Bounce Arts Festival launched in style at Belfast City Hall

The seventh Bounce Arts Festival began with a brilliant performance by David Toole and Lucy Bennet from Stopgap Dance Company on the grounds of Belfast City Hall.

‘Bill and Bobby’ featured the two performers and choreographers as a pair of revellers who awake after a big night out to find themselves in a bath and then play a tipsy tribute to the dancing partnerships of the silver screen particularly Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers.

The launch also featured Belfast dance company Kids In Control performing a taster preview of their exciting new outdoor performance ‘Artache’ on City Hall Lawn. The full performance of Artache will premiere next Friday 21st September during Culture Night 2018.

This year’s festival line-up includesdRobert White, the runner-up of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, who describes himself as the only gay, Aspergic, quarter Welsh comic on the British comedy circuit.

It also featured two striking pieces with professional performers with learning disabilities – The Fish Police, a four piece band from London that plays strange and inventive electronica at the Black Box on Saturday and the ‘The M House’, a satirical look at institutional Ireland by Kilkenny-based Equinox Theatre at the Naughton Studio in the Lyric Theatre on Sunday.

The festival boasted a superb line-up of dance, theatre, visual art, physical theatre, film, cabaret and workshops from leading disabled artists from Britain, Ireland and beyond.

Other highlights included:

  • ‘I Stepped Out and She Stepped in Again’: a visual and performance art exhibition by five Belfast-based artists at the Atypical Gallery
  • ‘Earth to Alice’: the critically acclaimed show by the award-winning performance poet and storyteller Alice McCullough at the Black Box.
  • ‘Golden Eye…Aye Right’ – mystery and mayhem from Streetwise Circus at the Brian Friel Theatre
  • ‘An Afternoon of Atypical Music’ featuring three acclaimed talents Catherine Hatt, Kris D Marsden and Jim McClean at the Green Room.

Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, said: “Bounce Festival celebrates work by exceptional artists from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the UK, who are deaf or disabled.  Now in its seventh year, there are many ways to get involved with comedy, poetry, theatre, dance and free workshops all on offer. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support this wonderful festival and I would encourage everyone to go along.”