World-class performers at Belfast Fest 2015

Pianist Nicholas McCarthy with festival sponsors at the launch
Pianist Nicholas McCarthy with festival sponsors at the launch

The programme for the inaugural Ulster Bank Belfast International Arts Festival has been launched, revealing a world-class line-up featuring the National Theatre’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, music from 1960s jazz icon Georgie Fame, one-handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy and the Waterboys, plus Adrian Dunbar in Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive at the Lyric Theatre and a production of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

The line-up, which replaces the Belfast Festival at Queen’s, will also feature the world premiere of The Suitcase by local playwright Jane Coyle at the Belfast Synagogue in north Belfast, while visual and performance-based art installations will be unveiled in surprise locations including the New Lodge and The Mill at Conway Street.

Audiences can also enjoy music from the BBC’s Big Band, Maryland-born troubadour Father John Misty, Bell X1, Andy Irvine and Sharon Shannon, while Northern Ireland Opera will stage a provocative new version of Puccini’s Turandot.

There will be several free events including The Animotion Show featuring art projections by Russian artist Maria Rud at Belfast City Hall accompanied by percussion from Dame Evelyn Glennie, and a candlelit procession featuring one thousand performers entitled Nine Nights.

As part of the UK/Mexico Year of Culture the festival will present the UK and Irish premiere of Nostoros, an athletic and humorous dance exploration of South American masculinity.

Director Richard Wakely said: “We are really proud to present residents and visitors to our city with a rich programme of music, theatre, dance and arts from around the world.

“Central to the festival is a genuine effort to look beyond Northern Ireland for creative inspiration. We are thrilled to be able to present several wonderful free events including a double bill of new and contemporary circus performances.”

l The Ulster Bank Belfast International Arts Festival runs October 9 until November 1. Visit belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/.