News And Events

What' On Guide May 2017

28 Apr 2017

What's On Guide May 2017


Festival of Fools
Various venues, Belfast
28 April – 1 May 2017
This May Day Bank Holiday weekend, the Festival of Fools promises a packed programme of dare devil feats, fast paced acrobatics, heart-stopping Hip Hop, mesmerising object manipulation, and laugh out loud comedy. Belfast's favourite family friendly festival returns for its 14th edition from Friday 28 April to Monday 1 May. More than 120 performances will take place across the streets of Belfast City Centre and Cathedral Quarter, free of charge. You don’t even need to book. Top notch artists from Poland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Holland and Finland will entertain you with stories of love, acrobatic impossibilities, record breaking unicycling, puppet magicians, award-winning juggling and stunning circus. Check the website for timings and confuse your friends with your tales of watching Lords of Strut, Dansko, Jitterbug Jackson and many

Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival
Cathedral Quarter Belfast
27 April – 7 May 2017
More than 100 events will take place from 27 April - 7 May in Belfast's historic Cathedral Quarter. Events will include visual art, film, literature, spoken word and theatre, theatrical readings and performances. There are too many events to cover here so visit the website for the full timetable but here are just a few tasters for you -
Comedy: Kieran Hodgson "Maestro" at The Black Box
Words & Ideas: Linton Kwesi Johnson at Festival Marquee
Theatre: Mule at Waterfront Studio
Family Events: My Father’s Chair at The MAC
Music: The Americans at Voodoo, Wreckless Eric at The Black Box
Sound & Vision: Morphine: Journey of Dreams at The Black Box
Visual Arts: Internal Celestial Samuel Kennedy at Arts and Disability Forum
Special Events: Belfast Bred Tours from Sawers Deli

Lord Mayor’s Day - Belfast
Belfast City Hall
29 April 2017
Enjoy the Lord Mayor's Day event on the lawns of Belfast City Hall. From extremely talented artists and musicians to top class performers and well-known landmarks, there will be something to entertain everyone. Try your hand at making some Belfast animations, or relax and listen to fantastic Belfast stories. You can also enjoy interactive drumming, visit a completely different world through virtual reality or even help to paint a portrait of the Lord Mayor. There will be a host of different workshops and performances throughout the day including world-class street theatre and multi-cultural arts. Some of the activities taking place throughout the day are below. Page 2 All activities will be held from 12 noon to 5pm unless otherwise stated. This is a free event and no tickets are required.
All activities will be held from 12 noon to 5pm unless otherwise stated. This is a free event and no tickets are required.
Live music and performances including Dohl drummers, Bodhrans, buskers, Samba band,
Arts and crafts activities as well as multi-cultural workshops for children with traditional folk art activities.
Age-friendly guided walking tour of Belfast city centre. Two tours will be leaving at 1pm and 3pm (no pre-booking required).
Staff will be on hand to provide information and advice on how you can get involved in local clubs and societies in your area.
ArtCart and interactive fun workshops for people of all ages.
Live street performances including Olympus Girls Cheerleader shows throughout the day.
IFA stall will inform the visitors about the upcoming UEFA Women's Under-19 tournament being held in the city this summer.


Lyric Theatre, Belfast
The Blue Boy of Glenmore
9 May – 14 May 2017
Winter 1978. Cooley Mountains, Ireland. Jemmy John is a tortured soul. The sheep on the glen and the farm are his life but his younger sister Colleen yearns for something much more. With the help of a local car mechanic, Colleen is determined to escape Glenmore for the chance at a better life... but her older brother is having none of it. The life-long conflict between these sibling rivals is the catalyst that ignites the shocking events that unfold. A haunting, absorbing and sensational dark-comedy, 'The Blue Boy of Glenmore' is a truly unmissable piece of theatre from the multi award-winning 'Brassneck Theatre Company' who brought you, 'The Holy, Holy Bus', 'Man in the Moon' & 'A Night with George' .

Grand Opera House, Belfast
An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson
17 May 2017
We celebrate the life and career of a man who in over 50 years in the business, has interviewed over 2000 of the most important cultural figures of the 20th and 21st centuries and won awards for journalism, radio and television broadcasting.
In conversation with his son Mike and showing highlights from the Parkinson archive, An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson is a unique opportunity to get an intimate, entertaining and informative look at his remarkable journey from a pit village in Yorkshire to the top of those famous stairs whilst reliving the best moments from a show that for many defined their Saturday night.

Millennium Forum, Derry
Walled City Tattoo
12 May – 13 May 2017 
The Walled City Tattoo returns to the Millennium Forum stage from Friday 12th to Saturday 13th May 2017.
Following a hugely successful sell out run in 2016, an additional matinee show, on Saturday 13th May, has been added to the programme for 2017. Audiences can expect an array of local and international talent that will include all the traditional aspects of a Tattoo familiar to festival goers around the world, including marching bands, theatrics and musical performances. The Walled City Tattoo will also tell local stories, contemporising and embellishing the show with a rich local theme.

