Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Latest Blog

What’s on in the Arts

Wednesday 20th October 2021 at 2pm 0 Comments

The Arts Council has rounded up fantastic arts and culture events to enjoy online and in person, supported by the Department for Communities and National Lottery funding.

Skip to section



Belfast International Arts Festival: the 59th annual Belfast International Arts Festival (BIAF) returns from 6th October to 7th November with an extensive programme that gives audiences opportunities to both experience live performances again whilst also enjoying a selection of online events at home. To view the entire programme and to book tickets, visit

William Kennedy Festival of Piping: After a one-year pause, one of the longest-running international festivals of pipe-based music anywhere in the world is returning to Armagh. The 27th William Kennedy Piping Festival takes place from the 18th to the 21st November at venues across Armagh City.

The festival, organised since 1994 by Armagh Pipers Club, will feature three principal concerts, concerts in schools, an immersive Piping Academy, and master classes in several instruments. The 2021 Festival will not be like the massive 80-artist events of recent years: it is scaled down to ensure, as far as possible, Covid-safe events, with a back-to-roots emphasis on Irish piping, but with a few superb overseas guests.

Featured artists include Mick O’Brien, Emer Mayock and Aoife Ní Bhriain performing as the Goodman Trio; uilleann pipers Pádraig McGovern, Louise Mulcahy and Cillian Vallely, and Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn who will be performing in duet with harpist Laoise Kelly. (All six pipers will contribute to the Academy) From Asturias, the festival is delighted to welcome back gaita virtuoso José Manuel Tejedor, while French favourites Sébastien Lagrange and Quentin Millet make a long-awaited return.

Scotland is represented by Mike Katz of Battlefield Band fame, and Alana MacInnes from South Uist. Completing the line-up is the sublime vocalist Diane Cannon from the west Donegal Gaeltacht. Visit

The City of Derry International Choir Festival:

Internationally-renowned guest artists will include the Grammy Award-winning American a cappella ensemble Chanticleer, described as the “world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker, and known across the globe as the “orchestra of voices”. The Festival will also welcome acclaimed conductor and composer Bob Chilcott, award-winning Derry chamber choir Codetta, and the Ulster Orchestra, for a programme of live and live-streamed concerts during Festival week.

For more information and updates visit or follow the City of Derry International Choir Festival on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram.

Outburst Festival: The 15th Outburst Queer Arts Festival returns from 12-20 Nov featuring programme of film, theatre, talks and music. Headlining the Festival is, MASS, the latest production from Ivor Novello nominated composer, Conor Mitchell. This epically proportioned production features 64 musicians of the Ulster Orchestra and specially commissioned visuals from six international film makers. Visit


R-Space: presents their next exhibition, Teatime, from 30th October – 26th November 2021 at R-Space Gallery (32 Castle Street, Lisburn) and online via R-Space Social media channels and

Free entry Tuesday to Saturday 11am-5pm

Tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world, the paraphernalia surrounding its preparation and consumption is immense. R-Space presents a selection of items surrounding this wonderful beverage. Five artists / makers based in Northern Ireland at different career stages, working in a variety of media, were selected from an open call for this exhibition titled Teatime:

Amanda Croft
Fiona Jiandani
Paul Mulgrew
Millie Moore
Pamela Walker

The selected artists responding to the theme ‘Teatime’ will exhibit work that includes collage, photography, short film, and textiles. R-Space received a large response to this open call and the quality of the submissions was exceptional. The Gallery has also invited these artists to present their work during the exhibition and included items for sale in our online shop. This work includes embroidery, ceramics, cyanotype, sculpture and painting.

R-Space will also be hosting an alternative tea dance for local and international community groups, funded by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council Arts Grants, to run alongside the exhibition. If your group would like to get involved please contact Mags at

Craft NI: Craft NI is delighted to present the ‘Shuttles and Shafts’ exhibition, a visual journey into the archives of one of Northern Ireland’s most prominent linen manufacturers and an insight into the work of the design partnership that has brought some of their classic patterns into the 21st century.

Previously, suppliers to the Ritz and the White Star Line, glass design plates from the Ewart-Lidell Mill in Co. Down, were donated to Belfast School of Art. Senior Research Fellow, Trish Belford and Professor of Design Barbara Dass have preserved, catalogued and digitised the plates for future generations.

Their Heritage Lottery funded project Reviving William Liddell’s Damask Designs preserved a unique collection of 1600 photographic glass plates discovered in 2007 when the Ewart-Liddell linen factory at Donacloney, Co Down was dismantled. Their initial research was exhibited at Lisburn Museum during the inaugural NI Linen Biennale in 2018, and the resulting contemporary textiles are now in production at William Clark and Sons of Upperlands.

The exhibition aims to give the public a unique insight into the heyday of Irish Linen design and craftsmanship in the 1900s. The ambitious project is centred around these delicate photographic glass plates which illustrate the labour of a highly skilled workforce of designers, draftsmen and women and weavers working for the company during the years 1900s to 1970s.

The initial stages of the project focused on the preservation of the glass plates, their digitization and classification for an open access digital archive. The complete collection of digitised photographic plates have been arranged into four key classifications: logistics, hospitality, organisations and domestic patterns, these are beautifully illustrated in large format documents on show.

