Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក្រុងតូច

Belfast International Arts Festival in association with CQAF presents Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក្រុងតូច by Nick Power as part of its extended 60th season.

Experience dancers Erak Mith, from Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Aaron Lim, from Darwin, Australia use the rituals, movement styles and language of their shared hip-hop culture. Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក្រុងតូច reveals the dramatically different worlds that surround them and the choreographic links that unite them.

Choreographed by internationally-renowned Australian hip-hop dance artist Nick Power and accompanied by the beats and sound design of Jack Prest, the work blends the raw, wild energy of b*boy battles with skilful improvisation and choreography, offering a cross-cultural perspective on style, culture and locality.

The project is the result of a four-year dance exchange between Darwin’s D*City Rockers and Cambodia’s Tiny Toones youth program. The two crews have travelled, trained, battled and performed together, and Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក្រុងតូច, is the culmination of that exchange.

Get up close and personal to the action! The performance takes place inside a 10m diameter circular space and the audience is invited to stand around the edge.

Post-show discussion on Friday 6 May.

Between Tiny Cities is presented as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22, a major programme of cultural exchange taking place across the two nations.

Concession rates apply on selected events to those aged 16 and under, over 60s, students, the unemployed, and disabled persons. Proof of status may be required.

Ruth McGinley

Rescheduled from OTL ’22

By the age of 17, Ruth McGinley had already gained widespread recognition as one of Ireland’s leading pianists, winning countless accolades including both the piano finals of both the BBC and RTÉ Young Musician of the Year awards. Since then, her career has been wide-ranging and daring, collaborating with some of the most acclaimed teachers and musicians working today, and straying from the typical classical-pianist journey.

The Derry native studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Royal Academy in London before being awarded a Postgraduate in Solo Performance from the Royal College in London. She has performed as soloist with many orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra and as a solo recitalist throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Ruth broadcasts regularly for BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, BBC Radio Ulster and RTE, and was honoured to be invited to perform as soloist at the BBC Proms in the Park.

But it is perhaps the spaces between where Ruth’s interests really lie. A determination to walk her own path, Ruth’s love of music goes far beyond the classical world. A highly sought-after collaborator, Ruth works with musicians from many backgrounds including jazz, folk, electronic and other.

This concert programme will feature classical works by Arvo Pärt, Erik Satie, Chick Corea and reimagined folk songs by Neil Martin.

‘Stylistic variety is seamlessly blended throughout in intelligently proportioned playing as sincere as it is supple. More please!’  Michael Quinn, CLASSICAL EAR. 


Adapted by Cliodhna McAllister, from the novel by Marian Engel.

“Tear my head off, Bear. Claw out my heart.” Led by animal instinct. Intoxicated by primal desire. Marked by violent passion. When Lou meets Bear, she is forever changed.

‘Bear’ is the provocative tale of a woman’s transformative experience on a remote Canadian island. Dispatched to catalogue the contents of the island’s abandoned nineteenth-century estate, Lou finds she is not alone – there’s always a bear on Cary Island. And there are always secrets.  Consumed by primal desire, Lou’s relationship with Bear takes her on a journey of sexual and spiritual awakening. She won’t leave the island the same woman she used to be.

Blacklight Productions are proud to premier ‘Bear’  – the first adaptation of Marian Engel’s acclaimed and controversial novel – at CQAF 2022.

Cast: Aoife Honohan

Writer & Director: Cliodhna McAllister

Producer: Fionnula Ryan

Costume Design: Henrique Caliento

Set & Lighting Design/Op: Chris Merton

Sound Design/Op: Jamie Bishop

Supported by the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire and Future Foundations NI

Richard Hawley

It was with regret that we’ve received the news that Richard Hawley’s Irish Tour has been cancelled for health reasons.

Richard has sent the following;

‘It is with huge regret that due to unforeseen health issues Richard Hawley has been forced to postpone his Irish tour in May 2022.

He apologizes to all the fans that have bought tickets and promises the shows will be rearranged later in the year.

After a long pandemic and many cancelled shows we are sure everyone can imagine it’s the last thing he wanted to do but it’s unavoidable.

Richard looks forward to being back to full health in the next few months and to be able to fulfill all the dates.

Please look out for further announcements and you will be contacted with rescheduled dates as soon as they are confirmed.’

All tickets are currently being refunded.

Very disappointing news to return to after the Easter break but there are still many great shows to be enjoyed at this year’s CQAF and we hope you can join us for a show or two.

