News And Events

What's on Guide October 2017

26 Sep 2017

What's on Guide October 2017

Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Frank Carson – A Rebel Without a Pause
1 November – 5 November 2017

OK so it’s not actually in October but we are giving a shameless plug for our very own A&B NI Board Member, Dan Gordon in his brilliant show directed by Ian McElhinney. Written and performed by Dan this one-man show has earned rave reviews for its quick-fire gags and celebration of the man, the myth and the mouth that was Frank Carson. “Dan Gordon’s portrayal of Carson is note perfect …showing the man who lived beneath the catchphrases, and the true spirit of his soul” British Theatre Guide «««««


Bounce Disability and Deaf Arts Festival
Various venues Belfast
27 September – 6 October 2017
Ten days packed with thought-provoking dance, theatre, visual art and more highlighting the exceptional work of artists with disabilities. Includes an amazing line up of European, UK and NI disabled artists. Lots more detail on the website but don’t miss Inside The Speaker with partially sighted dancer and choreographer Helen Hall; I, Daniel Blake a film charting the struggle of one 59 year old refused benefits following a heart attack which has left him unable to work; Defiant Lives a film following the rise and fight of the disability rights movement seen through footage of disabled men and women moving from being warehoused in institutions to fighting for independence and control of their own lives; family friendly Lego animation workshop with Joel Simon. All the details are on the website

Belfast Comedy Festival
Various venues Belfast
2 October – 8 October 2017
Over 50 different events featuring some of the funniest names on the local and international stage. The festival is not limited to stand-up comedy and aims to entertain, challenge and inspire through a diverse programme of theatre, workshops, seminars, circus, film, quizzes, competitions and events for children. There is a packed programme of acclaimed comedians including John Bishop and many who have just finished at the Edinburgh Fringe. Check the website for all the details.

Fermanagh Live Arts Festival
Various venues Belfast
4 October – 24 October 2017
A truly creative and engaging family affair celebrating creativity on an off the Island Town and the stunning Waterways. The programme includes internationally renowned Barry Douglas, Ciaran McMenamin, Jack L and many more in a vibrant, dynamic and engaging suite of events. Whether you are into film, drama, comedy, music or taking part in masterclasses, there will be something for everyone. Check the website for the full programme

Moving on Music presents JamJar Fine Music Spread
Various venues Belfast
5 October – 12 October 2017
A series of special concerts celebrating the most interesting and experiential music around. Programme highlights include Jenny Hval, Frances-Marie Uitti, Una Monaghan, Clang Sayne, Emily Dedakis, Die Hexen. Check the Moving on Music website.

Belfast International Arts Festival
Various venues, Belfast
6 October – 28 October 2017
This is a huge event! With the simple aim to create a genuinely civic event of contemporary arts and ideas of international appeal and stature. The festival covers theatre, dance, classical and roots music, visual, film and digital arts and literature accompanied by outreach and educational events. There are some individual events listed in this guide but with over 100 in the festival we can’t cover them here so please check the website.

Cinemagic Film and Television Festival
Various venues, Belfast
6 October – 8 November 2017
A jam packed season of over 200 films and diverse creative opportunities to inspire young people. With acclaimed industry guests including Sir Tony Robinson, composer Trevor Jones, cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, critic Mark Kermode, make-up designer Christine Blundell, plus costume designers, directors and many more all sharing their experiences plus a huge range of films to enjoy, there is something for everyone. Check the website for the full

Mount Stewart Conversations Festival
National Trust Mount Stewart
14 October – 15 October 2017
A celebration of creativity and debate, this 2 day festival will reveal the unique history of Mount Stewart and its place in history as a hothouse of creativity and individuality. The weekend will include a variety of talks, music, literature and live debates, ticketed events (pre-booked) and free activities located around the house and gardens which can be enjoyed by all. High profile speakers will include Kate Adie, Ian Hislop, Fintan O’Toole, Victoria Hislop, Diane Urquhart, Roy Foster, Rachel Johnson and many more. Full details on the website.

