BELFAST FESTIVAL to celebrate BRIAN MOORE’S centenary through Lonely Passions: The Brian Moore Centenary Festival

BELFAST FESTIVAL to celebrate BRIAN MOORE'S centenary through Lonely Passions: The Brian Moore Centenary Festival
(LtoR) Hugh Odling Smee, Vittoria Cafolla (Paradosso theatre), Mary Lindsay (Paradosso theatre), Caoileann Curry-Thompson (Arts Council NI)

Paradosso Theatre celebrates the 100th anniversary of Brian Moore’s birth year through Lonely Passions:  The Brian Moore Centenary Festival takes place from Thursday 19th – Wednesday 25th August 2021, ending on the centenary of his birth.

Born in Belfast on 25 August 1921, Brian Moore was one of the most prolific authors to come out of Belfast. A prizewinning and three times Booker Prize nominee, he wrote over 20 novels, including The Emperor Of Ice Cream, The Luck Of Ginger Coffey, The Feast Of Lupercal,  I Am Mary Dunne, The Doctor’s Wife, and The Colour Of Blood amongst others.

Thanks to funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland, Paradosso Theatre has planned a week long series of events and are hoping you’ll learn something new about this greatly under-appreciated writer.

Eileen Branagh Chair of Paradosso Theatre – “We are delighted to be able to bring people together in person and online to celebrate one of Belfast and Northern Ireland’s most successful writers, Brain Moore. We feel it is important to mark the centenary of Brian Moore and highlight the importance of his work through a variety of events. We hope that people will be reminded of his great work as well as attract a new audience.”  

Caoileann Curry-Thompson, Acting Head of Drama, Arts Council of Northern Ireland – ‘I am delighted that the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has been able to support this exciting and extremely important festival through our Organisations Emergency Programme. Brian Moore was an exceptional talent and one who has not had the enduring recognition from his homeplace that he deserves. Paradosso sets to right this with a wonderful programme, one rich in variety and texture. It offers something for all: for devotees of Moore’s work, right through to those who have never encountered him before. I can think of no better way to start a relationship with Moore’s radical, beautiful, often testing writing, than through this celebration which enlists such a roll call of Northern Irish artistic talent from street art to theatre, music to film. I wish the whole team the very best for the festival, and I can’t wait to find something new here and encounter old favourites in new ways!’

Brian Moore’s Belfast Walking Tour, led by Hugh Odling Smee, will include stops at childhood locations, as well as featured locations from his novels, with a chance to stop for a pint and refreshments along the way.

Documentaries include Writers and Places: A View from Across the Water, (1980) followed by a Q&A with Patricia Craig, Moore’s Biographer and BBC Broadcaster William Crawley and Writing Home Introduced by Dan Gordon at the Strand Cinema, as well as films based on his novels: Catholics, the BBC production The Temptation Of Eileen Hughes, and the star studded 2003 film, The Statement.

Paradosso will explore his work in more depth through a series of panels: the opening night panel hosts irish literary greats Colm Toibin, Bernard McLaverty and American novelist and screenwriter, Tara Ison in conversation with Hugh Odling Smee discussing the legacy of his work.

Writers Jan Carson, Wendy Erskine, along with ex- Doctor Who’s scriptwriter and author,  Andrew Cartmel & novelist Tara Ison will discuss Moore’s strong female characters. Broadcaster and academic Joanna Braniff will interview Brian Busby, Canadian literary historian and anthologist about Moore’s pulp novels and writing under a pseudonym.

Paradosso has also secured funds from the Northern Ireland Office and Belfast City Council to commission a mural to celebrate his work. Renowned street artist Fitz will complete the mural in early September after consultation with the public during the festival.

The directors are extremely excited to have a discussion with the University of Calgary’s Annie Murray, as she takes the audience through a fascinating collection of Moore’s archival fonds (gifted to them by Moore)

Live events include Brian Moore’s Book Busk. In celebration of Turnpike Books publishing new editions of three Brian Moore novels: The Emperor Of Ice Cream, The Revolution Script and The Feast Of Lupercal, actors Stephen Beggs and Louise Parker will recite from popular Brian Moore novels at various locations throughout the city centre.

The festival will close on the 100th anniversary of Brian Moore’s birth with a relaxed evening in The American Bar enjoying a pint and extracts from some of his best-loved works. The evening will be hosted by actor/writer/comedian Tim McGarry, who will be joined by actors: Maggie Cronin, Louise Matthews and Cillian Lenaghan.

WHERE: The events will take place all over the city, with the Walking tour traversing North to South, Films in East Belfast, Documentaries in Central Belfast (Strand Arts Centre, Black Box Belfast), and of course in the virtual Realm.

WHEN: Thursday 19th – Wednesday 25th August 2021, ending on the centenary of his birth.

WHAT: Walking tours, films, documentaries, panels & discussions

PRICES: Ranging from FREE to £8


Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as conducting interviews for the XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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