CS Lewis Festival Launches

East Belfast Partnership and Belfast City Council celebrate the acclaimed author from November 11 – 18

The inaugural CS Lewis Festival, which takes place from November 18 – 23, will celebrate one of east Belfast’s most famous sons in a colourful week of song, drama, performance, readings, recitals, talks, tours and family events across the east of the city and beyond.

The festival is funded by Belfast City Council and marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the renowned author, theologian and academic who perhaps most famously wrote The Chronicles of Narnia. View the full festival programme.

Festival Organiser Wendy Langham said: 'CS Lewis is one of those figures that everybody has heard of, but perhaps few realise that he was born, and for a time was schooled, in east Belfast. The festival seeks to discover and celebrate those connections, and hopefully have a lot of fun in the process.'

Among the highlights of the CS Lewis Festival will be Lewis by Lamplight, an enchanted tour around the stunning grounds of Campbell College, the famous old school that Lewis attended in 1910. This will begin with the official switching on of the famous lamp that is said to have inspired the lamp in Narnia, where Lucy first meets Mr Tumnus.

Campbell College will also play host to a reading of William Nicholson’s play Shadowlands and a screening of the acclaimed documentary Through Joy and Beyond, looking at the rich life and career of Lewis. The exhibition Through the Wardrobe by artist Jonathan Barry will take place at the Linenhall Library.

This also includes some of Lewis’ personal correspondence and items from the Library’s own collection, which were donated by the CS Lewis Association of Ireland. The Linen Hall Library will also host the Over the Hill Collective's Jam Jar Sessions – an evening of readings and music celebrating literature and cinema.

A new CS Lewis Trail will be launched during the festival that will transport visitors and residents of the city through Lewis’ east Belfast and the landmarks that helped shaped the young Lewis' life and work. And Replay Theatre Company will tour an interactive adventure inspired by The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to P4 classes in Belfast primary schools.

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir added: 'This fantastic programme of events is a great way to celebrate the life of one of Belfast’s greatest sons. CS Lewis is recognised as one of the most talented authors in the world and has brought our city international acclaim.'

Another highlight of the programme features Belfast’s Poet Laureate Sinead Morrisey hosting a reading by four of the city's finest writers: Glenn Patterson, Michael Longley, Ciaran Carson and Leontia Flynn. In the historic setting of the Linen Hall Library, where so many of the city’s writers have found inspiration, this is an opportunity to hear readings about Belfast chosen by the writers, and also to hear their own writings on Belfast.

The CS Lewis Festival runs in venues throughout the city from November 11 – 18.