Autumn at the MAC

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With the MAC having cemented its place in both Belfast’s skyline and cultural offering, today’s announcement of over 25 exciting new shows and events to take place between September and December 2013 promises to continue to elevate the MAC’s position as a cultural hub in its second year of programming. With many of this autumn’s Line-up of events free to attend and tickets for others ranging from £9.50 to £22 it is advisable to book early to get your hands on a bargain.

To kick off the autumn season, following on from the success of last year’s ‘In the Court of’ Festival curated by Duke Special, the MAC will once again be handing over the reins to another musically acclaimed guest curator – this year, presenter Tom Ravenscroft from BBC 6 Music will take control from the 24th to 28th September. The festival opens with an amazing double bill of music featuring New York based singer/songwriter Nina Nastasia and Belfast-based Katharine Philippa, a musician/composer. This is followed by the only chance to see cult comedian Adam Buxton’s new show ‘Kernel Panic’ in Belfast. Tom himself will bring the East London club night-’ Slow Dance Party’ to the MAC on 25th while Thursday night will see Mercury nominated Ghostpoet alongside local favourite Girls Names and Songs for Walter. Finally the closing night sees another first for Belfast with the futuristic sound of San Francisco based Moon Duo alongside Deptford Goth and Kelpe, providing an exciting end to the festival.

Next up, fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, comes Big Telly Theatre Company’s Melmoth the Wanderer which will run from the 10th – 14th of September. This gothic, dark comedy based on the first ever horror novel is sure to grip MAC audiences, with an unusual mix of fright and humour, described as Saw meets Fawlty Towers with a dash of Flann O’Brien.

Also in September, the MAC presents another first for Belfast, with the thrilling and immersive audio experience Ring by Fuel Theatre Company. Ring is a theatre experience like no other in which the audience wear headphones and experience the story come to life in complete darkness. A totally immersive, sensory experience, which allows your imagination to run wild – it is definitely not to be missed.

The MAC continues to support this year’s Ulster Bank Festival at Queen’s and the venue will be home to a weekend of dance. VICTOR, Sol Pico’s Memóries d’una puca and Dance Exposed by Maiden Voyage Dance will all feature from 18-19 October, showcasing the very best in contemporary dance by local and international companies.

The MAC’s Associate Artists, Tinderbox, return with a captivating and bold new play Summertime from 5 November. Following on from their previous successful runs at the MAC of both Planet Belfast and Huzzies, this new production written by the award-winning David Ireland brings a dark and twisting story about an East Belfast Minister struggling in his new community. The show was piloted at the MAC’s Pick n Mix Festival earlier this year, with stellar performances by Richard Clements and Ivan Little. A moving play with explosive performances, this is definitely a must-see for theatre fans.

In another coup, globally renowned conference TEDx will land at the MAC Belfast on the 24th October. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks have an international following and audiences in Belfast will have the opportunity to hear ideas and discussion by some of the world’s leading thinkers.

For music fans, there’s also plenty on offer at the MAC. The Not So Trad series by in-house music producer, Eamon Murray, offers a season of traditional music with a fresh and contemporary twist. Acts confirmed for autumn include BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner Emma Sweeney & Friends on 10th October; with On The Voice Squad will making a long awaited comeback alongside acts such as Ruairi Cunnane and John Spillane in an evening on 17th November to celebrate the rich and unique song heritage of Ireland.

Last but definitely not least, this Christmas sees the MAC’s very own production HATCH! Adventures of the Ugly Duck to entertain families over the festive period from 4th December to 5 January. Directed by Patrick J. O’Reilly, this extraordinary MAC production will feature acrobatic choreography and live music in this action-packed adventure that tells the tale of the Ugly Duckling; a plucky young champion who meets plenty of friends along the way. So get your little hatchlings down to the MAC this Christmas for a colourful and exciting family show with a difference.

Gillian Mitchell, Director of Programmes at the MAC, said:

“It’s hard to believe we are launching our second Autumn season at the MAC – our first year has flown by, with a host of live theatre, art, music, dance and one-off events. We’ve worked hard to offer what we hope is an equally eclectic and inventive line up this year – most of the acts and shows you’ll find in our programme are Irish or even world premieres. We are again working with lots of our fantastically talented local companies, while continuing to bring international art and theatre productions to audiences in Northern Ireland. I hope that with brand new productions like HATCH!, Ponies Don’t Play Football and an eclectic season of music with our partners Moving on Music and the Not So Trad series, that there will be plenty to inspire new visitors to come to the MAC for the first time and also plenty of reasons for existing customers to return.”

In line with this jam-packed line-up in the MAC’s theatre and dance offering, the MAC’s art galleries will be graced by the renowned exhibition ‘The Mystery of Tears.’ This art exhibition features short films from New York based Danish artist Jesper Just, photographs from Marco Anelli in the presence of Marina Abramovic. This also includes 3 minute production ‘Lasso’ (2000) by Salla Tykkä. This exhibition is aimed at bringing the viewer as close to their emotions as they can and tries to elicit a sincere and powerful shared response from those viewing it. It asks the question of why people have become cultural conditioned to cry or show emotion so have your handkerchief at the ready. Running from the 24th October to the 12 January, this is a free exhibition so don’t miss out.

Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added;

“Since opening last April, the MAC has offered a wealth of opportunities to participate in and enjoy the arts, cementing its place as one of Belfast’s leading hubs for ardent theatre goers and young families alike. With an exciting autumn programme ahead, the MAC will undoubtedly build on this success and the Arts Council’s £5.25million capital investment will continue to stimulate the economy here and provide a more attractive cultural tourism offering.”

Tickets to all of the MAC’s autumn shows can be purchased now from themaclive.com or from the MAC box office on 028 9023 5053. Full details of the programme are available online, or pick up your copy from the MAC.

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Post Author: Belfast Times

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