Trish and Barbara also took an interest in finding a way to keep this wonderful design history alive in a contemporary setting. Looking back to look forward, Belford, in collaboration with William Clark and Sons of Upperlands, developed new prints and weaves in the form of the ‘The Donaghcloney collection’ - an uplifting range of decorative fabrics comprising vivid digital prints, new damask woven lace and co-ordinating screen prints that respects tradition while placing itself in a contemporary context.

This modular exhibition designed by Belfast based Form Native will be accompanied by a film documenting the project, a fascinating insight into the history of the designs, as well as the research used to bring the collection to life.

Venue: Craft NI Gallery, 115 - 119 Royal Ave, Belfast

Exhibition Dates: Thursday, 14 October 2021 - Thursday,11 November 2021.

Opening Times: Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm.

RUA: The 140th RUA Annual Exhibition return to the Ulster Museum from 29th October to 2nd January 2022. The RUA Annual Exhibition is one of the most eagerly anticipated exhibitions in the Northern Irish cultural calendar, providing a unique platform for acclaimed artists and emerging talent to showcase their artwork in the fabulous galleries at the Ulster Museum. It is also a chance for the public to engage with a fully democratic, free admission exhibition.

The exhibition contains examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and more. Some of the works reflect the times we are living and allude to isolation, social distancing and surviving in Covid times. Other works share deep messages with hope, humour, passion and integrity. Before opening the exhibition the RUA will host a series of Wednesday lunchtime talks at their new premises on Rosemary Street. Visit

CCA: CCA Derry~Londonderry presents Tilt [at Windmills] until 18th December. Curated by Mirjami Schuppert, the project features newly produced work by Jarkko Räsänen with Fionnuala Doran, Paul Moore and Robin Price. The newly produced works in the exhibition examine and respond to the UTV archive, which is currently digitised by Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive.

Through the works in the exhibition, Jarkko Räsänen has embarked on his personal battle against perceived problems and injustices; he goes on an offence against surveillance apparatuses and their use of AI, and blind trust and glorification of technology, fights for animal rights and highlights violence culture. He examines old footage with the help of technology, stepping away from the content-focused approach that historians mostly use when researching archives. Given the large amount of footage available in the UTV archive, the artist has developed different methods to analyse the material, giving the exhibition distinct directions and various starting points. For more information visit

Golden Thread Gallery: presents Portrait of Northern Ireland Centenary Exhibition, 9 October – 3 November.

Secretary of State Brandon Lewis has announced a major art exhibition to showcase Northern Ireland’s creative talent as part of the Northern Ireland Office’s Centenary programme. The Portrait of Northern Ireland: Neither an Elegy nor a Manifesto exhibition will feature over 100 artists who have explored perspectives of Northern Ireland’s people and landscapes from the 1920s until the present day.

In addition to established artists such as Paul Henry, William Scott and Turner Prize nominees, the exhibition will shine a light on the work of up-and-coming artists who have recently graduated from Belfast School of Art. As well as nurturing young talent and enhancing local artists’ profiles, it is hoped that the exhibition will provide a boost to the local arts sector as it deals with the impact of Covid 19.

Curated by Shan McAnena, the exhibition is a collaboration between the Northern Ireland Office, the Government Art Collection, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast School of Art as part of the wider cultural programme of the Northern Ireland Centenary. An expert panel of representatives from these organisations and many of the leading Northern Ireland galleries, has ensured that the exhibition features an inclusive and varied range of artwork and exhibits.

Further details will be announced in the coming weeks. for further details.

Belfast Exposed: will be showcasing ‘Beasts of Burden’ by internationally-renowned documentary photographer, Paul Seawright OBE from 7th October - 18th December in Gallery 1. Paul Seawright is a Professor of Photography and Executive Dean of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Ulster. Paul’s work has been held in many museum collections including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Tate, the International Centre of Photography New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome and many more.

In ‘Beasts of Burden’, Paul Seawright turns his attention to Rwanda. In the Rwandan genocide of 1994, members of the Hutu ethnic majority murdered an estimated one million people, mostly of the Tutsi minority in just 100 days. 25 years later a distinctive project, “Cows for Peace”, pairs perpetrators with their victims. Seawright’s images examine what is invisible within this space: the tension of the place but also the delicate nature of the caretakers when working with these animals. Beasts of Burden:

Alongside this, they will be showcasing ‘My Name is Maya’ by award-winning artist, Manon Ouimet, from the 7th October - 30th October in Gallery 2. Ouimet’s series tracks her conversion to Judaism with her images reflecting her journey from spiritual desire to belong, through a calendar year of richly-grounding festivals, traditions and food. My Name is Maya:

For further details visit

ArtisAnn: presents, Looking Back. Thinking Black.New Paintings by Ciarán Harper. An exhibition looking at historical and influential figures across the Black Atlantic, runs at the ArtisAnn Gallery at 70 Bloomfield Avenue, Belfast from Wednesday 6th October to Saturday 30th October 2021. Ciarán’s most recent work is inspired by diaspora and how this can be translated in art.

He has received a number of notable commissions, including for the African and Caribbean Support Organisation Northern Ireland (ACSONI) commemoration of the slave trade. His work is included in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s permanent collection.