City of Derry International Choir Festival
Various venues, Derry
25 October – 29 October 2017
A joyous celebration of choral music-making, this festival provides opportunities for competitive and non-competitive participation for singers across a wide range of styles, ensembles and ages. School, national and international choirs are invited to take part in a range of competitions across the five day festival including Equal Voice, Mixed Voice, Youth, Sacred, Popular, Jazz & Gospel, and Vocal Ensemble categories. The City will also come alive with pop-up performances, concerts and educational activities celebrating all that choral music has to offer. The website will give you all the details.


The MAC, Belfast
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (aged 13 ¾)
2 September – 7 October 2017
Bruiser Theatre Company brings its typically boisterous style to Sue Townsend’s highly popular book. This show is a nostalgic blast from the past, jam packed with fun, music, laughter and warmth as we share the story of this lovable loser.

Millennium Forum Theatre & Conference Centre,
DerryJohn Bishop: Winging It
3 October 2017
Comedy superstar John Bishop is bringing his new show to the Millennium Forum and it will be his biggest and best yet. Don’t miss the chance to see his return to touring after 3 years doing comedy, entertainment, documentary and chat shows on television.

Grand Opera House, Belfast
The Addams Family
3 October – 7 October 2017
Everyone’s favourite kooky family are now on stage in the UK premiere of this spectacular musical comedy from the writers of multi award winning hit musical Jersey Boys. Samantha Womack, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Cameron Blakely and Les Dennis star. Featuring a live orchestra and extraordinary original score this show is sure to entertain the whole family.

Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Belfast International Arts Festival presents: Fire Below: A War of Words
12 October – 29 October 2017
In Owen McCafferty’s new play two neighbouring couples having a glass of wine on a summer’s evening are only one unguarded comment away from telling the truth about what they actually think about each other. As they wait for the 11th night bonfire to be lit in the estate below who knows when and from where that comment will come.

The MAC, Belfast
Belfast International Arts Festival presents:Tordre / Wrought (dance)
3 October – 14 October 2017
Tordre is the story of Lithuanian dancer Lora Juodkaite and British dancer Annie Hanauer, who in a haunting duet perform lonely, intensely physical solos through hypnotic whirling gestures each painting a raw, captivating self-portrait.

The Playhouse Theatre, Derry
21 October 2017
500 years ago Martin Luther, an obscure Augustinian monk, nailed a document to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany and changed the world forever. This remarkable anniversary is commemorated with this award winning play by Centre Stage Theatre Company. Osborne is one of the most significant and influential playwrights of 20th century theatre, best known for his ground-breaking “Look Back in Anger”. Luther gives a powerful portrait of the monk as he agonises with his doubts and disillusions and subsequently the consequences of his world-shattering cry for Church reform.

S13 Boucher Road (former B&Q building), Belfast
Belfast International Arts Festival presents: Lives in Translation
25 October – 28 October 2017
Kabosh’s newest production celebrates the human survival instinct through the story of one woman; who in fleeing the conflict of her home becomes trapped in a different form of struggle within the suffocating bureaucracy surrounding immigration. Based on interviews with female Somali refugees, local support workers and community organisations this poignant drama explores how recent migrants are forced to navigate support systems through translation.


Lyric Theatre, Belfast
The Belfast Ensemble present: The Doppler Effect
5 October – 8 October 2017
The Belfast Ensemble premiere their new work The Doppler Effect. Taking as its source The Good Friday Agreement, the company merges concert, performance and visual arts to bring you a true original. Part installation, part underground junk concert, this intense immersive show presents the best of what’s new in music and theatre. A performance of fresh ideas and world class artists unlike anything else this season.

First Presbyterian Church, Rosemary Street, Belfast
Sestina present: Next Generation Recital Series I - Songs of Travel
7 October 2017
Join Brian McAlea (baritone) and Michael Pandya (piano) for a lunchtime recital featuring songs by Vaughan Williams, Stanford and many more. This recital is part of the Exitex Next Generation Solo Recital Series which also includes workshops and education events throughout the year and showcases the very best of young talent in solo recitals.

The MAC, Belfast
Belfast International Arts Festival presents:Wind Resistance
10 October – 11 October 2017
Every autumn two and a half thousand pink footed geese fly from Greenland to winter at Fala Flow, a protected peatbog south east of Edinburgh. Award-winning Scottish songwriter and musician Karine Polwart surveys and interprets the surrounding landscape through song, bird-lore and personal memoir.

Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre
Atlantic Arc Orchestra
13 October 2017
A new collaborative project which brings together some of the world’s most respected traditional musicians from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Brittany. In this candlelit, cabaret style event eight highly acclaimed musicians promise an evening of powerful fusion that pushes the tradition to the edge of its boundaries, whirling through Irish, Scottish and Breton musical ancestry.


The Guildhall , Derry
Guildhall Organ Festival
19 October – 21 October 2017
The first Guildhall Organ Festival will showcase the hall’s recently restored organ in a wide variety of events this October. There will be presentations for primary schools, workshops for secondary schools, masterclasses to all comers, lunch time, afternoon and evening recitals so check the website for all the details.
Various venues

Cahoots NI present: The Assistant’s Revenge
touring throughout October
phone rings in the dead of night. Sam Sullivan, a small time Private Eye hears a frightened voice on the end of the line. “Someone’s trying to kill me” The voice leads him to a strange travelling show at the edge of town where he meets Felix, an escapologist and his assistants, one of whom appears to have murder in mind …. This is a brand new theatrical production for older children, aged 7+ and adults. Check the website for venues which in October include Limavady, Lisburn, Derry, Newtownabbey, Newtownards and Newry.


The MAC, Belfast
Storytime Sunday
1 October 2017 (first Sunday of every month)
Relax with your little ones at the MAC on the first Sunday of each month for some fun story time in our wonderful Family Room.

Crescent Arts Centre
Belfast Print Workshop: Family Friendly Day
8 October 2017
Part of the celebrations of 40 years of the Belfast Print Workshop, this drop in workshop is suitable for children and adults. Pull your own screen print, choose a stencil and a water based ink colour to print onto paper and take your creations home to enjoy.

Crescent Arts Centre
The Fine and Dandy Market
29 October 2017
Held every month the market showcases the work of independent artists, designers, illustrators and crafters alongside collectors of records, books, vintage wares and quality local food and drink produce. The market is an alternative hive of creativity with an emphasis on all things grassroots and locally produced. It’s a gr at place to spend a Sunday morning with special events and themed markets being held throughout the year.

Crescent Arts Centre
Chamber Babies
30 September 2017
For babies aged 0-18 months and their carers. Chamber Babies was started by Belfast Music Society and is designed to offer the best live classical music to the youngest listeners. The concerts are very informal and the short programmes are enjoyed by babies and adults alike. So walk, sway, crawl, roll, dance or chill to a selection of short classical pieces carefully chosen to engage and enchant.

Take Part

The Black Box
Black Moon
3 October 2017
Black Moon is a night for and by adults with learning disabilities – giving people a chance to socialise in a cool, modern environment, meet new people and learn new skills. The club is on the first Tuesday of each month (usually) and is from 7pm to 10pm. It is £3 entry and £1 entry for parents and carers. If you would like to arrange for a group to come along please get in touch!

Cathedral Quarter Belfast
First Thursdays Belfast
5 October 2017
Belfast’s famous Cathedral Quarter will be playing host to a range of cultural events on the first Thursday of every month. ‘First Thursdays’ is the brand new initiative from Destination CQ showcasing the talent and culture within Belfast’s culture hub. Over thirty different venues helped to make the launch of ‘First Thursdays’ a massive success. Visitors and locals enjoyed a wide variety of fun activities throughout the day, including a series of live music performances across the Cathedral Quarter, exciting street performances and excellent food and drink promotions for some of Belfast’s top restaurants and bars.

First Presbyterian Church, Rosemary Street, Belfast
Sestina present: Audition Technique Workshop
7 October 2017
A workshop aimed at A level students intending to audition for music college and for choral scholarships, led by Sestina’s musical director Mark Chambers and Sestina founder member Brian McAlea. It will cover general audition techniques and skills and there will also be an opportunity for a limited number of participants to try out their audition pieces.

