Bounce! Arts Festival

The Lyric Theatre and other venues host a weekend of wonderful, accessible works highlighting the creativity of disabled artists in Belfast and beyond

Festival Details


Thursday, 25 August 2016 to Sunday, 28 August 2016



Bounce! -  the annual arts festival with powerful  performances that stir the imagination and provoke argument and debate - takes Belfast by storm from August 25-28.

The fifth Bounce! Disability and Deaf Arts Festival boasts a varied programme of theatre, contemporary dance, live music, performance poetry, visual arts and street circus from leading disabled artists from Britain, Ireland and beyond.

Bounce! goes where most arts festivals fear to tread confronting prejudice, celebrating achievement and recognising artistic talent and excellence. From the deeply personal poetry of Monica Corish, whose work confronts the death of a family member to a dementia masterclass given by artist sisters Bronagh Ngaire and Clare Lawson, who used creativity to help their father deal with his vascular dementia.

The festival kicks off with a bang with a community drumming circle on the lawn at Belfast City Hall on August 25 from 1pm with everyone invited to join in.

One of the standout evenings is a double bill by ground-breaking Belgian dance troupe, De Zeyp at the Lyric Theatre’s Naughton Studio on August 26.

Arabesques, is a solo dance based on the poetry of De Zeyp member Sophie de Breuck, whose writings evoke memories and images of her time growing up in Algeria as a child. The second performance is Unicorn, a ballet performed by two male dancers based on poet and political activist Antje Katcher’s poem: ‘The Brave Little Tailor’.

Belfast-based dance group, Blue Chevy will reprise its relationship with Linda Fearon, the acclaimed dancer whose show in 2014 dealt with the prejudices she faced growing up with cerebral palsy. The new show Been There: Doing This at the Naughton Studio on August 25, confronts Linda’s past but also touches on her present life as a highly successful performer.

Another highlight is In Just a Few Words the one man play by Nye Russell-Thompson at the Naughton Studio on August 28. Russell-Thomson’s play is a darkly comic and revealing insight into the mind of a person who lives with a stammer. The play was nominated for an award at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

The four day festival features an exciting triple bill of contemporary dance at the Naughton Studio on Sunday, August 28 with the physical theatre from Kids in Control; solo dance and hip hop culture from Nikki McLaughlin and Japanese inspired dance from Luminous Soul.

There are also a range of participative events including a Javanese Gamelan Workshop, featuring an extraordinary collection of Indonesian percussion instruments at the Spectrum Centre on August 26; a circus skills workshop with Streetwise Community Circus on August 27, a drawing workshop with Jacqueline Wylie on August 28 and a dance workshop with Helen Hall on August 27.

There are also two major art exhibitions: Juan Delgado’s multi-media installation, ‘The Ringing Forest’ at the Studio Gallery, Belfast Exposed and Shiro Masuyama’s ‘How Disability Made Me an Artist’ at the ADF Gallery at 109-113 Royal Avenue.

To access the full programme go to Tickets are available from the Lyric Theatre box Tel: +44 (0)28 9038 1081. Email: