Collaborator – A work in progress by Daniel Kitson

I dislike audience participation.

I think It’s creatively bankrupt, ethically questionable and if I see it mentioned in the blurb for a show, I will not attend due to moral objections and/or personal discomfort.


I’ve written something about that and it’s got just over 200 parts.


Collaborator was conceived specifically to be performed in the round and is re-written a bit for each particular venue. This will be something between the 4th and 7th staging and maybe the eighth rewrite and,I have to say, it’s getting quite good.

The Worst Cafe in the World

Book a table at Big Telly’s Worst Café in The World —not a meal in sight, but a menu of theatrical bites to amuse your bouche – music, mystery, magic, masks  and mayhem.

From Shakespeare to sci-fi the stories come well-done and rare, but the waiters have a lot on their plate and may meltdown any minute… This may be the Worst Cafe for food but it’s the best for craic, specially created for people who like their theatre fresh.

Tickets: £5.00 per person, for a minimum of 30 minutes of table service.

Black Belfast – Horror and True Crime Walking Tour


Dare you stalk the streets of old Belfast and uncover the horrors that lurk in her grisly past?

The Black Belfast Walking Tour with Alternative Uls-Tours

Dates and times: Sunday 5th May, 11:00am & Sunday 12th May, 11:00am

 Belfast’s former red-light district and its connection to an infamous serial killer

• The forgotten medieval graveyard beneath Belfast shoppers’ feet

• How a Victorian wig shop brought Halloween back to Belfast

• The tragic tale of Belfast’s ‘lost boys’ and the ‘Satanic panic’ of the 1970s

• Belfast’s little-known Jack the Ripper suspect

• The bizarre haunting of a Belfast bridge

• Belfast’s body snatchers and the story of Burke and Hare

• Bram Stoker’s Belfast visit and the true inspiration for Dracula

• The curse of the Titanic mummy

• The killing of the last wild wolf in Ulster

• Northern Ireland’s own Dr Harold Shipman and a chilling personal link

Please note:

• The walking tour starts at the Albert Memorial Clock on Queen’s Square in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast city centre, where your guide will be waiting for you

• Please arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled start time

• The tour will end outside the Dock Cafe on Queen’s Road in the Titanic Quarter

• The tour will last two and a half hours and cover around two miles

• The tour will go ahead in all weathers, so please dress accordingly

• There are public toilets near the start and end points

• The route is fully accessible, but please inform us in advance of any mobility issues

• Well-behaved dogs are welcome on the tour

• Your guide is a fully qualified Level 4 (blue badge) tour guide with a lifelong interest in the monstrous and the macabre

• The tour is fully insured through Tour Guides NI

Very important:

• The tour is open to all ages, but parental guidance is strongly advised due to the graphic and disturbing nature of some of the stories. You have been warned!

Hit the North Block Party

Watching paint dry has a bad reputation.

Actually when there’s 70+ artists hitting a city block and the sun’s shining and David Holmes is on the decks and the roads are closed and there’s Hennessy and Ginger in your hand… there’s actually not many better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Hit the North’s Block Party will be the climax to our 12th year, but also keep an eye out for work going on across the city in the preceding days and head to for our full programme of workshops, tours, exhibitions and live events happening right across the weekend.

Artist line up for this year…

Ben Eine, Zabou, Veks Van Hillik

Lydia Cao, Kos Dos, Sr Papa Chango, Psoman, Malarko, Dalal Mitwally, Dreph,

Caryn Bearkoh, Oddhouse, Qwynto, Sepr, Yazan Mesmar, Percpicer, Artista, Solus, Friz, Sophi Odling

Kone, ELno, LoURS, Shona Hardie, VaneMG, Lucie Flynn, KVLR, Decoy, Rob Hilken, Eoin, Noys, Signs of Power, FGB, Vents, Emma Blake, Razor, David McMillan, Pens, G.W. Joyce, Joke, Codo, Horhey, Danny Simpson, Jess Tobin, Mac Signs, JMK, Fenz, Leo Boyd, Kerrie Hannah, Alana McDowell, Kaos, Jayde Perkin, Verz, Glen Molloy, Lovely Letters, Killian Dra, Magdalina Karol, AnaFish, Alexandra

The Dodge Brothers

+ support Dan Donnelly (The Levellers)

Firm festival favourites, The Dodge Brothers have sold out the Black Box on all past visits so we’re delighted to welcome the band to CQAF’s biggest stage for a perfect Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon hoe-down.

The Dodge Brothers are a skiffle-and-blues band producing ‘tunes of proven merit’ – new songs written and performed in the old style, harking back to the days of jug-band blues and early rock’n’roll.

