/ Sector News

Exciting New Shows to Feature at the East Side Arts Festival

The EastSide Arts Festival is an annual celebration of the creative energy of east Belfast, and this year EastSide Arts are excited to be including two new pieces of drama that do just that.

‘Jade City is written by Alice Malseed, a young writer and east Belfast resident who trains and boxes at the City of Belfast Boxing Academy. Alice was inspired by the lives and stories of the local men that she met through the gym, and approached Rachel Kennedy, the Director of EastSide Arts to see if a play about the lives of young men growing up in east Belfast would be a fit with the festival. The answer was a resounding yes and Jade City will premiere at the EastSide Arts Festival, in the Boxing Academy in which it is set.

Similarly, Rachel was approached by Claire Murray from Blunt Fringe about developing brand new material written by the late actor Jimmy Ellis, donated to Blunt Fringe by Jimmy’s widow Robina. Claire put together a creative team to bring the stories about growing up in east Belfast to the stage and worked with Rachel to find an appropriate venue and format for the work in development to be showcased in the EastSide Arts Festival. Glenn Patterson, also an east Belfast resident, edited the material to create the event, which will be shared for the first time at St. Martin’s Church, Ballymacarrett.

These projects mark an exciting step for EastSide Arts as they move towards commissioning and producing more new work, relevant to east Belfast but equally relevant on the world stage, as well as programming touring and local artists and shows.’


 Jade City

Dates:         Fri 3, Sat 4 & Sun 5 Aug
Venue:        City of Belfast Boxing Academy
Times:        Friday & Saturday 8pm; Sunday 2.45 PM & 8PM
Price:          £10 / £8 concession

‘A punchy and hot-headed new show exploring the dark, toxic and tumultuous friendship of two lads in east Belfast. Sas and Monty are trapped in this place and in their heads. Their friendship orbits around a damaging and violent event from their pasts. Their imaginative and playful ‘game’ is the only way they can process the mess they feel inside.’

Written by Alice Malseed, with live soundtrack by Michael Mormecha.

Age Guidance17+ (adult themes & strong language)

Click here for tickets


Jimmy Ellis: Home Again

Dates:         Thurs 2 & Sat 4 Aug
Times:        8pm
Venue:        St. Martin’s Church
Price:          £12 / £10 concession

‘A rehearsed reading of an autobiographical story of his childhood in east Belfast by the late actor James (Jimmy) Ellis.  Written in 2001 and combining brand new material donated by Jimmy’s wife Robina and audio recordings of the actor himself, this is a portrait of an east Belfast boy and his dog Spot, and the people and stories that filled their home at 30 Park Avenue during the war-years and beyond.  Jimmy Ellis: Home Again has been adapted by Glenn Patterson and is told through poetry and live music.  It is produced by Blunt Fringe in partnership with EastSide Arts and has been generously supported by ARUP.’

Click here for tickets


East Belfast Boy

Dates:        Tues 7 & Wed 8 Aug
Time:          8pm
Venue:        Strand Arts Centre
Price:          £10 adult, £8 concession

‘Meet Davy. The things he sees. His streets. His mates. His girl and… the boys.
With pumping techno, pulverising movement and street sharp poetry, East Belfast Boy, written by Fintan Brady,  is a cliché free zone.  Directed by Emma Jordan. Choreographed by Oona Doherty. Sound design by Phil Kieran.

East Belfast Boy is brought to you by the award-winning team who created Red (Lyric, Prime Cut co-production) and the internationally acclaimed Scorch by Stacey Gregg.’

Age Guidance14+ (contains some strong language and drug references)

Click here for tickets