One of the shows we had been most looking forward to in CQAF 2020 was the performance by Richard Hawley. Then COVID-19 struck and the rest is history. We’re delighted therefore to welcome Richard to the closing weekend of CQAF 2022.

Pre-COVID, 2020 had been a landmark year for Richard with his ninth studio album, Further, slamming into the UK album charts at No.3 in the same year he celebrated his twentieth anniversary as a solo artist.

In the two decades that have elapsed since Hawley jettisoned band life, first with The Longpigs and then as Pulp’s guitarist, the 52-year-old songwriter has forged one of the most singular and diverse careers in modern music.

His ability to cut across styles, time and, in some instances, place, is down to Hawley’s deep and intuitive understanding of music itself, his grounding stemming back to his childhood when his father, a musician himself, introduced Richard to country, blues and rock’n’roll.

Talk to him about his blues heroes, and he is likely to list Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup (“the master!”) and Freddie King as personal favourites.

At heart, though, Hawley remains in love with rock’n’roll in its purest form and he sports the quiff to prove it. “People often ask me why I still have a quiff. I always tell them it’s because I still can,” he deadpans.

His appearance in Belfast promises to be a special show from a musician that has a knack for creating poignant and powerful songs like Tonight the Streets are Ours and The Ocean.

Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating

Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Ayanna Witter-Johnson is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, pianist and cellist. She has a phenomenal mastery for seamlessly crossing the boundaries of classical, jazz, reggae, soul and R&B, to imprint her unique musical signature with her virtuosic tap, strum and bow with her cello into her sound.

An acclaimed and celebrated performer, Ayanna has collaborated with many stellar artists, including Anoushka Shankar, Nitin Sawhney, Andrea Bocelli and Jools Holland. She has also toured extensively across the UK, Europe and the US.

As a composer, Ayanna has been commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Ligeti Quartet, Kronos Quartet and The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company to name but a few. She was also selected as an arranger/orchestrator for the London Symphony Orchestra (Hugh Masekela, Belief) and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Urban Classic).

Ayanna has released three EPs and put out her debut album Road Runner in 2019, with its two subsequent singles Nothing Less and Crossroads. With her January 2021 surprise-released EP Rise Up, Ayanna again combined reggae, classical, jazz and R&B to celebrate black culture and identity to uplift and inspire the next generation. The stunning collection of three tracks and videos featuring Akala on Rise Up, Cleveland Watkiss on Declaration Of Rights and the Rise Up Riddim have received a huge amount of critical acclaim.

Many of Ayanna’s remarkable tracks have received airplay on radio stations, including BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, 2, 3, 4, 6, BBC Radio London, BBC Manchester, Jazz FM and Scala Radio. Her TV credits include BBC One, London Live, Channel 4 (Sing It Loud: Black and Proud), BBC Proms and a stunning performance on Later…with Jools Holland (BBC One).

2021 has been a stellar year for Ayanna. She is currently working on her sophomore album and collaborating with Solem Quartet as part of their Beethoven Bartok Now series. 2021 also saw Ayanna returning to the live stage, headlining at London’s iconic Jazz Café and Kings Place. She also made additional performances supporting Nubiyan Twist on their UK tour, participating in ‘Jazz Voice’ (the opening of the London Jazz Festival) at the Royal Festival Hall and a 22-date US tour with Opera superstar Andrea Bocelli.

As a performer of extraordinary versatility, Ayanna’s live shows are intimate journeys that chronicle her experience as a female artist in the 21st century. Due to her musical prowess, mesmerising vocals, non-compromising lyrics, and ability to deftly reinterpret songs on the cello. Ayanna Witter Johnson is the very definition of eclectic soul.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating/ Standing 


Gwenifer Raymond

Rescheduled from OTL ’22

Gwenifer Raymond began playing guitar at the age of eight shortly after having been first exposed to punk and grunge. After years of playing around the Welsh valleys in various punk outfits she began listening more to pre-war blues musicians as well as Appalachian folk players, eventually leading into the guitar players of the American Primitive genre.

In 2017 she released her first single Sometimes There’s Blood and released her debut album You Never Were Much of a Dancer in June of 2018 to worldwide acclaim.

What followed was much international touring. Gwenifer headlined shows across much of Europe, debuted at several summer festivals including Green Man, Black Deer, Supernormal, Shambala to name but a fraction. She also played a number of support slots for artists such as Michael Chapman, Michael Hurley, Xylouris White and Charlie Parr.

