Arts

Lonely Passions festival celebrates Brian Moore's centenary in Belfast this month

Belfast-born novelist Brian Moore. Picture courtesy of The Irish Times

A NEW festival will celebrate the life and work of Belfast author Brian Moore this month.

Paradosso Theatre are marking the 100th anniversary of his birth year with Lonely Passions: The Brian Moore Centenary Festival between Thursday August 19 and Wednesday August 25 – which would have been Moore's 100th birthday.

Born in Belfast on 25 August 1921, Brian Moore became one of the city's most prolific authors. A prize-winning, three time Booker Prize nominee, Moore 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.

Events during the week long Lonely Passions Festival will include:

:: Opening night panel featuring Colm Toibin, Bernard MacLaverty and Tara Ison in conversation with Hugh Odling Smee discussing the legacy of Moore's work

:: Brian Moore's Belfast Walking Tour led by Hugh Odling Smee

:: Documentary screenings Writers and Places: A View from Across the Water (1980) plus Q&A with Moore's biographer Patricia Craig and BBC's William Crawley, and Writing Home introduced by Dan Gordon

:: Screenings of films based on Moore's novels including Catholics, The Temptation Of Eileen Hughes and The Statement

:: Panel discussion on Moore's strong female characters with Jan Carson, Wendy Erskine, Andrew Cartmel (Doctor Who) and Tara Ison

:: Joanna Braniff in conversation with Brian Busby about Moore's pulp novels and writing under a pseudonym

:: Brian Moore's Book Busk with actors Stephen Beggs and Louise Parker performing live readings around Belfast city centre

:: Closing night birthday recitals at The American Bar hosted by Tim McGarry with readings from Maggie Cronin, Louise Matthews and Cillian Lenaghan.

Hugh Odling Smee, Vittoria Cafolla, Mary Lindsay and Caoileann Curry-Thompson launching the Lonely Passions festival. Picture by Simon Graham

Caoileann Curry-Thompson, acting head of drama at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland says: "I am delighted we are 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."

:: Full festival programme at Paradossotheatre.com

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