Imagine! Festival of Ideas & Politics thinks big for 2023
As The Imagine! Festival of Ideas & Politics prepares to return to Belfast, David Roy rounds up the first events to be announced and the details of a new competition to revive neglected areas of the city...
THE Imagine! Festival of Ideas & Politics has just announced the first selection of events from its 2023 programme.
The annual Belfast-based festival will take from March 20 to 26 and includes over 130 events, featuring an eclectic array of speakers and performers.
Here's what's been announced thus far:
FIVE DAYS (March 20 to 22, The Deer's Head, 8pm)
In April 2005, writer Joe Nawaz and his family travelled from Belfast to the wilds of Pakistan on the trail of a mystery – the mystery of how, where and why his father Rab had been murdered.
PADDY CULLIVAN: THE MURDER OF WOLFE TONE (March 20, The Black Box, 8pm)
'Historical entertainer' Paddy Cullivan brings you the incredible story of the mysterious death of Theobald Wolfe Tone.
JOHN OTWAY: ROCK AND ROLL'S GREATEST FAILURE (March 21, The Black Box, 8pm)
Legendary musical maverick John Otway returns to Belfast for a long-awaited solo show.
THE REMAINS OF LOGAN DANKWORTH BY LUKE WRIGHT (March 21, Crescent Arts Centre, 8pm)
Luke Wright's political verse play examines trust, fatherhood and family in the age of Brexit.
SHERINE TADROS: TAKING SIDES (March 22, Crescent Arts Centre, 5pm)
Former war correspondent Sherine Tadros explains how she swapped career to become a human rights activist and gives a passionate defence of human rights.
TIFF STEVENSON: SEXY BRAIN (March 22, The Black Box, 8pm)
Critically acclaimed stand-up, writer and actor Tiff Stevenson invites you to spend time with a woman and her self diagnosed Sexy Brain.
HENRY NORMAL: COLLECTED POEMS AND OTHER LANDFILL (March 23, Crescent Arts Centre, 8pm)
Armed only with a chair and a mic, stories, jokes and poetry Henry Normal takes on the world looking for a win-win situation.
OLIVER CALLAN (March 24, The Black Box, 8pm)
Oliver Callan is one of Ireland's most sought after comedians, an award-winning impressionist with hit shows on national radio and TV.
THE WOOD BURNING SAVAGES (March 25, The Limelight 2, 7pm)
Derry alt-punks The Wood Burning Savages bring their renowned live show to the stage in Belfast.
JONATHON PORRITT: CONFRONTING TODAY'S CLIMATE EMERGENCY (March 25, Crescent Arts Centre, 8pm)
In this talk, renowned author and campaigner Jonathon Porritt will discuss how we can tackle the climate crisis.
FIN TAYLOR: DADDY SELF-CARE (March 26, Crescent Arts Centre, 7.30pm)
Fin Taylor is back on the road with a brand new trunk of painfully funny stand-up.
STEVE RICHARDS: THE ROCK'N'ROLL POLITICS SHOW (March 26, The Black Box, 8pm)
Steve Richards brings his popular one man show about British politics to Belfast.
Another feature of this year's festival will be Forgotten Spaces, a new project in partnership with Liminal Space Belfast which will ask the public about how to regenerate neglected areas of the city.
It's designed to be the first stage of a process that will highlight and map a range of 'forgotten' spaces with the intention of utilising them in future festival programming. The public can submit details for an online exhibition of a derelict site or forgotten space which will be hosted on the Imagine festival's website.
A competition for the best image and description will take place with the winners decided by public vote and a selection panel, with prizes of £100, £75 and £50 up for grabs.
"Liminal Space Belfast has developed a number of exciting projects that use alleyways and entries to host outdoor exhibitions and performances," says project curator Meadhbh McIlgorm.
"Forgotten Spaces is an extension of this work, and I hope we can help regenerate forgotten and neglected places to help re-imagine the city."
People can submit photos and comments about their unloved spaces at imaginebelfast.com until February 12. Submissions will be exhibited and put to a public vote on the website during March, with winners presented at a special event and prize giving during the Imagine festival on March 22 at the Europa hotel in Belfast.
Peter O'Neill, Imagine! Festival director says: "The festival seeks to stimulate new ideas on politics and culture, so we are delighted to support this exciting new project which will hopefully capture the imagination of local people who care about the future of this great city."
Full festival details at imaginebelfast.com