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Published on : Thursday, November 7, 2013
In just two weeks’ time, one of east Belfast’s most famous sons will be celebrated in a colourful week of song, drama, performance, readings, recitals, talks, tours and family events across the east of the city and beyond.
The inaugural C.S. Lewis Festival, which takes place from 18-23 November 2013, has been funded by Belfast City Council and marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the renowned author, theologian and academic who (perhaps) most famously wrote The Chronicles of Narnia.
Throughout the week, there will be events commemorating and exploring the legacy of Lewis and his close links to the city which so inspired much of his work.
Festival Organiser Wendy Langham said: “C.S. Lewis is one of those figures that everybody has heard of, but perhaps few realise that he was born, and for a time, was schooled in east Belfast. On the 50th anniversary of his death, the C.S. Lewis Festival seeks to discover and celebrate those connections and invite people to come on a journey with us across the east, and hopefully have a lot of fun in the process!”
Among the highlights of the C.S. Lewis Festival will be Lewis by Lamplight, an enchanted tour around the stunning grounds of Campbell College, the famous old school that Lewis attended in 1910. This will begin with the official switching on of the famous lamp which is said to have inspired the lamp in Narnia, where Lucy first met Mr Tumnus. Participants can then tour the grounds and be welcomed into the school itself to enjoy a warm mug of tea.
Campbell College will also play host to a reading of William Nicholson’s play Shadowlands and a screening of the acclaimed documentary Through Joy and Beyond, looking at the rich life and career of Lewis.The exhibition Through the Wardrobe by artist Jonathan Barry will take place at the Linenhall Library. This also includes some of Lewis’ personal correspondence and items from the Library’s own collection, which were donated by the C.S. Lewis Association of Ireland. The Over the Hill Collective presents the Jam Jar Sessions, also at the Linenhall Library – an evening of readings and music celebrating literature and cinema, focusing on C.S. Lewis.
A new C.S. Lewis Trail will be launched during the festival it will transport you through Lewis’ east Belfast and the landmarks that helped shaped the young Lewis’ life and work.