Strand Arts Centre (Film)
12 Angry Men (1957)
18 May & 25 May 2017
Following the closing arguments in a murder trial, the 12 members of the jury must deliberate, with a guilty verdict meaning death for the accused, an inner-city teen. As the dozen men try to reach a unanimous decision while sequestered in a room, one juror casts considerable doubt on elements of the case. Personal issues soon rise to the surface, and conflict threatens to derail the delicate process that will decide one boy's fate.
18th May - Everyone is welcome after the film to chat with Bigger Boat Film Club. This is a new Film Club held monthly at The Strand, open to anyone wanting to attend.

Strand Arts Centre (Theatre)
27 May 2017
Singer-songwriter Dan Leith with replay Theatre Company brings us lots of furry fun with Woofle! A show about one Dan and his dog with lots of silly songs. From chasing bees and getting mucky, to taking a walk and having a bath, this quirky combination of video footage and live music gives an unusual view of the ups and downs of having a dog as your best friend. Live Theatre for 4-10 years.

The MAC, Belfast
The Faerie Thorn
25 April – 29 April 2017
Based on the book The Faerie Thorn and Other Stories by Jane Talbot, The Faerie Thorn is a witty, dark and wickedly comedic show that recreates the author’s bewitching Faerie tales for adults. The stories are brought to life on stage in a vivid and dangerous world controlled by a complex fairy mafia. Expect to be propelled into a world of devilish debts, trysts and trades, broken bargains and unjust trials of magic, quick-wittedness, hoodwinking and revenge. A vibrant, contemporary production brought to you by Big Telly Theatre Company. Age guidance: 14+.

The MAC, Belfast
18 May – 19 May 2017
Waves is the story of Elizabeth Moncello: of her youth growing up on a small Australian island in the 1930s and how she came to be the unofficial inventor of the butterfly swimming stroke. Expect a wonderful story, delicate movement and splashes of humour to tell Elizabeth’s amazing tale of a life fully lived. Waves is about having an idea and the courage, drive and desire to follow it through to achieve something that is truly incredible. Come meet the real Little Mermaid in this show which is a delight for audiences of all ages. 

The Burnavon, Cookstown
The Curious Adventures of Pinocchio
11 May 2017
A show by Marcello Chiarenza. Adapted and performed by Patrick Lynch, Music by Carlo Cialdo Capelli, Design assistant Elena Marini.
One of the best loved classics for children comes to life – literally. Crickets, cats, foxes and, of course, the world–famous puppet, will spring out of our collection of dusty, old magic books, while Patrick Lynch from CBeebies pulls all the strings and turns all the pages to bring you the true story of Pinocchio – no lie. Who ‘nose’? He might even find his father and become a real boy. Come and join him on his incredible journey, you’ll have a whale of a time!
Suitable for ages 5+ / school groups.


The Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen
The ConTempo String Quartet
31 May 2017
One of the most exciting and vibrant chamber ensembles performing today, the ConTempo String Quartet is currently RTE's Quartet in Residence. This amazingly energetic young quartet, two married couples, will be playing Haydn's String Quartet 'The Emperor', Bartok's Romanian Dances, Beethoven's String Quartet ' The Razumovsky' and the world premiere of a new piece by John McLachan, introduced by the composer himself.

The Market Place Theatre, Armagh
Eimear McGeown & Jean Kelly
19 May 2017
Award-winning flautist Eimear McGeown and acclaimed harpist Jean Kelly met in London and now perform regularly as a duo throughout the UK and Ireland, in concert and on BBC Radio.
A First Class Honours graduate from the Trinity College of Music, London, Eimear McGeown has established a busy and varied career both classically and on the traditional Irish flute. She has appeared as soloist across the globe including a notable performance on BBC's ‘Last Night Of The Proms’. On Irish flute, Eimear has two All-Ireland titles and has released a Celtic EP.
Jean Kelly, harpist, hails from an Irish family of several generations of professional musicians. Jean won a scholarship to study harp at the Royal College of Music, London. Since graduating she has based herself in London and is in great demand as a versatile harpist, with an eclectic career ranging from Early Music to Contemporary Classical and Folk Music. Jean regularly performs with the Guy Barker Big Band, at major UK venues including The Proms at The Albert Hall, and toured alongside the band with pop singer Paloma Faith.
The programme for the evening will include works by Debussy, Rossini, Faure and Ibert followed by a second half of Irish pieces and compositions including ‘She Moved Through The Fair’ ‘Planxty Irwin’ and ‘Raglan Road’.

Grand Opera House, Belfast
14 May 2017
A king stops at nothing to satisfy his appetites, throwing the known world into bloody chaos. Handel’s timeless masterpiece of musical drama, featuring the hits ‘Cara Sposa’ and ‘Ombra Cara’, is a thrilling tale of sex, power and corruption. Northern Ireland Opera, in association with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, presents the Irish première and all-Ireland tour of Handel’s Radamisto. Acclaimed Irish theatre director Wayne Jordan makes his opera debut with award-winning Northern Irish designer Annemarie Woods, leading Irish conductor David Brophy and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Radamisto stars some of the best of Irish female vocal talent, including Derry mezzo-soprano and local favourite Doreen Curran in the title role, sopranos Aoife Miskelly and Sinéad Campbell, and mezzo-soprano Kate Allen.

