When: August 2017
Where: 12-13 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast BT2 7DB
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event
What is it?
Belfast arts companies Accidental Theatre and Amadan have taken up residence in an empty landmark building – the former Northern Bank at 12-13 Shaftesbury Square – and transformed it into a hub for artists and audiences.
The new venue will be hosting theatre and music, community get-togethers, late-night cabarets, family-friendly weekend shows, and arts workshops. Coming up this month, Amadan will be staging Bedlam Bazaar, a new cabaret club night featuring all manner of entertainers, from the weirdly wonderful to the seductively strange. A week later Accidental will be staging Michelle & Arlene by Rosemary Jenkinson; a new project where Accidental ask writers to write a new play very quickly to respond to what is going on around us right now.
Amadan will be gathering some of the hottest acts in town for the first Bedlam Bazaar, featuring award-winning performance poet Alice McCullough, Ursula Burns the Dangerous Harpist, the experimental sounds of composer Neil Foster, and master magician George Bleeks. Plus, appearances from savage burlesque artiste Nuala Rude and Northern Ireland’s only Muslim comedian, Mustafa Saed. Special guest DJ Venus Dupree will end the night with the fiercest of tunes.
New project, Rapid Response, will see brand new plays written to respond immediately to what’s happening around us today. For the inaugural show Rosemary Jenkinson will be writing a new piece about Michelle & Arlene.
Rapid Response is all about writing to respond to what is happening around us, exploring issues that effect us today and not waiting around to polish a script to perfection or wait for a funding decision. These plays will be rough, intriguing, sometimes funny, sometimes difficult, but always up to date.
Accidental Theatre has created ground-breaking performances in disused city-centre spaces since 2012, when the company began using shop units on Queen Street as office and rehearsal space. In 2015, Accidental moved to Wellington Street, beside City Hall, transforming the 4th floor of an office building into a jazz café for their show The Lost Martini. They retained the stage and bar after the show and continued to run Wellington Street as a multi-purpose space for artists to work and perform. When the landlord decided to renovate and moved existing tenants out in December 2016, Accidental discovered their ideal home at 12-13 Shaftesbury Square.
The newly transformed building includes a black-box theatre, and an intimate performance space and bar. The building has the feel of a converted office combined a vibrant fringe theatre. Audiences and artists are invited in to learn, create and enjoy time together at the crossroads that is Shaftesbury Square.
More info: accidentaltheatre.co.uk