The release of Strange Lights Over Garth Mountain has been highly anticipated after Gwenifer’s debut album, You Were Never Much of a Dancer, received critical acclaim from numerous publications including The Guardian.

Listeners who enjoyed her unmistakable virtuosity on the guitar and banjo, as well as the adventurous musical journey her debut album travelled through, can expect nothing less from this new release.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating

This Ship Argo : Live Film Soundtrack

CQAF are delighted to present a new commission at St. Joseph’s Church in Sailortown from This Ship Argo. Funded by The Leche Trust. CQAF have commissioned the musician/ composer ‘This Ship Argo’ (Aileen McKenna) to produce a new composition for a specially edited film.  This Ship Argo will be playing live to visual material.

The performance would be presented in the historic St Joseph’s Church in an area of Belfast known as Sailor town.  The commissioned work would tie into themes of the sea and seafaring industries in a historical context. Imagery for the film, sometimes abstract and poetic, would tie in with the subtle and delicate score produced by This Ship Argo.

This Ship Argo is the moniker of Aileen McKenna; a producer, musician, composer, vocalist and remixer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Aileen combines synths, vocals and the occasional sample to create low-tempo electronic soundscapes that are at times both ambient and uplifting through to angry and intense, but always engaging and intriguing. The depth of layers and detail within her work rewards repeated listening, always presenting something new to pick out with each play. This is not only a reflection of her training as a classical pianist but as a guitarist, a vocalist and her experiences with auditory-visual synaesthesia. Aileen’s work is reflective of her love of multiple genres, from singer-songwriters, her love of indie-pop and riot girl through orchestral works, traditional pieces and electronica which combine to make up the palate of This Ship Argo.

A prolific producer, her first album – “Kintsugi” – was released on 22nd January 2020 with the second album – “Always the Bees: Never the Honey” – exactly one year later on 22nd January 2021, and a host of standalone singles in-between. The inclusion of her track Isomer on Hannah Peel’s All Queens Mix on the Maryanne Hobbs show shortly after release, only serves to demonstrate her artistry with Peel saying “I love the dreaminess of this track”. Her work has also been championed in multiple playlists by Daniel Avery for both Apple Music (Underground Dance) and on Spotify, and has been included in short films and multiple compilations released in 2021 with more set for release before the end of the year and into 2022.

All work is recorded, mixed, mastered and produced by her in her home studio and is the result of McKenna’s dedication to her craft and a determination to be self-reliant. This extends to the creation of all her own artwork and accompanying videos, as well as visual accompaniments for live-streams during lockdown. This work earned her a place as a finalist in the Best Album category of the Northern Irish Music Prize 2021 as well as a spot in the NI Electronic Workshop: an initiative run collaboratively between Hannah Peel, Start Together Studio, The Oh Yeah Centre, Northern Ireland Screen, Tonn Recordings and the legendary Analogue Catalogue recording studio in Northern Ireland.

Supported by Film Hub NI, part of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from National Lottery.

Teddy Thompson – Heartbreaker Please Tour

Rescheduled from OTL 22 with an additional show added.

Following the release of his critically acclaimed album, Heartbreaker PleaseTeddy Thompson kicks off a UK tour with a special concert in the Black Box as part of this year’s Out to Lunch.

Recorded in Brooklyn and written and produced by Teddy, Heartbreaker Please sees the critically acclaimed artist at the top of his craft, serving up the medicine of resignation with sweet, catchy satisfaction. “Here’s the thing,” Teddy sings frankly on his new album, “you don’t love me anymore. I can tell you’ve got one foot out the door.” From its opening track, Thompson’s new album reckons with the breakdown of love with a wistful levity as satisfying as it is devastatingly honest.

From a young age, Sam Cooke, Hank Williams, Chuck Berry, and the Everly Brothers made up the bulk of his listening and you can hear that ache in his voice. After releasing his self-titled debut in 2000, Teddy went on tour as part of Roseanne Cash’s band.

Since then he’s released five acclaimed albums, collaborated with good friends Martha and Rufus Wainwright, contributed to numerous tribute projects, and produced albums for Americana singer-songwriter Dori Freeman, Shelby Lynne, Allison Moorer and his mother, Linda Thompson.

Doors 30 mins before the show | 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.

Join our mailing list to keep up to date with festival news, events and early ticket releases.

View Our Privacy Policy

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