Festival Of Fools

Belfast will laugh itself silly over the May Day weekend as an array of international circus acts bring free street theatre and absurdity to the city centre and Cathedral Quarter

Festival Details


Friday, 28 April 2017 to Monday, 01 May 2017



From Friday April 28 to Monday May 1 Belfast City Centre will come alive with acrobatics, circus acts, clowning and astounding tomfoolery – all for free - as the Festival of Fools builds on its international reputation for presenting some of the finest and funniest street shows touring the world.

Families and tourists out and about will be able to sample comedic talents delivered in the universal language of laughter as outdoor theatre companies and performers from Spain, Italy, France, Canada, Holland, Argentina, USA, England, Ireland and Northern Ireland take over Belfast.

Featured act Luis Brusca has devoted his life to exploring the chaos and anarchy in the world around us. His research has led to the creation of a poetic and prize-winning clown show looking at lost love and found friends on a sensational journey through life. Other highlights include The Flying Dutchmen, who have been travelling the world on their unicycles for thirty years, hurling flaming torches and punchlines at each other in pursuit of the ultimate trick. And Mat Ricardo, the Gentleman Juggler, is renowned for his engaging, stylish and relaxed approach to even the most fiendishly difficult of tricks. Ricardo has a place in history as the first person to put the tablecloth back on the table.

The festival begins on April 28 at 7pm in Writers’ Square with a standout performance from Catalonian acrobatic company, Vol’e Temps. Paper Worlds is described as a 'tender, daring and disturbingly funny show bringing together dance and circus techniques whilst delivering stunning acrobatics, with dazzling dexterity and some serious theatrical illusion'.

Over the following three days audiences will have the choice of five shows taking place at any one time through until 6pm each day when the action moves into St Anne’s Square with the Big Finish cabaret show. The growing walkabout programme, sponsored by Beannchor, means that you can expect bizarre sightings of belligerent ballroom dancers; marauding Morris Dancers and the shambolic St Joan’s Ambulance, who have caused more accidents than they have cured. Audiences will be able to spot these artists in action as they make their way between all shows in Bank Square, Cornmarket, Cotton Court, Saint Anne’s Square and Writers’ Square.

For more information visit www.foolsfestival.com.