The band are: Mike Hammond (guitars, lead vocals, banjo); Aly Hirji (guitars, mandolin, vocals); Mark Kermode (bass, harmonica, vocals), and Alex Hammond (washboard, snare drum, percussion). The music has an authentically American tang – lead guitarist/vocalist Mike Hammond was raised in Alabama and his youthful musical travels took him all over the southern and western USA – but with a strong British perspective.

The Dodge Brothers’ first album Louisa and the Devil showcased songs about transport, heartbreak and homicide, with tales of strong women, bad men and lonesome railroads. Their second album The Sun Set was recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis, using authentically old-fashioned recording techniques to recapture the spirit of a bygone age.

The Dodge Brothers’ more recent album Drive Train was released in 2018 and described as “Essential listening” by Whispering Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2’s Country Show.

As a live act The Dodge Brothers have played everywhere from The Roundhouse to the Royal Albert Hall, from the 100 Club to the Cropredy festival.  At the Jazz Café, they played with rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson, and they regularly sell-out gigs at the Borderline and the Blues Kitchen in London.

Bang Bike- Let’s Ride!

The Bang Bike is literally a festival on a bike powered by Dimebag DJs. It is hitting the road for its very first time. Deck out your bikes and let’s ride with the Bang Bike.

Finishing at the Deer’s Head for a very special CQ street party.

If you have seen the bike perform at festivals, you know what to expect. If not – it’s a portable sound system with a DJ on board.

Please meet up at the Botanic Bandstand at 6,00pm and we’ll move into town in an orderly fashion.

Park up your bike and the Street party starts at 7pm.

Join Justin Robertson upstairs at the Deers Head.

Dimebag DJs performing outside the Deers Head from 8pm – 1am

Admission is free but please book in advance.

‘Teeth’ Book Launch

You’re invited to join writer John Patrick Higgins in conversation and reading from his new book ‘Teeth: An Oral History’

Teeth,like a weeping father at a wedding, give you away. Like St Peter, they will betray you three times: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Teeth are a memento mori, a sudden glimpse of the naked skull beneath the skin.

John Patrick Higgins has had bad teeth for as long as he can remember and you might expect him, being English, not to notice. But he has noticed, and he’s done something about it. This book recounts his journey from a mouthful of moist gravel to the Pole-star wattage of a Hollywood A-lister. But first comes the horror of “stabilisation”. The trenches dug into his gums. The water- boarding horror of the dentist’s chair. The deforestation of his bank account.

Will he survive the ordeal? And if he does—blinking into that bright new day—will there be anything to smile about? Teeth: An Oral History is a bitingly funny story, illustrated by the author, and featuring a glossary of useful terms, as most of his references pre-date the discovery of fluoride.”

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens – Screening and DJ set

The American Bar presents a very special screening and live DJ set from John Shepherd, beamed live to the bar after the screening.

A rural electronics whiz broadcasts radio signals into space and monitors for signs of aliens, but makes a more important connection here on Earth.

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens introduces us to John in a room where, wedged between a couch and a giant bookshelf of LPs (and a record player), two tall shelf towers stand, filled with archaic electronic devices that resemble the sort of gear featured in old NASA movies.

“My interest is in finding out the unknown. And the unknown is just that—unknown. And you search, and you continue searching, because of your desire. Because you know that something’s there.”

Through a concise blend of new footage, archival photographs, and commentary from John, Killip’s short elucidates that, from an early age, John became consumed with trying to communicate with otherworldly beings. To do this, he invented and constructed a wide array of complex contraptions that beamed “non-commercial music”—jazz, reggae, Afropop, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream—and which soon took over his grandparents’ residence, where he lived.

A testament to the spirit of exploration and innovation. Moreover, it’s a sweet and subtly profound portrait of the universal desire for something more.

Despite its short length, there’s a lot packed into this thoughtful little film- not so much about aliens, but about a very earthly desire for connection.

A little sliver of humanity that’ll give you a lot of hope.
John Serba


Harvest are an 8-piece band who have been thrilling audiences and fans of Neil Young for 15 years.

Formed in 2009, the band have played sell-out shows all over Ireland, including a performance of arguably Young’s greatest album Harvest in full at Vicar Street in Dublin in 2018. The band have also played numerous festivals including Electric Picnic and appeared on national TV and radio.

The band embrace the mercurial Canadian’s multiple genres and styles, from the gentlest acoustic country/folk workouts to the noisiest ‘Crazy Horse’ rock epics, and everything in between.

A rare chance to celebrate Youngless peerless legacy through beautiful renditions of the timeless classics Heart of Gold, The Needle and the Damage Done, Old Man, Helpless and many others.

If you like Neil Young, you will love Harvest.

