What Girls Are Made Of

It’s 1992. An ad in the local paper declares: Band Seeks Singer.

In a small town in Fife, a schoolgirl is catapulted into a rock star lifestyle. Grunge has gone global, indie kids are inheriting the earth, and a schoolgirl from Glenrothes is catapulted to a rock star lifestyle as the singer in a hot new indie band.

Touring with Radiohead, partying with Blur, she was living the dream. Until she wasn’t.

Based on her meticulously detailed teenage diaries, this is the true story of Cora Bissett’s rollercoaster journey from the girl she was to the woman she wanted to be.

Directed by the Traverse Theatre’s former Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin, Cora celebrates life’s euphoric highs and epic shitstorms, asking what wisdom we should pass on to the next generation – and which glorious mistakes we should let them make.

Earth to Alice

Alice’s award-winning and unconventional poetry performances have captivated audiences ever since she made her start as Artist in Residence of CQAF back in 2014. Her unique way with words has won her slams and fans both locally and internationally, with poems commissioned for BBC TV and radio, and internationally touring live performances, supporting talents in poetry, music and comedy, including Katherine Ryan, Duke Special and Lemn Sissay. In this new adaptation of her critically acclaimed one-woman show ‘Earth To Alice’, after a break from performing that included two admissions to a mental health ward, Alice tackles the stigma of mental illness head-on as she plays with the boundaries between poetry, comedy, storytelling and theatre. Expect laughter, some tears, and a life-affirming kick in the balls in this re-emergence of a talent not to be missed.

“Alice McCullough is radiant when she reads her poems -she is one of the rare gems I’ve discovered on my gigging circuits across the waters. Her words cover all corners as she quietly stamps down injustice and concocts poetry potions with equal part sadness and joy. Basically, she’s bloody great.” >Hollie McNish

“A warm and confident slam-winning performer, Alice McCullough is a strong and sensitive voice on the poetry scene in Northern Ireland whose poetry is well-deserving of a wider audience – She’s a dead rare red hair Fred Astaire of words.” Tony Walsh

“Wonderful! I especially like the ‘Love’ poem and the ‘Wonderland’ poem – delightfully good.” Simon Callow

“Great show – fragile but in control, real, and in the moment.” Kevin McAleer

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

The Ballad of Patrick MacGill

Born in 1890 on a poor farm in Glenties, Patrick MacGill had three years of schooling before being presented for hire at Strabane Hiring Fair at the age of twelve.

At 14 he travelled to Scotland with a squad of tattiehowkers, often sleeping rough while eking out a living.Despite all the odds, this young Irish migrant worker managed to educate himself, becoming famous as ‘The Navvy Poet’.

Belfast folk-singers Jane Cassidy and Maurice Leyden draw on MacGill’s two most acclaimed works, Children of the Dead End and The Rat-Pit, in which he brings to life the soul-destroying struggles of the migrant worker, and his triumph over them.

They are joined on stage by Scottish singer Derek Williamson. All three narrate, sing and play keyboard, guitars, mandolin and fiddle. Archive photos of MacGill, Donegal and Scotland at the turn of the 20th Century provide an atmospheric and poignant backdrop.

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Keep Telling Me Lies

(Matinee Saturday/Sunday)

Love and betrayal set against the music of the showbands. Written and directed by Brenda Winter-Palmer, developed

by Antoinette Morelli and the Karma Theatre Company.

Of all the iconic buildings in Belfast, the now derelict Floral Hall stands as a monument to the life, love, loss and music of the Showband era.

This is the story of two Belfast women as they reminisce about the lives they used to lead. Set against the backdrop of the crumbling Floral Hall and driven by the music of the Showbands, they recall the fateful night they met their future husbands.

The Girls Guide to Saving the World

A frank and funny new play about friendship, feminism and what it means to be successful, this Elinor Crooks play, an Irish premiere, is a tale of mid-20’s angst as Jane, Bella and Toby deal with the difficulties of accepting adulthood and what that means for their lives.