Ciarán is a Fine Art graduate of Ulster University of Belfast, specialising in painting. Within his practice, oil paint is used on canvas with raw mediums such as wax or plaster, adding dynamism and depth to the work. Collage and found imagery are both an integral part of his practice. Visit

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich every year invite young, dedicated artists from Coláiste Feirste to showcase their artwork in Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich. The Coláiste Feirste exhibition gives us an insight into the young people in our community and the subjects that inspire them to create their art. This exhibition is now a yearly event which showcases the immense talent coming out of the Coláiste Feirste art room. The pieces will include pieces of art from A-Level and GCSE students across a range of mediums. The exhibition runs from 7 October until 25 November.

For further details visit

Void: presents Cevdet Erek, Beating a Retreat, 7 September – 30 October 2021.

Cevdet Erek is an Istanbul based artist and musician. A background in architecture, sound engineering, and performing in a band forms the basis of his practice. In his working process Erek often responds to architectural context through interventions, using sound to inhabit architectural spaces. The exhibition at Void, Beating a Retreat, was disrupted by COVID-19 and due to travel restrictions, has been developed at a distance through the lens of conversations, processes of experimentation and virtual tools.

For his exhibition at Void Gallery, Erek has composed a new sound piece titled Back with the bodhrán, an instrument associated with traditional Irish music of the 1960’s. Erek draws parallels between the bodhrán and instruments widely used across Turkey, Northern Africa and the Middle East, as well as the traditions of disparate cultures. Alongside Back, Erek presents a wall piece utilising parchment similar to the drum’s skin.

In Beating a Retreat, Erek also draws on our perception and experience of time in the series Rulers and Rhythm Studies (2007 -ongoing). A new ruler conceived for this exhibition, Ruler 2019 BC19 to 1AC19, bases itself on an imaginary COVID-19 calendar that takes 2020, the year that the pandemic declared by WHO, as its year zero. The exhibition serves as a punctuation and meditates on where we are at present as we slow down and move through this tumultuous period.

Beating a Retreat starts and ends with the sound work Welcome and Goodbye - a piece that builds on Erek's previous large scale installation works such as ÇIN (Turkish Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2017). Welcome and Goodbye utilises signals which interfere differently, corresponding to whether you are entering or leaving the exhibition.

For more about the exhibition visit

The MAC: presents the following exhibition across all three galleries

Anne Tallentire, But this material…

8th September – 21st November 2021

This exhibition is the first significant institutional presentation of Anne Tallentire’s work since her career survey This and other Things 1999 – 2010 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. But this material… brings together key works from the last decade as well as work which is re-imagined for the particular architectural and spatial qualities of the MAC galleries.

Tallentire’s practice explores the built environment and how we inhabit space; her process is characterised by a critical relationship to materials and technology. Fundamental to her approach is the repurposing of found materials often associated with the construction industry to delineate space in relation to specific cultural, social, geographic and architectural contexts. Through a visual and textual interrogation of everyday materials and structures, Tallentire’s work reveals systems that shape the built environment and the economics of labour. She explores dimensionality and mapping by using everyday building materials to transpose one physical space onto another.

In representing abstractions of living and shared space, Tallentire questions the conditions that determine, regulate and shape patterns in daily life. Her practice is a commentary on the present circumstances of infrastructure and the social impact of such living environments. The current debate on the rising costs of housing and the systemic failure of the state to provide adequate social housing is alluded to in her work. For further information visit at


The Great Irish Songbook Live on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds: presented by Belfast International Arts Festival The Great Irish Songbook will be broadcast live from the Grand Opera House Belfast on Thursday 21 October at 7.30pm on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds.

Folk legends Dervish present The Great Irish Songbook with help from friends Glen Hansard, Eddi Reader, Cara Dillon, Brian Kennedy, Karen Matheson and the Open Arts Community Choir.

BBC Radio Ulster presenters Lynette Fay and Ralph McLean host this special one-off event from the Grand Opera House as part of the 59th edition of Belfast International Arts Festival. Classic Irish folk songs such as Down by the Salley Gardens, The Galway Shawl and Molly Malone are brought to life in new ways.

In this three-hour special programme Lynette and Ralph will be speaking to other festival guests including the ‘Irish Queen of Game Music’, conductor Eímear Noone, renowned photographer Paul Seawright, and Zoe Seaton Artistic Director and founder of Big Telly Theatre Company, whose latest interactive hybrid production Department Story premieres at BIAF. Visit

Ulster Orchestra: With the aim to expand their support of and collaboration with local music artists, the Ulster Orchestra is launched an exciting new digital series, Salon Sessions, which premiered on their YouTube channel at 8.30pm on Monday 18 October.

With Covid-19 throwing the live music industry into disarray since March 2020, the Ulster Orchestra, along with many musicians across Northern Ireland and beyond, were forced to find new ways to express their creativity and perform. However, despite a challenging time for everyone, the Orchestra have emerged with a fresh outlook on their digital activity and a growing aspiration to work with the support as many local artists as they can.