Crescent Arts Centre
Drawing and Painting for Teens (age 13-16)
16 September – 9 December 2017
Looking for a new hobby, building a portfolio, looking towards your future profession or just drawing for fun? This is the class for you. Covering topics such as composition, sketching techniques, clothed-figure drawing, keeping a journal, but ultimately painting methods and techniques. Dress for mess.

Void, Derry
Void Youth Forum
The Void Youth Forum will be a group made up of young people aged between 14-17 years with an interest in visual art. The aim is to create a youth-led working group, supported by Void, where participants come together regularly to get involved in the life of the gallery, gain valuable experience and give a fresh perspective on our exhibitions and learning programmes. Members of the youth forum will set out the terms of engagement and act as co-authors with Void at every step of the process and will meet professional artists, curators and other creative professionals; programme events for young peers; become part of a close-knit collective; experience life in a leading contemporary art gallery; explore ways of representing their perspective on Void’s programme; utilise the potential for work experience, skills and learning development. See the website for more information.

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.

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

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.


Ulster Museum
Royal Ulster Academy of Arts Annual Exhibition
6 October 2017 – 7 January 2018
Still one of the highlights of the Northern Ireland arts calendar attracting over 85,000 visitors the 136th Annual Exhibition will showcase original works across the disciplines of the visual arts by emerging and established artists.

Cotton Court Gallery, Waring Street Belfast
Digital Arts Studios present: Telluric
28 September – 14 October 2017
DAS presents new work by the current artists in residence, Rachel Alexander, Chloe Brennan, Laura Cochrane, Robbie Sivewright. Open 6pm - 8pm Thursday 28 September and Thursday 5 October. Exhibition Friday 29 September - Saturday 14 October 11am - 4pm

Ulster University, Belfast Campus, York Street
Belfast International Arts Festival presents: Fashion & Freedom
9 October – 28 October 2017
During the First World War more than one million women went to work for the first time, in munitions factories, driving ambulances and keeping the London Underground moving. With these new responsibilities came new freedoms and a new look as more natural and fluid silhouettes replaced corsets and heavy skirts. This exhibition examines the fashion legacy of that period. Exclusive designs inspired by these changes have been created by Vivienne Westwood, Roksana Ilincic and J.JS Lee and are presented in an exhibition alongside new designs from students at the Belfast School of Art at Ulster University reflecting our own local cultural, political and historical contexts.

Carol Rhodes: Survey
Dougal McKenzie: A Dream and an Argument

30 June – 8 October 2017
This is the first solo presentation of Carol Rhodes’ work in Ireland. Over the past 25 years Rhodes has produced a body of paintings and drawings rich in resonance and complexity. Her landscapes are fictional syntheses resulting from a re-mixing of readymade imagery. Drawing from an eclectic range of photographic material, she combines fragments from different sources to create compositions that become the skeleton for her paintings.

In a major new body of work Douglas McKenzie brings together key elements of his interest in history and storytelling through images and investigates whether it is possible to represent these as memory in painting. McKenzie’s work weaves together fact and fiction, melding objective history with subjective

R-Space Gallery
Shiro Masuyama
15 September – 13 October 2017
Japanese artist Shiro Masyama work that runs the panoply of practice, ranging from performance to sculpture, installation, photography and video. In this new solo show he will present the outcome of his recent use of flax plants and shamrock plants as materials for his art practice.

Ulster Museum
Conflicting Images
26 May – 19 Nov 2017
In the late 1960s, simmering social and sectarian tensions erupted into street conflict in Northern Ireland.  International photojournalism, its style honed in the Vietnam War, flew in to witness and report. This overview was quickly challenged by a wave of young, local press and freelance photographers, driven to bring local perspective, experience and context to the wider world picture. At the same time, photography was used, as ever, to capture a more personalised record of time, event and place. It also continued to be employed to inform broader local agendas in areas such as planning and marketing. This exhibition draws on the Ulster Museum’s expanding collections of photography of the recent past, to look at how the visual record of life in Northern Ireland developed during the years of ‘The Troubles’.This is a Free exhibition. This exhibition is located in “Window on History” temporary gallery, in the Ulster Museum.