Jane and Bella are best friends. They’re starting a revolution. But they’re falling out of step. Toby dreams of babies, buggies, and home improvement. But he can’t even care for a cat. And a boy keeps telling Jane to take what she wants. But what is that, exactly?

Three twenty-somethings attempt to make sense of their own uncertain worlds. Even if it means losing sight of each other in the process.

Cabaret in the Cathedral

The Community Arts scene in Belfast has been an important element of the cultural life of the city for over 30 years.

Many organisations have developed from a grass roots level, supplying music, theatre, carnival arts, street entertainment and circus to all, and helping to sustain many artists working and living in our city.

This one-off event brings together a range of talent from across Belfast’s community arts organisations to present a unique family cabaret within St Anne’s Cathedral.

As well as showcasing some of the finest acts Belfast community arts has to offer, the cabaret is being held in support of Ash Reynolds, one of our best known and loved artists.

For the final line up of acts please check our website and social media #CabaretintheCathedral

Doors 6.15pm | Unreserved Seating

Fallen Fruit

What has changed. What has not. What we remember. And what we try to forget.

In 1989, as the Berlin Wall splits open, a young girl looks forward to life beyond communism; a couple unravels, and 80s TV permeates everything.

A story of love, breaking free and Europe, from Two Destination Language.

‘Fallen Fruit is thoughtful stuff about political walls and personal barriers’ – LYN GARDNER

‘As she sweats with the effort of breaking down walls,her charming smile traded for a grimace of determination, Fallen Fruit reveals the process of change for what it is: hard work.’ – THE GUARDIAN

‘Fallen Fruit has rich, rich ground to explore. Radeva’s performance is ripe with vivid images from her childhood’ – ALICE SAVILLE-EXEUNT

Dick – One Man in 100,000

Richard Stamp has been a comedy performer for over 30 years and has successfully toured the globe with his
comedy creations, notably Half Naked Chef, and his art installations.

In 2018, whilst on the other side of the world, Richard was diagnosed with Penile Cancer, a rare form of cancer, with
less than 1 in 100,000 men suffering from the disease in UK. It is one of the easiest cancers to treat if it is caught early.

Dick is the deeply personal hilarious and emotive telling of his story, with his cancer, from diagnosis through to options
with prosthetics.

‘Ground-breaking theatre from the eminent breaker of
ground’ – FRINGE

Doors 1.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Stowaway City – An immersive audio play

“Even your words are disappearing. I only have a handful left.”

Civil war breaks out in the U.S. Snipers patrol the rooftops; militias are targeting newsrooms. A journalist escapes on a cruise ship & finds herself in Belfast. The press are keen to talk to the stowaway, but anything she says will put her friends in danger. Told via phone messages to her lover back home, STOWAWAY CITY traces her story as she weighs the consequences of speaking out. In this immersive audio play, listeners will be free to explore a 360° virtual soundscape of Belfast in the Sonic Lab at SARC. The narrative unfolds as you move through the space, navigating the story and the city with your ears only.

*Note on visiting the Sonic Lab: Please wear flat, comfortable shoes with a reasonably thick sole. This is because the floor is a metal grid that allows sound to come from the basement.

Doors 15 minutes before show 

Son of Liverpool – From Scottie Road to Town.

Performance poet Gerry Potter’s powerful evocation of his home city.

“Y’know somethin’, I’m pretty sure Liverpools me real Ma ‘n’ Da.”

Son of Liverpool is an epic theatre-verse exploration of birth, life, parenting, hysterical partying, howling laughter and death.

Where the raucous power of bricks and mortar, cranes and dock-lands collide with back alley Scouseology and dancing.

Gerry asks, from the rare auld times till now, are we more our ever-evolving native cities than we are our families?

Does accent, industry, demolition, discos, church, school, dead ‘ard scally girls, chippies, indeed do those auld Dock Road pubs, have more than a hand in our upbringing?

Son of Liverpool will ask you if you are a child of your city.

Doors 7:15pm | Unreserved Seating

Supported By



The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Out To Lunch are annual festivals of music, comedy, theatre, art and literature which take place in January and May in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival / Out To Lunch Arts Festival
Unit 8
Northern Whig House
Bridge Street