Top Ten Things Still to See at the Belfast Festival

One week into the new-look Ulster Bank Belfast International Arts Festival we run down the best of what's left

The Belfast Festival has had a bit of a facelift this year, and its organisers

The Kitchen - October 21 and 22 at the Grand Opera House

A sumptuous visual and sensual spectacle from India fusing food, family tradition and rhythmic Indian drums. The theatre air is filled with fragrant spices as a large copper Indian pot of rice pudding is cooked throughout the show and is shared among the audience as the curtain falls.

BBC Big Band - October 23 at the Ulster Hall

Release your inner Strictly-Come-Dancer, as the Ulster Hall comes alive to the much-loved sounds of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, so grab your partner and your dancing shoes on Friday, October 23, when the Festival Swing Dancers will show you how it’s done.

James Fenton - October 10 at the Lyric Theatre

Widely regarded as one of the world’s finest poets, catch James on his first visit to Belfast since 1993, in conversation with BBC NI's Marie Louise Muir.

Hallo - October 23 and 24 at The MAC

Swiss acrobat, clown and choreographer Martin Zimmerman brings his stunning and humorous one-man show to the Belfast Festival. This fast-paced virtuoso performance, pitched somewhere between Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton, is a beautiful blend of acrobatics, theatre, comedy with a touch a magic too.


To Break – The Window of Opportunity - October 20 and 21 at The MAC

Enter the extraordinary world of Belgian artists, Frank & Robertt, who bring colour and life to otherwise inanimate objects in a strange Americana influenced landscape.

Playful, stylish and endearingly charming, these two young theatre makers are making waves throughout Europe with their multi-disciplinary work.

Nosotros - October 30 and 31 at The MAC

A high energy study of South American masculinity, this multi-international-award-winning contemporary dance piece from Mexico is breathtaking, beautiful and physically dazzling.

Lyndee Prickett - October 23 at the Brian Friel Theatre

American journalist Lyndee Prickett will reveal how her multi-media fictional work on India’s rape crisis,, sparked an online political movement.

Blending the written word with audio, video, pictures, statistics, thought bubbles, cartoons, artwork, music and more, it is also a work that reflects the growing role of technology in the future of mass storytelling.

Chivalry is Dead - October 14 and 15 at The MAC

In the newly adopted home of Game of Thrones, where better to see two of Europe’s top contemporary dancers (Deutinger & Gottfarb) clad head to toe in suits of armour? In this quirky and critically acclaimed duet, Deutinger & Gottfarb question the prevalence of knightly valour and blood-spattered fantasy in TV and gaming.


Turandot - October 30 - November 1 at the Grand Opera House

Award-winning Northern Ireland Opera present a rare opportunity to see a radical and provocative new production of Puccini’s final masterpiece, fully staged in Northern Ireland.

The Animotion Show - October 18 at Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall becomes the canvas for a spectacular live art exhibition. Watch as images are painted and projected stroke by stroke onto the façade, accompanied by world-famous percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie playing a multitude of instruments. Note this event is free but tickets are required.

Please be advised that the following festival events are now noted to be sold out: Georgie Fame, the BBC Radio Three Concert series, Bell XI, Dawson Stelfox and Father John Misty. Only limited seating remains for Cara Dillon and The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Night-time.

The Ulster Bank Belfast International Arts Festival runs from October 9 - November 1. Browse the full programme on our festival listings page.