Salon Sessions is free to view. For further information on Salon Sessions, please visit

The Ulster Orchestra also presents the following concerts:

  • 23 October, Electric Arcade
  • 29 October, Rustioni conducts from Russia to Hollywood
  • 11 November, Virtuosic Storytellers
  • 25 November, The Charm of the Classical
  • 3 December, Rustioni conducts Pictures at an Exhibition

For further details and to purchase tickets visit

Katharine Timoney: Belfast based jazz artist, Katharine Timoney has released her debut single, ‘Don’t Fret’, from her forthcoming EP. Produced by Ben Castle, the five tracked EP entitled, ‘Life Came into Colour’ combines jazz melodies, brutally honest lyrics with contemporary production and is due for release next year. Katherine Timoney is a BBC NI and Arts Council of Northern Ireland Young Musicians’ Platform Award recipient this EP is supported by The National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Visit

Belfast Music Society: presents the annual Northern Lights Mini Festival as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival. Concerts include

  • The Benyounes Quartet, 24 October, Harty Room, QUB
  • Sestina, 27 October, Fisherwick Presbyterian Church
  • Trio Cantare, 30 October, Harty Room, QUB

Oh Yeah: The award winning NI Music Exhibition at Oh Yeah is now open for visitors after being shut for almost 18 months due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The NI Music exhibition at Oh Yeah is the only permanent exhibit for popular music in Northern Ireland. There is much to see, including a series of storyboards documenting and plotting the history and the stories of Folk, Punk, Rock, Jazz and more. There is a ‘Legends’ series of wall displays that hail the great achievers including Ruby Murray, Van Morrison, Terri Hooley, Bap Kennedy, David McWilliams and Henry McCullough to name a few. Exhibition cases display some unique rock and roll memorabilia including the Fender Guitar that Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol used to write ‘Run’ and ‘Chasing Cars’, a vintage street sign of Cyprus Avenue, made famous in a Van Morrison song, and a specially arranged exhibit of Gary Moore memorabilia.

Exhibition Opening Times

Mon – Fri: 10am-4pm
Sat: 12-5pm

More info will follow on when the Music Bus Tour will restart soon. To enquire about a visit, or for further info and group bookings please contact or call 02890310845

Portico of Ards: Live music concerts are back at Portico! After 18 months of being forced to close due to the Covid restrictions, the Portico of Ards in Portaferry is finally able to open its doors to audiences. More than 50 concerts have been rescheduled over the last year and a half, which means there’s a jam-packed calendar of events coming up between now and Christmas.

From September through to December concerts include Ryan McMullan, The Pirates of Penzance, The Bjorn Identity, Shane Todd, The Shamrock Tenors and many more. To find out more about Portico or concerts coming up please visit

Duncairn: Duncairn’s video project, ‘In Focus’, continues every Sunday. Each episode is a documentary-style portrayal of young and emerging artists from across the island and includes musical performances in a variety of locations. Available to watch at 7pm every Sunday at

Moving On Music: presents the following live gigs this September and October.

  • Friday 24th October, Emerging Artists Showcase featuring Jack Warnock, Emily McCormick and Laytha , Black Box, Belfast

For more information visit

The City of Derry International Choir Festival:

Internationally-renowned guest artists will include the Grammy Award-winning American a cappella ensemble Chanticleer, described as the “world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker, and known across the globe as the “orchestra of voices”. The Festival will also welcome acclaimed conductor and composer Bob Chilcott, award-winning Derry chamber choir Codetta, and the Ulster Orchestra, for a programme of live and live-streamed concerts during Festival week.

For more information and updates visit or follow the City of Derry International Choir Festival on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram.

ITMA: 'Drawing from the Well' is an online monthly ITMA series which connects artists with archival materials to inspire new art. To date, nine videos, podcasts and blogs have been created by leading traditional musicians, singers, and dancers, including Louise Mulcahy, Martin Hayes, Edwina Guckian and Cormac Begley. All episodes are free to view online at

Phil Taggart: ChillDaBeats is the brand new show from NI DJ, Phil Taggart. Every week he brings you a soft focus selection of the best alternative chill sounds along with the biggest guests picking some brain soothers in the Soul Food Selection. ChillDaBeats goes live every Sunday. Listen on Spotify at This podcast series is supported by emergency funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Department for Communities.

Tommy Sands and Artsawonder:  In this new online film series, legendary musician, Tommy Sands, films, sings, listens and learns from a singing five times world champion drum major Alan McBride, two young women, Jenna Stevenson and Wendy Graham Hanna, who initiate and drive an Arts hub shop, a rhythmic drum weaver rhythmic drum weaver Damien McKeown and a young woman Bronagh Kelly who lovingly echoes the poetry of her mother.  To watch visit Media | Artsawonder (

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: presents Music Corner, the best of traditional music with great traditional musicians which is streamed live on their Facebook page every Saturday. Visit Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich (


Belfast International Arts Festival: presents Natasha Brown & Caleb Azumah Nelson, Friday 22 October, Crescent Arts Centre

Two of 2021's most celebrated debutants come together to discuss their innovative fiction.

Natasha Brown’s novel Assembly tells the story of a young Black woman in England with all the trappings of apparent success, including a job in the City. But the contradictions of her life and her unwillingness to accept the structures that sustain the society we all operate in, lead her to a cataclysmic decision. Assembly has been greeted with universal acclaim, including by Bernardine Evaristo, and has been compared to the work of Virginia Woolf and Claudia Rankine. Natasha Brown worked in financial services for ten years before writing Assembly.

