There’s always plenty of events going on in Belfast, and as such, some of the more niche but nonetheless appealing shows get overlooked.
We’ve picked out a few hidden gems taking place in the city over the coming fortnight…
1. Belfast Comedy Festival
Various locations, Wednesday September 28 to Sunday October 8, belfastcomedyfestival.com
Belfast’s funniest festival is back this autumn with over 50 events to entertain you. Celebrating its fifth year, the festival features hundreds of performers including Rodney, Tim McGarry, Jenny Éclair, Kraken, The Horne Section, Sam Simmons and Sarah Kendall.
With workshops, film shows, walking tours, seminars and family events there is something for everyone in this showcase of the best of local humour.
Redeemer Central, 101 Donegall Street, Friday September 30, 7.30pm, £6
The BanterFlix Film Society will be screening Kevin Smith’s 1999 Cult classic Dogma at 101 Donegall Street. Starring Mat Damon, Ben Affleck, Linda Fiorentino, Chris Rock and the late Alan Rickman this is a wonderful religious satire written and directed by the twisted mind that brought us Clerks and Mallrats.
3. Shh! We Have A Plan
The MAC, Thursday September 29 to Sunday October 2, 10.30am/2pm/6pm, £17/£12/£7, www.themaclive.com
Based on the award-winning book of the same name by Chris Haughton and adapted by Paul Bosco McEneaney, Shh! We Have a Plan is performing at The MAC by Cahoots NI.
Shh! We Have A Plan is packed full of magic, music and puppetry – the perfect show for your little adventurer. It follows the journey of some madcap characters, each of whom has a plan… they all want to capture a beautiful bird perched high in a tree. Sounds simple, but the quest becomes an obsession and the obsession becomes the absurd!
4. Stephen Dunwoody
Sunflower Public House, Friday September 23, 8.15pm, £7, stephendunwoody.com
Blues, jazz and free pizza will be on the bill as Stephen launches his new album.
Stephen is an independent musician who has supported numerous international acts during a 20-year career, including Jools Holland, Vonda Shepherd, Wishbone Ash, The Corrs, Tom Robinson, Kirsty McColl and Bjorn Again.
Following his great reception at Belfast Culture Night, performing the songs of Nina Simone, Stephen is back releasing his new album Trouble in Mind just 20 years after his last one!
Featuring the hit single Miami, the album is a mix of beautiful old and new blues, jazz and soul songs.
Stephen will be joined by a host of other local musicians including Lazy Flies and David McCann (Sandrunners).
5. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
The MAC, ends Thursday September 22, themaclive.com
3 actors. 37 plays. 97 minutes? Impossible! Or is it……?
An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), is coming to Belfast. Join these madcap men from Bruiser Theatre Company in tights as they weave their wicked way through all of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild ride that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter.
6. An Evening Of Acoustic Rock Guitar With Jacques Stotzem
Crescent Arts Centre, Wednesday September 28, 8.30pm, £10, BYO, website
His new album To Rory is an acoustic instrumental tribute to his major influence, Irish Blues-Rock guitarist Rory Gallagher. It is the very first time that Gallagher’s music is performed this way, and this new project is already getting rave reviews all over the world.
Support comes from Gary Lutton, an instrumental acoustic guitarist from Belfast. He was the winner of the UK/Ireland Sky TV competition Guitar Star (2015) where he had the opportunity to work with legends such as Rodrigo y Gabriela, Mike Dawes & Paco Pena.
Gary released his first EP Departure in April 2016 mixed and mastered by Eric Spitzer-Marlyn at the Hitbox Altenburg (of U2, Brian Eno & Thomas Leeb fame) featuring arrangements from Fleetwood Mac and Rodrigo Y Gabriela as well as original compositions.
7. What We’re Made Of
Crescent Arts Centre, ends Friday September 23, www.crescentarts.org
Cheeky, bawdy, playful and poignant, What We’re Made Of comprises three one-act plays that question who we think we are, challenge what we think we know and celebrate what it means to be alive.
Tinderbox Theatre Company taps into the current feeling of global upheaval that permeates our lives today in its new production at the Crescent Arts Centre.
Directed by Patrick J O’Reilly, appointed as Tinderbox Artistic Director earlier this year, What We’re Made Of promises to be visceral, powerful and unforgettable theatre. Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the three plays feature an incredible ensemble of players – Nicky Harley, Rhodri Lewis, Patrick McBrearty and Kerri Quinn.
8. A Great Arrangement
The MAC, ends Saturday September 24, £12-25, themaclive.com
One of Ireland’s most notable figures in its history is set to take the stage once more in The MAC, transporting audiences back to pre-treaty Ireland as the forging of a nation is retold from the perspective of Michael Collins, as his romance blossoms with Kitty Kiernan.
Patrick Talbot’s latest production A Great Arrangement has been celebrated for its historical accuracy drawing from the books The Path to Freedom, a collection of articles and speeches by Michael Collins, and In Great Haste, documenting the letters of correspondence between Collins and Kiernan.