Top literary entertainment at Bangor festival

Artist Marianne Kennerly will lead the Sketch Walk
Artist Marianne Kennerly will lead the Sketch Walk

Bangor’s Aspects Festival kicks off this week with an eclectic programme to inspire all budding readers and writers.

With 37 events taking place over ten days, this celebration of Irish writing has something for everyone with top authors, poetry, exhibitions, history, theatre, children’s entertainment, food and music all on offer.

The Ards and North Down Borough Council festival runs until September 24 at various venues around the town.

Playwright and author Frank McGuinness will be at Bangor Castle on Friday September 15. Frank will be in conversation with broadcaster Marie-Louise Muir about his life, work and inspirations.

Young readers are invited to North Down Museum on Saturday September 16 for workshops with Myra Zepf – children’s writing fellow for Northern Ireland. The first lively interactive workshop will be based on Myra’s book Don’t Go To School! and the second workshop will revolve around a massive brain-storming session using quirky props.

Stephen Beggs will perform his drama about fatherhood, My Father’s Chair, at Studio 1A on Saturday September 16. This performance will explore what it’s like to be a dad and the relationship between children and their fathers in a funny and emotional journey that should provoke and entertain.

Meanwhile renowned artist Neil Shawcross’ Penguin Book Cover exhibition will be at Bangor Carnegie Library until September 30. Don’t miss this opportunity to view this collection of paintings being exhibited together here for the first time. Join Neil at Bangor Library on Monday September 18 when he will be in conversation with David Torrens, discussing his work and book finding missions.

Nutritionist Jane McClenaghan will be at North Down Museum on Saturday September 16 chatting to the BBC’s Kerry McLean about her upcoming book Vital Nutrition. Listen to Jane’s philosophy on health and well-being and how your life can be transformed by a balanced diet.

Finally, Poetry NI presents the north Down heat of the All Ulster Poetry Slam at the Space, SERC Theatre on Saturday September 16. Bring your poems from page to stage and be in with a chance to be crowned Aspects Poetry Champion. Register on the night and you will have three minutes to compete as judges decide who makes it into the final round.

For the more energetic festival-goer, a Sketch Walk inspired by the words of local author Ian Sansom will take place on Sunday September 17 meeting at the Hamilton Road entrance to Ward Park. The walk will take in Luke’s Point, stopping at some local landmarks to visually document the places highlighted in Ian’s essay ‘Walk to the Sea’. The walk will be facilitated by local artist Marianne Kennerley from Boom Studios.

For more information on the full programme and to book tickets, visit or call 02891 271 200.