Conchúr White

A singer-songwriter from County Armagh, Conchúr White navigates the dreamlike and the grounded with blissful fluency on his beautiful debut album Swirling Violets.

Released through Bella Union in January, Swirling Violets is allusive and intimate, unearthly yet instantly accessible: touching on fully felt themes with grace and lightness, its a richly imagined album of multitudes from an instinctive talent.“I like surreal settings, but with tangible messages,” says White.

As White explains it, “There wasn’t a conscious theme, though the songs operate in the same sort of space, that sense of surrealism. There’s ghosts, there’s other worlds. There’s a cosmic feeling, questions about the beginning and the end and dreams. And then there’s simpler songs, love songs about the feelings of infatuation you have when you’re young”

A music graduate who has also worked alongside young people with mental health issues, White’s story began in bands. He played in atmospheric indie-rockers Silences before their split allowed Conchúr to develop his solo voice at his own pace.

With praise from SPIN, The Line of Best Fit, Under the Radar, Steve Lamacq, Radio 6 and others under his belt, he has also notched up touring slots with The Magnetic Fields, Villagers, Billie Marten and John Grant, who complemented White’s work warmly.

Mr Scruff

Ninja Tune veteran & supreme selector Mr. Scruff will be at the controls for the whole night, serving up a melting pot of deep soul/funk/reggae/afro/jazz/latin/hip-hop, harder edged electro/house/new wave/techno/electronic, and plenty of goodies that don’t fit into any category… all knitted together with technical skill and a keen sense of fun!

Expect fantastic sound, a lovely mixed crowd & great atmosphere.

Justin Robertson

Showbiz is fickle game. Fashions change and genres evolve at a dizzying velocity. To stay at the cutting edge as a DJ, music producer, broadcaster, visual artist, & author requires an unshakeable passion and a restless urge to keep evolving.

Justin Robertson has occupied that edge in one form or another for 35 years, remaining rapier sharp across all these diverse fields.

Emerging from behind the counter of the legendary Eastern Bloc records in Manchester, Justin soon became a recognised figure in the nascent acid house scene of the city. Since his arrival as a wide-eyed philosophy student in 1986, Justin had supplemented his degree with a close study of the city’s famous night spots. Music, always a passion, became an obsession and soon he was DJ’ing at some of the city’s most celebrated spots as well as promoting two of Manchester’s legendary nights, Spice with Greg Fenton and Most Excellent, where the Chemical Brothers found their early inspiration.

His refusal to be categorised musically led him to developing a reputation as an open-minded DJ and fledgling remixer. Regular guest spots around the world followed in short order and his production reputation was cemented with a string of remixes for the likes of Erasure, Happy Mondays, Bjork and Talk Talk that were staples in the sets of DJs worldwide.

As the electronic music scene grew and morphed into evermore interesting shapes, so Justin’s music evolved too. Drawing on his love of Dub, Psychedelia and 1960’s film soundtracks he fused these varied influences in his psych-hop beat combo Lionrock. Top 40 hits, Top of the Pops, touring with the Cocteau Twins and regular festival appearances make them still one of the most revered British bands of that era.

Willy Mason

Willy Mason is a songwriter who has become harder to define as the years go on.

Often outside of time musically, his lyrics reflect the humanness of now and our steps toward transcendence.

Willy’s music has traveled great lengths over the years but it’s always been from the heart and for the sake of love and its mysterious mission.

His voice and performances have only improved with age. Today’s shows are tight and powerful; full of passion and conviction, humor and love.


Written By Matthew Sharpe and Created In Collaboration With Tinderbox Theatre Company

Meet Marcus, raised in Northern Ireland with mixed-race heritage. Marcus has always gone along with society’s stereotypes to fit in – from posing as a rap superstar to flexing his muscles as a gym bro, he’s tried them all. But when an audition makes him question his true self, Marcus faces the ultimate dilemma: Who is he, really?

Join Marcus on his FUNNY and PROVOCATIVE escapade as he embarks on a quest of self-discovery, unravelling the layers of societal expectations to uncover the truth buried deep within himself.

I’VE ALWAYS LIKED THE NAME MARCUS is a unique but universal tale of personal identity and cultural diversity amidst our rapidly changing world.

Tinderbox Theatre Company 

Tinderbox Theatre Company is a leading arts organisation specialising in contemporary theatre practice in Northern Ireland.

For thirty-two years, Tinderbox has championed new writing, producing world-class performances from Northern Irish writers to critical and international acclaim. Tinderbox is a leading player in creative empowerment and contemporary artistic practice for artists, participants and audiences in NI.

Running time: 60mins
Age Guidance: 14+

Supported By



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