In its most ambitious programme yet, the ninth Outburst Queer Arts Festival runs for a jam-packed 10 days from 12th – 21st November, in venues across Belfast.
Supported by Arts Council NI, Belfast City Council and DSD, OUTBURST is Northern Ireland’s acclaimed celebration of cutting edge international and local lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer Arts and this year our partnership events invite a whole new audience to step into a world of Q-riosity.
Highlights of the festival include the world premiere of SCORCH by Belfast playwright, Stacey Gregg (Shibboleth, Huzzies), directed by Emma Jordan, presented by Outburst in association with Prime Cut, at the at THE MAC (17th -21st November). It tells the story of a gender questioning teen’s ‘first love’; inspired by recent court cases, and examines how the human story often gets lost amidst the headlines.
Another highly-anticipated theatrical first is the Northern Ireland premiere of I HEART ALICE HEART I at the Lyric Theatre (17th – 21st November). A massive hit from New York to New Zealand, Dubliner Amy Conroy’s heart-warming and funny play about love and long term relationships is perfect for the week when the legal challenge for Equal Marriage for gay people will be hitting the court in Belfast.
We explore queer experience during the Troubles in Northern Ireland with TheatreofplucK’s TROUBLE. Some of Northern Ireland’s best-loved actors bring the real stories of LGBTQ people to life in this unique performance installation at the MAC (12th & 13th November).
Another queer reflection of the Troubles can be seen in our exhibition DRY YOUR EYES, PRINCESS. Acclaimed UK photographer Stephen King brings us stunning images of transgender British Armed Forces veterans, many of who served in Northern Ireland. This exhibition premieres at Outburst, at the Red Barn Gallery, Belfast (13th – 28th November) before showing at The Museum of Liverpool in December.
Other highlights this year include: bestselling novelist Patrick Gale reading from his new novel A PLACE CALLED CALLED WINTER at Belfast Central Library (16th November), Jo Clifford’s stunning Edinburgh Fringe hit JESUS QUEEN OF HEAVEN in which we revisit the bible through the eyes of a transgender Jesus (a filmed version of the Show will an introduced by Jo Clifford) at the Black Box, Belfast (15th November at 3pm) , and Brazilian artist Nando Messias’ brilliant A SISSY’S PROGRESS which takes a brass band onto the streets of Belfast to raise awareness of homophobic abuse. (Black Box, Belfast, 21st November at 7pm).
Festival Director Ruth McCarthy commented: “Now, more than ever, there is a massive appetite for change all around us and this year’s festival of amazing performance and art challenges us to step into new ideas around love, identity, history and relationships, no matter who we are and how we identify.”