Arts & Business NI
Developing Corporate Partnerships
5 October 2017
Susanna Caudwell is the Corporate Partnerships and Major Trusts Manager at the Hallé Concerts Society in Manchester. As part of this she manages the Hallé’s corporate relationships, as well as managing the recruitment of new partners. Susanna will be the keynote speaker for our Arts Masterclass and will address developing bespoke relationships, recruitment of new partners and developing an arts based training offer. To book your place email Kate Livingston at

Arts & Business NI
Volunteer Fundraising Boards – A Godsend or God Help Us?
19 October 2017
Guest speaker Jennifer Coleman, Director of Development at the Institute of Imagination, formerly Head of Volunteer Board Fundraising at the NSPCC is an evangelist about charities working with volunteers. Hear her share her hard-won experience in this field at James Street South private dining room. To book your place email Kate Livingston at

Carol Rhodes: From the Ganges to the Clyde
3 October 2017
A talk from art historian Lynda Morris on the work of Carol Rhodes. In conjunction with the current exhibition Carol Rhodes: Survey, renowned art historian Lynda Morris will address some thoughts on what has enables Rhodes to view the world around her in the way she does. Morris will consider the history, geography, popular culture and the pacifist politics of the times Rhodes has lived through in India, the foothills of the Himalayas and later in Glasgow.

The Black Box
Midweek Magic
11 October 2017
Seedhead Arts and the Black Box have teamed up to bring you an evening of close up and performance magic at the Midweek Magic Club. Each show will involve four local magicians trying out new and innovative material in the intimate surrounds of the Black Box café and will show off their latest close up skills around the tables. Expect an intimate interactive and fun-filled night.

Crescent Arts Centre
Belfast Book Festival Fringe presents: Don’t Let My Past Be Your Future by Harry Leslie Smith
15 October 2017
A survivor of the Great Depression, a WWII RAF veteran, an activist for the poor, a staunch opponent of austerity and a passionate defender of the NHS, at the age of 94 Harry has published his latest book. An accomplished , determined and inspiring speaker, Harry will be joined in conversation by BBC Radio Ulster’s Seamus McKee.

The Playhouse Theatre, Derry
The Field Day Annual Lecture 2017
20 October 2017
The aim of this lecture is to honour Derry native Seamus Deane and to continue with Field Day’s 37 year tradition by bringing to Derry some of the world’s leading thinkers who have the potential to make the city an international centre of intellectual discovery every year. In 2017, the Seamus Deane Annual Lecture is on the status of immigrants in Ireland north and south. A parallel lecture on this theme will also be held in Galway in October.

Volunteering Opportunities

The MAC, Belfast
Volunteers needed
With 363 days of activity throughout the year the MAC welcomes volunteers from all walks of life. As a valued member of the MACtivist team you will have the opportunity to get involved in many aspects at the MAC including the galleries, theatres and creative workshops. So unlock your imagination and make new friends along the way by becoming a volunteer.

Belfast International Arts Festival
6 October – 28 October 2017
Volunteers needed
Volunteering with Festival is a fun and rewarding way to gain insight into running events and a great way to network and gain industry contacts.We are seeking dynamic and hard-working volunteers to help deliver a world class visitor experience to everyone who visits the Belfast International Arts Festival.   Volunteers will be the first point of contact to welcome guests and audiences, and assist the Front of House Manager in running the events on the day.

Closing Date: Friday 1st September 2017 at 4pm but applications may close earlier should there be an excess of volunteers.

Fighting Words Belfast
Ongoing, Various venues, Belfast
Volunteers needed
Do you like stories? Do you want to work with children and young people? Do you want to learn new skills and meet new people? Fighting Words Belfast is a creative writing project for young people from the age of 6 upwards in Northern Ireland. We are a place dedicated to writing, where young people can explore their imaginations and have fun expressing themselves.

We run free workshops for school and youth groups, during which participants work collaboratively and individually to create a piece of writing unique to them. Most workshops take place during the school day, but after-schools, evening and weekend sessions are also on offer. Volunteers give three hours of their time per workshop and spend two hours with the participants helping them create exciting new stories. We are looking for all sorts of people to volunteer to spend some time with children and young people. The roles for Fighting Words volunteers are:

Writing mentor - Story-maker – Illustrator - Production helper 

If you’d like to spark a young person’s imagination visit the website.

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