing Issa’s next film. Yes, we’re on first name terms.
The other stand out event for me during the festival was the Vagina Monologues by Melanie Clark Pullen’s company Strut and Bellow. With powerful performances from the 12 strong female cast brought Eve Ensler’s play to the stage with gusto. Ending to a standing ovation and an impassioned post show discussion the night was an emotive and empowering one. You can catch the show at The Lyric on 1st and 2nd June. The Belfast Film Festival will be back later in the year with their site specific screenings, I will see you there!
With the festival highs come the post festival lows but thankfully the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is just around the corner running from 3rd to 13th May. The festival Marquee will be pitched at Custom House Square opening with the uplifting London African Gospel Choir and closing with the jazzy rhythm and blues of Georgie Fame. There will be plenty of other quality music, theatre, comedy and literary events in between including comedienne Bridget Christie and a piece of promenade theatre I was raving about back in October – Kabosh’s Quartered: A Belfast Love Story.
Also coming up in May:
Festival of Fools
4th – 7th
Weird, wonderful and downright wacky performances entertaining the whole family for free!
Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival
19th – 20th
Maritime-themed family fun, food and frolics taking over the Titanic Quarter, visiting the tall ships and naval vessels is always a highlight!
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