Following on from a spectacular opening season that has seen the MAC welcome over 220,000 visitors through its doors, Belfast’s newest arts venue has today (Monday 21 January) announced its spring programme for 2013. Packed with the best in art, live theatre, music, comedy and dance, a visit to the MAC will be a must this year.
From February through to April, the MAC will celebrate the work of one of the world’s most famous artists, Andy Warhol.
This is an opportunity to see the first ever major exhibition of Andy Warhol’s work in Northern Ireland and the first in Ireland since the record breaking retrospective at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 1997/98. The MAC has worked in partnership with the TATE’s ARTIST ROOMS on Tour scheme to bring the work to Belfast.
The exhibition, which runs from 8 Feb – 28 April, includes popular imagery from some of Warhol’s most famous works including Chairman Mao, Hamburger, cow wallpaper and references to the famous nightclub, Studio 54. The opportunity to exhibit an artist like Andy Warhol doesn’t come along very often and would not have been possible without the very generous support of the MAC’s public funders Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and NITB and corporate sponsors Ulster Bank, Deloitte and ABSOLUT Vodka.
Alongside this amazing exhibition in all three of the MAC’s galleries, the MAC has created a whole season of Warhol-inspired events in celebration of this unique occasion. From a Studio 54 disco night, featuring original resident DJ from the world-famous club, Nicky Siano, to live theatre by the Gob Squad, who will attempt to reconstruct Warhol’s films that encapsulated the hedonistic energy of the swinging sixties.
As well as the Warhol at the MAC season, the MAC continues with an exciting programme of live events throughout the spring. A particular highlight is The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Tony-award winning show that proved a hit with critics and audiences alike on Broadway, praised for its catchy musical numbers and hilarious script. Bruiser Theatre Company and the MAC will bring the hit musical to stage in Belfast for the first time on 16 April, with the tale of a quirky cast of outsiders for whom the Spelling Bee is their chance to finally shine. Expect laughs a-plenty and a fantastic night out when the show opens on 16 April.
Hot on the heels of their sensational show Huzzies, Tinderbox Theatre Company are also set to return to the MAC in February with a witty and ambitious new play, Planet Belfast. This new play, written by Rosemary Jenkinson, is a witty show set in Belfast about the choices we make that often lead to spectacular consequences.
Gillian Mitchell, Director of Programmes at the MAC said:
“We hope that our eclectic mix of local art, dance and theatre, alongside some of the best visiting work, will appeal to audiences from our youngest visitors through to our returning customers. We are, of course, thrilled about the upcoming exhibition of one of the world’s most renowned artist’s, Andy Warhol offering audiences in Northern Ireland an opportunity to see this work for the first time ever.
“We’ve had an amazing response to our opening season and at the end of 2012 reached the incredible milestone of 220,000 visitors. We are embracing the feedback and comments from customers about what we have to offer and hope that the first 2013 programme inspires our visitors with lots of reasons to keep coming back to the MAC.”
The MAC’s festival season is action packed this year also, partnering with organisations such as Belfast Children’s Festival and Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival for the first time. The ever-popular sixth annual Pick’n’ Mix Festival will once again return in June, while this March the MAC introduces its first ever Comedy Weekender featuring edgy up-and-coming comics and comedy shows for children amongst a host of hilarious acts.
Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added:
“The MAC is a fantastic new state of the art venue that has proven to be a very welcome addition to the city of Belfast since opening last April and the impressive visitor numbers are testament to this. The venue has offered a wealth of opportunities to participate in and enjoy the arts and, with an exciting programme planned to kick start 2013, the MAC is sure to build on its success and will carry on attracting people from throughout Northern Ireland and beyond.
“The Arts Council’s £5.25million capital investment in the MAC will continue to stimulate the economy here and provide a more attractive cultural tourism offering.”
Tickets to the MAC’s 2013 shows can be purchased now from themaclive.com or from the MAC box office on 028 9023 5053.
The Andy Warhol exhibition is free to the public, with live events ticketed. Check themaclive.com for the full programme or pick up your copy from the MAC.
Andy Warhol, Cow, ARTISTS ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d’Offay Donation with the assistance from The National Heritage Memorial Fund and The Art Fund 2008.
Andy Warhol, Brillo, ARTISTS ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d’Offay Donation with the assistance from The National Heritage Memorial Fund and The Art Fund 2008.