Caleb Azumah Nelson’s Open Water is a love story between two Black British artists – a photographer and a dancer – which blends personal and political with elegance and insight. Poetic but restrained, it takes us into its characters’ lives with subtlety and grace, and explores the meaning of art in our lives today and the risks taken to swim into the open water of love. On publication Open Water was compared with the work of Sally Rooney and Michaela Coel, and called “the kind of novel that doesn’t let go” by Jan Carson. Caleb Azumah Nelson is a writer and photographer living in London.

Hosted by Shannon Yee.

Also Nikesh Shukla & Musa Okwonga, Saturday 30 October, Crescent Arts Centre

Two of Britain’s strongest literary talents come together to talk about their memoirs on family, privilege, race.

Nikesh Shukla’s Brown Baby is a powerful letter to his daughters, and a funny, moving and upsetting account of the challenges he has faced and his advice to them for the future. It covers his relationship with his late mother, his struggles with food, his experiences of casual racism and his writing. Brown Baby has been called “a beautifully intimate and soul-searching memoir” by Bernardine Evaristo. Nikesh Shukla is a writer, editor and mentor. He edited the groundbreaking anthology The Good Immigrant. He lives in Bristol.

Musa Okwonga’s One of Them, the first in-depth memoir of life at Eton College in 30 years, is about Okwonga’s experience as one of the only Black British boys in England’s most famous school. It is a beautifully-written account of growing up in an environment where family is absent, and asks what effect this upbringing has on the leaders and direction of the country. This year Okwonga also published his debut novel In the End, It Was All About Love, which was a book of the month in RTE’s Rick O’Shea Book Club. Musa Okwonga is a writer, podcaster and musician. He lives in Berlin. Hosted by John Self


RSL: The Royal Society of Literature (RSL) and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland are inviting booklovers and writers to join them for a series of free online events later this month. NI Writers Day 2 will take place on Wednesday 27th October. It follows on from the first hugely successful NI Writers Day in March 2021 and is part of a drive by the Royal Society of Literature to celebrate literary talent across all regions of the UK.

The October session will feature a mix of speakers, shining a light on some of Northern Ireland’s most outstanding writers working across a range of genres today, including drama, sci-fi, crime fiction and Irish language. Award-winning writer and RSL Fellow Lucy Caldwell will return to her Northern Ireland roots to host the day.

The event will open with a lunchtime workshop led by Lucy and fellow East-Belfast author Glenn Patterson, who together will deliver a free hour-long workshop exploring the joys, possibilities and challenges of working across form. Open to all, whether you’ve recently started writing or are a master of your chosen genre, this session will encourage writers to experiment with the written word.

In the afternoon, Royal Society of Literature Chair and acclaimed poet Daljit Nagra will interview Inua Ellams, a poet playwright and artist whose work has been heavily influenced by Seamus Heaney. In this special event he will talk about his poem Wood Work for Seamus Heaney and Peter Edwards, which was commissioned by the Royal Society of Literature and written in response to a portrait of the Nobel Prize winning poet held in the National Portrait Gallery.

The event will come to a close with a panel discussion featuring some of the finest Northern Irish writers working across form and genre today. Led by RSL Fellow Lucy Caldwell, sci-fi novelist Ian McDonald, Irish language children’s writer Máire Zepf, performance poet Abby Oliveira, and crime writer Steve Cavanagh will discuss their work, routes into writing and the Northern Irish literary scene.

Tickets for NI Writers Day are free and can be booked via the RSL website. Go to

Cahoots NI: welcome you to The Grimm Hotel. Cahoots NI have a reservation in your name, but be warned, this is no ordinary hotel! Check in upon arrival and your personal bellhop will help you choose from 210 equally Grimm suites. The decision will be yours, but choose carefully! You will be stepping into a story hundreds of years in the making… and behind each door lies a Grimm surprise. Maybe you’ll find yourself eating supper with a witch, lost in the woods, face to face with a greedy goblin…you might want to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind you to find your way back.

The Grimm Hotel runs until 30th October at the Cityside retail and Leisure Park in Belfast Featuring magic, music, cutting edge technology and some of the most recognisable characters from fairytale folklore, Cahoots NI’s The Grimm Hotel takes inspiration from the much loved ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales’ in this groundbreaking new walk-through theatre experience, opening at Belfast International Arts Festival. Age guidance: 8 Yrs + | All under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Visit

Big Telly: presents, Department Story, from 20th – 31st October. Theatre mavericks Big Telly present Department Story – a new production for physical and remote audiences by Jack Hardiker and Zoe Seaton. Big Telly are back at BIAF with a bang after a year of hijacking your homes with virtual mayhem with their haunting retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in 2020 and presenting The Worst Cafe in 2019! This time they’re going hybrid with a heady mix of the live and the digital, a unique experience where a remote audience can collude with a physical one and be part of a real-world experience in a way that has never been done before.

Department Story is a site-specific production which smashes together flash theatre and physical fiction in a killer spree through a department of stories, where everything returned has a tale to tell – a talking toaster, a dress with a past, accessories after the fact. Browse through classic brands like Gogol and Hemmingway or take a punt on our new collection of global writers. Take stock, grab your shopping list and be sure to ask the staff for help.

