BIAF- The Bunting Collection: Laoise Kelly & Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn with Stephen Rea
Oct 17 @ 7:00 pm

The Bunting Collection: Laoise Kelly & Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn with Stephen Rea

  • Black Box
  • Sunday 17 October
  • 18+
  • 7.00pm (doors)
  • £16 / £14
  • Workshop only ticket £10. Combined workshop and event ticket £16/£14


Explore Belfast’s unique place in the history of harp music with narration by Stephen Rea, Laoise Kelly (Harp and TG4 Musician of the Year 2020) and acclaimed Monaghan uilleann piper, Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn. They will perform new versions of rarely heard music from the legendary 1792 Belfast Harp Festival (held in the former Northern Bank building on Waring Street), part of the Edward Bunting manuscript collection, alongside new music from their forthcoming recording.


Their acclaimed album ‘Ar Lorg na Laochra’ | ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ pays homage to the source of their repertoire, encompassing many of the various tune and song air types to be found in 17th-19th century manuscripts from different parts of Ireland.


The performance will be accompanied by a harp workshop by ear for intermediate players with an introduction to the Bunting Manuscripts of the 1792 Belfast Harp Festival as part of our annual public engagement programme, Embrace. Taking place on Sunday 17 October in The Green Room Cafe at the Black Box 10am-11.30am.


Part of IN-visible ID-entities 3, an on-going BIAF initiative encouraging cultural collaboration across the island and supported by the Government of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs.


Artist Biographies

Laoise Kelly is from Westport, Co. Mayo. She has three critically acclaimed solo albums ‘Just Harp’ (1999), ‘Ceis’ (2010), and ‘Fáilte Uí Cheallaigh’ (2015), and ‘The Wishing Well’ (2010) a live duo album with fiddle player Michelle O’Brien. Laoise was a founding member of traditional group ‘Bumblebees’ with whom she recorded two albums (1997, 1999) and toured extensively internationally. Throughout her solo career she has recorded on over 60 albums with many of Ireland’s foremost artists including The Chieftains, Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon, Dónal Lunny, Tommy Makem, Matt Molloy, Mary Black, Maighread & Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Eimear Quinn as well as Kate Bush and American country/bluegrass icon Tim O’Brien.


Tiarnán is an award winning Uilleann Piper from Monaghan who started playing the Uilleann Pipes when he was around nine years of age in The Armagh Pipers Club. He has won 4 Fleadh Ceoil (Ist place) All-Ireland titles –and two Oireachtas titles. In January 2013, Tiarnán won the Seán O Riada Bonn Oir (Sean O Riada Gold Medal) competition.Tiarnan has been described by many as being one of the most influential pipers of his generation.


Stephen Rea is an Irish film and stage actor. Rea has appeared in films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto. Rea was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for Neil Jordan’s thriller The Crying Game (1992). He has during later years had important roles in the Hugo Blick TV series The Shadow Line and The Honourable Woman, for which he won a BAFTA Award. In 2020, The Irish Times, ranked Rea the 13th greatest Irish film actor of all-time.

BIAF-Simon Armitage
Oct 19 @ 7:00 pm

Simon Armitage

  • Tuesday 19 October
  • Black Box
  • 7.00pm
  • £7 / £6

The UK’s Poet Laureate Simon Armitage is one of Britain’s most well-established and well-loved literary talents, and has been bringing us his unique blend of wit, empathy and caustic insight for more than three decades, since the publication of his debut collection of poems Zoom! in 1989. This year sees two new publications: The Owl and the Nightingale is a new rendition of a Middle English narrative poem, bringing the verse to life with energy and humour; and A Vertical Art is a collection of Armitage’s spirited public lectures as Oxford University Professor of Poetry, bringing together subjects as diverse as Bob Dylan and Elizabeth Bishop.


Simon Armitage was born in Marsden, West Yorkshire in 1963. In 2020 he published Magnetic Field, a collection bringing together all the poems has written throughout his career about his home village.


Introduced by Hilary Copeland


BIAF-Roddy Doyle
Oct 26 @ 7:00 pm

Roddy Doyle

  • Tuesday 26 October
  • Black Box
  • 7.00pm
  • £7 / £6

Belfast favourite Roddy Doyle returns to the Festival to discuss his new book Life Without Children. Hot on the heels of his novels Smile and Love – praised as among the best of his career – Doyle’s latest work of fiction is a collection of stories written largely over the past year and inspired by life under lockdown.


Life Without Children looks at family, love, marriage and how they – and we – have been changed by recent events. Elements we have seen in the news over the last 18 months – people stuck away from home, families banned from funerals, health service workers bearing the emotional brunt – are given new life in Doyle’s characteristically witty and affecting style.


Roddy Doyle is one of Ireland’s best-loved and most garlanded writers. He is the author of novels for adults and children, short stories, plays and screenplays, and a winner of the PEN Ireland Award and the Booker Prize.


This event is hosted by Hugh Odling-Smee.


Part of IN-visible ID-entities 3, an on-going BIAF initiative encouraging cultural collaboration across the island and supported by the Government of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

Contact us

The Black Box & Green Room Café
18-22 Hill Street | Belfast | BT1 2LA

Tel: +44 (0) 2890 244400

Registered Charity No: NIC100983

Supported by

Belfast City Council ACNI & Lotto John Hewitt Department for Communities Film Hub NI BFI Cinema Children In Need