Titanic Belfast Festival
31st March – 22nd April 2012 |
Titanic Quarter, Belfast
As hometown and birthplace of the famous liner, Belfast will mark the 100-year anniversary of the Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage in spectacular style. The series of captivating events will centre on the city’s Titanic Quarter – the former Harland and Wolff shipyard where huge yellow cranes Samson and Goliath still stand with pride. Theatre, music and film will be employed to reflect the history and heritage that still ties the city to the most famous ship in the world.
The festival kicks off with the Titanic Light Show – an electrifying lighting spectacle to showcase the opening of the Titanic Belfast Visitor Experience
. When the six-storey building opens in April 2012, it will be the largest Titanic attraction in the world. Visitors will experience what life was like onboard the ship through sights, sounds and smells, and learn about its history. Reconstructions of the liner’s bedrooms and multimedia installations create such an authentic atmosphere, it’s as if you were walking the actual decks. The gleaming angles of the ultra-modern building is a design based on the hulls of four ships, making for a mesmerising sight any time of day, but especially come nightfall.
Dr Robert Ballard, who discovered the Titanic wreck, visited Belfast in November and paid homage to Titanic Belfast, saying it would be a “magnificent exhibit”. Ballard points out that the ship’s history is “constantly being rediscovered by each generation”.
The MTV generation is in there, too. Following the success of November 2011’s European Music Awards (EMAs), MTV will return for the festival to host an unmissable live music event on the very slipways where the Titanic was first launched.
A special commemoration gala in the award-winning Waterfront Hall will illustrate Belfast’s story of Titanic and honour the local shipbuilders who built it. The tales will be narrated by cultural icons and celebrities, adding an extra-special dimension to the event. This production will remember all those who were affected by the disaster through a fusion of words, music and a sea of memories, and will also celebrate the city’s illustrious shipbuilding heritage and achievements.
From the end of April, award-winning playwright Owen McCafferty will debut his new, highly emotive drama based on the Titanic disaster at The Metropolitan Arts Centre. Titanic: Scenes from the British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry 1912 is based on the gripping testimonies heard at the Titanic inquiry following the sinking. This stirring production demonstrates the drama that would have been observed in the courtrooms, uncovering bravery, sadness and human frailty.
BBC Titanic Proms will close this unforgettable Festival season with a rousing performance right in the heart of the Titanic Quarter in September. This show will mark the closing of centenary, while celebrating the rich musical heritage of Northern Ireland.
Over the entire schedule, the Titanic Belfast Festival promises moving, poignant and dramatic events – unique to Belfast and to its heritage.
A whole host of Titanic attractions are open in Belfast all year round, including a Titanic Walking Tour, a Titanic Boat Tour and Titanic Tours Belfast – run by Susie Miller, great-granddaughter of a Titanic engineer.