But wait! This is no ordinary Department Store. Customers have choice but alongside choice comes great responsibility and before long there are decisions to be made. When the in-store shoppers end up with more than they bargained for, their fate lies with those online – but can they deliver?

Shoppers who book for one type of experience receive 30% off the other experience. Bargain. Age recommendation: 14+ Visit

Replay Theatre Company: This October Replay Theatre Company in partnership with The MAC, is inviting young audiences who have profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) to experience an exciting, immersive and icy expedition in the new, inclusive, show THAW.

Belfast-based Replay Theatre Company is among the world leaders in inclusive children’s theatre, with over 30 years of experience in providing high quality arts adventures for younger audiences. THAW is the company’s latest offering for children and young people who have PMLD and the company is excited to be partnering with The MAC to provide its young audiences with a full theatre-going experience. This production is delivered by expert inclusive performers up to 6 young audience members per show, plus one adult companion each. Tickets for THAW are free of charge and will be offered directly through Special Schools.

The MAC: presents, Distortion, 30 September – 24 October, 16+, written by Amanda Verlaque, directed by Rhiann Jeffrey and produced by the MAC. Distortion is a fictional take on PR spin, sexuality, and the personalities jockeying for position in a cutthroat political arena. Watch the digital world premiere online at 7:30pm on Thursday 30 September, and on-demand until 11:59pm on Sunday 24 October. Filmed live in the Downstairs Theatre at the MAC. To book visit

Also at The MAC is:

Another Lover’s Discourse: 29-30 October, 14+. Belfast International Arts Festival and Riham Isaac present Another Lover’s Discourse. Commissioned exclusively for Belfast International Arts Festival, Another Lover’s Discourse is a solo theatre show created and performed by Riham Isaac that encourages a more open conversation about how we understand romantic relationships.

Jarman Award 2021: The MAC is delighted to once again be involved in hosting the Film London Jarman Award, presenting a screening of the 2021 award shortlist.

Discover the incredible diversity within the world of artists’ filmmaking in the UK, with a presentation of the work of the shortlist of this year’s Film London Jarman Award. From the individual and autobiographical to the global and political, these films draw us into their narratives through poetry, experimental sound, surreal computer graphics, performance, dance and choreography.

Tinderbox: This Autumn, award-winning Tinderbox Theatre Company will premiere Jonathan M. Daley’s thrilling new play Sylvan. Sylvan promises to be a nightmarish visual feast with stunning design by Stuart Marshall and featuring acclaimed local cast - Ruby Campbell, Maria Connolly and Seamus O’Hara. Sylvan will be performed live in forest locations in Belfast and Coleraine over the Halloween holidays and will also premiere as part of Imagine Arts Festival in Waterford. Sylvan is an immersive live experience with the amalgamation of digital film, horror, sound design and live performance. Sylvan will be directed by award-winning Writer and Director, Patrick J O’Reilly.

Tour Dates and Locations

23-24 October 2021 | WIT Campus, Waterford | Imagine Arts Festival

29 October – 1 November 2021 | Victoria Park, Belfast

4-5 November 2021 | Ulster University Campus, Coleraine | Riverside Theatre

For more information visit

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: presents, Seoladh Leabhair: Bláth na dTulach. An anthology of Ulster stories edited by Réaltán Ní Leannáin and published by Eabhlóid, Bláth na dTulach provides us with an insight into contemporary creative writing. This anthology explores a wide range of human emotions and conditions including mirth and melancholy, tears and laughter and the old and the new, from established and emerging writers. The events takes place on 23 October, register at

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich also presents Kerri Ní Dhochartaigh & Cal Flynn as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival. The interaction between people and nature is the subject of two new books by these highly-praised writers, appearing as part of the 59th annual Belfast International Arts Festival. The event takes place on 6 November. Visit for further details.

Poetry Jukebox at Ballycastle Seafront: Located near the fountain at the seafront, the unique installation is part of the Poetry Town initiative. It aims to bring poetry into people’s lives and features audio versions of poems written by Heather Newcombe and Mairtin Crawford.

Heather lived in Ballycastle and was instrumental in nurturing literature activities in the town and surroundings area, including the Ballycastle Writers Group and the annual 'Let Me Take You To The Island' literature festival on Rathlin Island. Mairtin came from Belfast, and both are highly regarded for their influence on the local literary scene. Now sadly passed away, their poems are read by family members and friends.

For added Covid safety, you can use a pen or key to press the button. Posters have also been distributed throughout the town featuring a list of poems alongside their individual QR codes so you can scan and listen to them from the comfort of your own home too!

Launched to coincide with Poetry Town in Ballycastle until September 18th, the jukebox will reside at the Seafront until November 30th.

Waterside Theatre: presents

  • Teddy’s Halloween Adventure, 30 October. Sammy Ragdoll wants to take her best friend Eddy the Teddy to a Halloween party but he's feeling a bit frightened. This show is designed for very young children so Eddy will be the only one who's frightened. Everyone can enjoy a fun show which is perfect for this time of year. The show uses many elements of theatre, mime, puppetry and songs to join in with. It's a perfect introduction to live entertainment for children who've never been to a show before, and a welcome return for Eddy the Teddy's young fans.
  • The Canterville Ghost, 30 October. The Canterville Ghost is based on Oscar Wilde's short story for children about a family from America who move into a haunted house in England. They aren't at all afraid and, indeed they play tricks in the frustrated ghost. Their daughter Virginia takes pity on the ghost and becomes his friend. The show aimed at children aged between five and ten. With original music and audience participation as well as use of puppetry and mime, this is ideal for any book week, projects on Halloween, history, the supernatural, Music or Drama.

