In this section:
  • News


Prepare to be enthralled, entranced … perhaps even a tiny bit bewildered!

For one incredible, never-to-be-repeated night, the art and traditions of India will cast their exotic spell over Belfast as the city hosts the vast and vibrant ‘Nine Nights’ production inspired by age-old Indian folklore.

On October 24th a giant animated tiger will stalk downtown Belfast, accompanied by hundreds of torchlight bearers and the soul-stirring sounds of fifty-four Indian Dhol drummers beating out dramatic rhythms in preparation for a never-before-seen combination of dance, music, pyrotechnics and special effects inspired by Diwali, the ancient Festival of Light. Presented by Northern Ireland’s leading ethnic arts group and Belfast Mela producersArtsEkta, together with the creative team from the internationally acclaimed outdoor arts company Walk the Plank, ‘Nine Nights’ will be one of the most ambitious and spectacular free outdoor arts events ever staged in Belfast City Centre: an event guaranteed to delight the senses, challenge perceptions and ignite the imagination.

It’s a one-off event that will appeal to the entire city, according to Nisha Tandon, Director of ArtsEkta. She says, “For many of us the story which has inspired ‘Nine Nights’ is a much-loved classic, but even if you are completely unfamiliar with Indian culture, you will certainly be able to follow the narrative and the evening will make for a spectacular introduction not only to the Diwali festival, but also to the music, dance and rhythms of India. The story is a celebration of creation, birth and renewal, marking the start of new journeys, hopes and aspirations - a message which is particularly relevant for the city of Belfast"

Nisha added, "The event is the outcome of a creative journey which we have shared with schools, communities and local artists right across the city, in line with the visionary objectives of the Creative and Cultural Belfast Fund. We are immensely grateful to Belfast City Council & the Arts Council for supporting ‘Nine Nights’ right from its community roots, to the creative involvement of outdoor theatre makers Walk The Plank, culminating in the staging of the amazing world-class event in Belfast City Centre."

Nick Clarke, Artistic Director of Nine Nights said: “Nine Nights is live storytelling on an epic scale. As well as using the more traditional forms such as theatrical narration with live actors and performers, City Hall and its grounds along with the local participants taking part in the show, become a key part in telling the story of Nine Nights”

The evening will begin with an 800-strong costumed procession departing from Custom House Square at around 7pm, making their way to Belfast City Hall where the show of approximately one hour will include original music, dance, lighting effects and dramatic pyrotechnics. The show is free of charge and no tickets are required.