August 27, 2008

Queen’s Festival to Be ‘Bigger and Better’


ENNIO Morricone, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Magners Comedy are among the highlights of this year's Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's which was unveiled today.

Held over 16 days from October 17 to November 1, the Festival will feature more than 60 events and 500 participants, offering theatre, dance, opera, rock, comedy and visual arts.

This year the organisers are promising a better-than-ever event, thanks to a much-needed cash injection from the Ulster Bank and a campaign by the Belfast Telegraph to keep the Festival afloat.

Film legend Ennio Morricone will open the Festival on October 17 in what is considered a major coup for the organisers. Morricone - best known for his movie theme tunes including The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, will also play the Waterfront Hall on October 18 - his only UK and Ireland engagements this year.

Also coming to Belfast is Broadway diva Barbara Cook, who has played most leading lady roles including Anna in The King and I. Barbara will not only close the Festival on October 31, but will also give a talk on October 29.

Other guests who will be hosting talks this year are Cherie Blair, actress Sheila Hancock and former President of the Republic, Mary Robinson.

Musical highlights will include concerts by Elbow, Seasick Steve, Martha Wainwright and The Swell Season as well as 1970s legend Gilbert O'Sullivan.

Funnymen Ed Byrne and Dylan Moran will bring their new shows to Belfast as part of Magners Comedy while there'll be a packed programme of theatre, including Footsbarn's production of A Midsummer Night Dream, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

Further reports - Page 3

Originally published by MAUREEN COLEMAN SHOWBIZ CORRESPONDENT [email protected]

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