Millennium Forum, Derry
Humpty Dumpty
20 May 2017
For the first time ever the classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty is brought to the stage in this wonderful live interactive all singing and dancing production. Humpty Dumpty is going on a big adventure to climb the highest wall in the Kingdom, but Humpty needs your help! Sing along, solve puzzles and meet lots of famous children’s characters along the way including The Three Little Pigs, Little Bo Peep, all the animals on Old MacDonald’s Farm and many more. When Humpty climbs the highest wall in the Kingdom, who knows what might happen next?

Take Part

Crescent Arts Centre
Crescent Arts Centre Book Club
1st Wednesday of every month
Love to read? Join the Crescent Arts Centre Book Club. If you haven’t read the book, no problem! Open Door - Join at any time. Simply email to register in advance.

Crescent Arts Centre
Arts and Older People Project: Silver Celebrations
Ongoing 2017
Calling all older people aged 60 plus! Would you like to get involved in an exciting project, in which you will learn contemporary dance theatre in a supportive and fun environment and also have the opportunity to be involved in a local touring show? Email Ann at for further details or call 028 90 242338.

Beat Carnival
Tiny Beat & Junior Beat
Have you got a tiny artist in your life?
Tiny Beat (ages 3-8) is a time for your children to explore their creative side through play. We teach a wide range of art forms including percussion, performance, dance and lots of making!
Junior Beat (ages 9-15) is for children looking for more of a challenge and the opportunity to exercise their growing skillset. We teach a lot more drama and making with this group, at the request of the children.
Parents of Tiny Beat kids ("Beatniks"!) get opportunities for their own skills training, making it a great way for you to learn alongside your child as part of a vibrant community.
The content of each of our classes is designed in partnership with the kids (and parents), so get involved and tell us what you would like to do!
For more info contact Rebecca at 

Titanic Creative Management
FX Training Courses
Full range of prop-making, prosthetics, SFX and theatrical make-up courses available from Titanic Creative Management with tuition from industry experts. If you want to perfect your skills in anatomical sculpting, hyper-real skin painting or monster making this is the site for you.


Ulster Museum
Crafted: The Fine Art of Furniture
Until 4 June 2017
The exhibition explores the change of style, material and functionality of furniture from the 18th century to the present day. Exhibition highlights include a magnificent 1740's elaborately carved mahogany Irish side table, an early Celtic Revival chair made in Belfast from bog oak and a chest of drawers, inspired by Ireland’s extreme weather in December 2010.

R-Space Gallery
Arts for Justice – A Glimpse into Human Trafficking
19 May – 2 June 2017
The Arts for Justice exhibition addresses the compelling theme of human trafficking and modern day slavery through various art forms.
Displaying a range of poetry, fine art, short film and photography by artists from all over the world, the exhibition seeks to educate, inspire and empower us to understand the scale of human trafficking and what we can do to end it.
On display will be various depictions of the types of trafficking as well as the stories of victims’ experiences: both stories of reality and rescue.
This exhibition is part of a wider project of AFJ Ministries to tour art around the globe, spread awareness, share hope and empower artists to use their talents to fight global injustice. 


Philanthropy Fortnight
The Tyneside Model
16 May 2017 Arts & Business NI at Strand Arts Centre
Arts & Business NI are delighted to announce that Thomas Peutz, Chief Executive of Tyneside Cinema will coming to Belfast to share how Tyneside Cinema successfully created a movement within it’s community through the low level giving ‘Friends Scheme’. From occasional visitor to loyal and financially vested supporter, hear why the Tyneside Model worked and how you can apply the model to your organisation. To book your place email Kate

Volunteering Opportunities

Festival of Fools
Various venues, Belfast
28 April – 1 May 2017
Full weekend & one day helpers
Festival of Fools need volunteers to help with each day of the festival or preferably for the whole weekend. Visit the website to volunteer. Either way we welcome your time and support, our volunteers are the heart of the festival.
What you'll be involved in:
Supporting our acts, taking them around the city and helping them setup
Moving & setting up our technical gear at each venue each day
Helping manage and keep our audiences' safe
Guiding our audiences to the different venues
Asking audiences for feedback & thoughts on this year's festival
Aficionado for the Month
Festival of Fools also need help throughout the month ahead of the festival, to help promote and arrange the festival from behind the scenes! What you'll be involved in:
Being ambassadors for the festival!
Helping find more volunteers to support the festival
Helping with PR & marketing
Helping with logistics & planning
And all the normal weekend activities listed above.

Contact us:

Twitter: @artsbusiness_ni
Facebook: Arts & Business NI
Phone: 028 9073 5150


Useful Links

More on us elsewhere...

Our Funders & Partners

Arts & Business is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.