To book tickets for any of these events visit

The Playhouse: presents

  • The Playhouse Digital Arts Festival, 1st November
  • As If I Cared- poems and other parts of a life, 7th December
  • The Right Twig: Radio 2020, 13th December

For further information visit

DU Dance (NI): presents Belfast Boys, physical dance theatre for boys aged 7-11 years at the Crescent Arts Centre. Classes at 2-3pm every Saturday starting 18th September. No experience is necessary. Book at

BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine: Twelve D/deaf, neurodivergent and disabled professional artists based in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland were commissioned earlier this year to produce new film and audio works for BBC platforms. Three of the twelve artists are from Northern Ireland and includes, playwright, Shannon Yee, animator, Joel Simon and poet/comedian, Alice McCullough. These new works are now available to view on BBC I-Player at

The commissioning programme is part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine initiative, which has brought the arts into people’s homes during lockdown. The twelve new commissions champion the work of D/deaf, neurodivergent and disabled professional artists by helping them produce work when some may have been self-isolating, and provide a platform to explore their experiences of living through Covid-19.

The programme was established in a partnership between BBC Arts, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales and Creative Scotland to mark the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act into law, forming part of wider disability programming across the BBC.

Crescent Arts Centre: has reopened to the public and have released a new programme of classes and workshops available in person and online. Visit

They will also be running monthly Book Festival events until March 2022. Details of all events can be found at

The Lyric Theatre: presents the following,

The Border Game: 2-23 October 2021. From the award-winning writers Michael Patrick & Oisín Kearney (‘My Left Nut’ and ‘The Alternative’), and Irish Times Theatre Award-winning director Emma Jordan (‘Red’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’); ‘The Border Game’ is a timely and powerful reflection on 100 years of the border and how it has impacted those who live along it. Inspired by 100 testimonies collected by the writers with real people living all over the 300-miles of the border.

New Playwrights Showcase:

22nd October, Kidding, written by Paul Mallon & Eléonore Maudet

23rd October, Hello Charlie, written by Caoimhe Farren

Duck Duck Goose: Fishamble: The New Play Company Presents Duck Duck Goose by Catríona Daly.

Duck, Duck, Goose follows the story of Chris Quinn, a young man who, in an attempt to help his friend, becomes deeply embroiled in a rape allegation. As the rules change, and confusion reigns supreme, Chris struggles between loyalty, love and doubt. Full of moral ambiguity and psychological complexity, this viscerally-charged new play by Caitríona Daly constantly shifts our perspective on ideas of consent, trust, and trial by social media.

Unlocked: 29th-30th October. On New Year’s Eve 2019, comedian Nuala McKeever wrote in her diary, "2020 is gonna be my year! I'm going to stop sitting in the house, get out, travel, meet new people and find love again!" And the Universe said, "Uh uh...."

So what DID happen? Join Nuala as she reflects on the ups and downs of the weirdest year ever. From the joy of overdosing on banana bread, to the challenge of snogging with a face mask on, nothing is sacred as NI's Queen of Comedy unlocks the funny side of lockdown.

In The Name of The Son: 2-14 November.

ARÁN & IM by MANCHÁN MAGAN: Arán & Im, Saturday 6th October, is a theatrical performance in which Manchán Magan bakes sourdough bread while offering insights into the wonders of the Irish language – exploring potent words of landscape, terms of intuition and insight, and the many phrases that bring to life the mysterious glory of our natural world. The show is a celebration of language, land and local Irish food. (Arán agus Im is a bilingual show, entirely understandable to Béarlóirí).

Pádraig Rynne & Tara Breen with Dónal Lunny and Jim Murray: Presented by An Droichead on Saturday 13th November.

Embark on an odyssey of wonder, joyfulness and upbeat music as four incredibly talented and creative traditional musicians shape melodies from past and present into something dynamic and irresistible. A quartet comprising of musicians at the fore of our tradition, expect a performance from the gentle to the rhythmical and all the in-betweens.

Tara Breen has numerous All Ireland titles on the fiddle and tours regularly with The Chieftains, Stockton’s wing and as a solo performer. Pádraig Rynne is considered a leading figure in Irish music and is founding member of well-known bands such as NOTIFY, Atlantic Arc and Guidewires. Dónal Lunny needs little introduction having been at the fore of Irish traditional music since the 70’s with bands such as Planxty, The Bothy Band and Moving Hearts. Jim Murray on guitar is one of Irish music’s most valuable assets being a regular performer with Sharon Shannon over the past twenty years as well as working with Altan, Mary Black, Sinead O’Connor, Seamus Begley and many more.

The Long and Short of It: Sunday 14th November. In the popular Radio Ulster program The Long And The Short Of It, historian David Hume, and comedian and keen amateur historian, Tim McGarry, have spent several series learning about and then disagreeing about all aspects of Irish history. This year, the show won the gold award for Specialist Speech Programme at the IMRO Radio Awards.

