Jam-packed new line-up from Cathedral Quarter Arts

Singer Camille O'SullivanSinger Camille O'Sullivan
Singer Camille O'Sullivan
With over 150 events taking place over 11 days in 30 venues across Belfast featuring live music, comedy, spoken word events, art exhibitions, film and theatre, the 19th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is jam-packed with interesting entertainment options.

The music line-up includes pianist and singer/songwriter Ben Folds, Jimmy Webb – who penned such standout platinum hits as Wichita Lineman, folk singers Mary Gauthier, Kate Rusby, and Beans On Toast, darkly seductive chanteuse Camille O’Sullivan and the outstanding rhythm, blues and jazz singer Georgie Fame. Robyn Hitchcock, Nightmares on Wax, I’m With Her, Bedouine, Smoove & Turrell Soundsystem and Asian Dub Foundation join the brilliantly eclectic musical line-up.

Comedy and spoken word events will feature Rob Newman’s Total Eclipse of Descartes, a wry and humorous look through 3000 years of philosophical thought in search of answers; Bridget Christie’s standup show What Now?; master antipodean storyteller Sarah Kendall; and rising star comedian Luisa Omielan with her all-new show Politics for Bitches.

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Irish poet Paul Durcan makes a long-awaited return to Belfast while Texan singer/songwriter and cosmic cowgirl Kimmie Rhodes will be in conversation with Ralph McLean looking back on a career that has seen her record and collaborate with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Cowboy Jack Clement. Meanwhile, Belfast journalist and muso Stuart Bailie will hold an event celebrating creativity in the midst of conflict, reading from his book Troubles Songs, with a special DJ set from punk godfather Terri Hooley.

There’s also award-winning theatre with Palmyra, a piece that considers the ongoing turmoil in Syria and the western response to it, while a new one woman show Sylvia Plath, Your Words are Dust will explore the tumultuous imagination of the celebrated poet. Meanwhile a musical narrative by folk singers Maurice Leyden and Jane Cassidy will consider the life of the great social reformer and rebel Mary Ann McCracken and Kabosh Theatre’s Quartered lets you see the city from a LBGTQ perspective.

There will also be a selection of movie screenings including Neil Young documentary Journey Through the Past, which follows Neil after the 1972 success of Harvest. A very special screening of Lost in Translation will be held at the Bullitt Hotel, 15 years after its release, while Troubles: Films from the Archive offers a visceral slice of documentary about our fractious past curated by Second Chance Cinema.

Speaking at the launch, director of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival Sean Kelly said: “As investment in the arts in Northern Ireland reaches critical levels, to put together an ambitious arts programme such as this becomes something of an act of faith.

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“Challenges there may be, but our commitment to bringing world-class artists to this city remains undimmed, and thus we present one of the most exceptional programmes in our 19-year history.

“For 11 glorious days in May, the Cathedral Quarter will be ringing out with music, laughter, words, theatre and film with just a dash of inspired mayhem. Belfast has always given great arts festival, often against impossible odds - The 19th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is sheer exuberant testimony to that.”

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the principal funder of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

Head of literature, Damian Smyth, said: “Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival continues to invigorate the cultural life of Belfast through its highly creative programme. It also provides an important platform for showcasing local artists alongside world-class national and international performers and brings people and communities closer together through a shared enjoyment of the arts. ”

For more information on the 19th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival visit cqaf.com/.

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