In this special live event, Tim and David turn their attention to a very topical and controversial subject - the very creation of Northern Ireland.

In 2021 Northern Ireland as a distinct political entity will be 100 years old and it is fair to say that the commemorations will be a game of two halves!

Pinocchio the Musical: 26th Nov 2021 – 2nd January 2022. The creative team behind the Lyric’s hit shows “Alice the Musical” and “Peter Pan the Musical” return with a brand new musical version of the greatest magical adventure of all time; “Pinocchio The Greatest Wonder of the Age”.

For further details on all events and to buy tickets visit

Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company: has launched the Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement in Derry-Londonderry. The acclaimed international festival has become established as a headline event in the city’s cultural calendar in recent years welcoming artists and audiences from all corners of the globe. Visit for details.

Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company has also launched their Digital Programme, a series of online bite-sized courses, each designed to encourage the exploration of creativity in movement, in the comfort of your own home. The courses are aimed at different age groups and are all led by the highly experienced artist-teachers of the Echo Echo Ensemble. Each course consists of 8 easy to follow videos of roughly 15-20 minutes long which include a variety of playful warm ups and exercises, some technical instruction and much guidance for the development Visit to find out more and register. Once you have completed the sign-up form you will receive links for the programmes directly to your email address and it’s all completely free of charge!

Declan McConaghy Show: Newry based former BBC broadcaster, Declan McConaghy has created a new series of short films where he talks in-depth to creatives from Newry and the surrounding area who have made a contribution to theatre, music, dance and the performing arts in general. The view the films visit


Carntogher Community Association: on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th October, Drumnaph Nature Reserve will come alive at night to celebrate the Celtic festival, Samhain. Samhain was celebrated by our Ancestors and it marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of the ‘Dark Half’ of the year. Many cultures around the world hold traditional celebrations with light at this time of year as the dark evenings draw in.

Young and old will be guided through the woods by fire and light to ensure you don’t go astray! The organisers will be offering guided walks both bi-lingually & through Irish on the nights.

All those who venture into the woods will meet some enchanting characters along the way and enjoy storytelling, street performers and a fire show. Remember to wrap up warm and wear appropriate footwear for the journey. Don’t forget to bring your own lantern too.

This year, due to popular demand, they are delighted to be running Samhain over two nights to give you more time options, but anticipate spaces will fill up fast. Visit

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich: presents their Samhain Programme with a plethora of new events and programmes for all as we transition from Summer to Autumn signalling the arrival of the dark nights as we approach Samhain. They are delighted that children will return to the building to develop their creative skills in their drama school,Aisling Óg, along with a new series of Na Bopóga for young babies and toddlers with plenty of singing, art and storytelling.

They will have a magical family event in celebration of Halloween based on Gráinne Holland and Mr Ando’s beautiful, Ceol na Sióg, where they will have an art workshop and family concert.

They are delighted to be celebrating 30 years of Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiach and this year more than ever, it is so fitting that Coláiste Feirste will launch their special art exhibition courtesy of their fantastically talented pupils, which will launch in Dánlann Dillon at the beginning of October.

They will also have the best of literary offerings with the launch of a new book, Bláth na dTulach, an anthology encompassing innovative Ulster writers edited by Belfast writer, Réaltán Ní Leannáin and published by Éabhlóid. Along with these events, they will host a range of classes and courses including Irish classes, Yoga with Dúnla and Sean-Nós singing classes with Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde.

Find out more and register at

Duncairn: has released details of their new programme of theatre, music and digital classes. To book visit

Duncairn Player: all of the previous video projects can now be viewed from the Duncairn Player including The Duncairn Virtual Cabaret, Take 2, Carlingford and the Ring of Guillion Sessions.  Visit Player — The Duncairn

Wheelworks:  is delighted to support you right now with in person and online workshops in everything from digital music making, street art, animation, coding, drama, Virtual reality and much more. All of their workshops are bespoke to suit you and your organisation, whether that's driving to your venue in our mobile studio, the ArtCart, or bringing their professional artists to you virtually to delivery online masterclasses.   To book your perfect digital and arts activities just email and visit

EastSide Arts: check out EastSide Arts’ YouTube channel which includes lots of videos of their past work, event launches and festivals.  They have also been uploading lots of our recent online event recordings to the channel and these range from the series of EastSide Greenways webinars to events that took place during C.S. Lewis Festival.  Visit

Streetwise: Fancy learning how to juggle and other circus skills?! In response to Covid 19 Streetwise Community Circus has developed a team of tutors who are now working via Zoom to reach out to those who can no longer participate in workshops. To take advantage of this opportunity all you have to do is email Streetwise on Suitable for participants who range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

Arts Care: has a wonderful range of arts activities available online on their Arts Care 4U Premium +, their online arts delivery channel that everyone can access. Arts Care’s new dedicated online arts and well-being workshop resource, ‘Break-Time’, accessed via their website to support the mental, emotional and physical well-being of children and young people through the Arts. New art, music, dance & exercise, drama, creative writing and clown doctor’s CDTV videos will be uploaded regularly and it’s all FREE. Visit

Comments (0)

Add Your Comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.