LOCAL folk are in for ‘Giant’ treat as the largest outdoor event of its kind ever staged in the province comes to Belfast this weekend.
The show features a cast of over 500, but for Glengormley woman Natalie Thompson, and 17 others, it will be the biggest night of their lives as they perform in front of an audience of 18,000.
The world class show, Land of Giants, is a remarkable event which features state-of-the-art animation, spectacular aerial performances, a bespoke musical score and poetry as well as stunning pyrotechnics during its 45 minute run time at the Titanic Slipways on Saturday, June 30.
Aerialist, Natalie Thompson, 38, who will perform some of the breath taking stunts on the night said: “I am one of 18 specially trained performers taking the CAFÉ course, Circus Arts for Employment, run by Belfast Circus School. The full time course is free of charge and gives me invaluable access to the best professional trainers from around the world as well as a place to train to help me learn more about my trade.
“We have had expert tuition from some of the most talented people in their field, something that wouldn’t have been possible without Land of Giants and Belfast Circus School. The skills I learn on the course will be on full view during the show and with 18,000 sets of eyes on me the pressure will be on to make every lesson count.”
The epic show celebrates the many giants in the shared and diverse history and society of Northern Ireland - including the population as being ‘giant’ in terms of ideas, talent and heritage.
Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver, the legendary Finn McCool, Harland and Wolff’s Samson and Goliath, the Titanic and the Giant’s Causeway are all iconic giants referenced throughout the performance.
Will Chamberlain, Director of Belfast Circus School and consortium member behind Land of Giants said: “Land of Giants will be a truly magical once-in-a-lifetime experience for people who come to see it but the lasting skills legacy felt throughout the performance, outdoor arts and events sectors will have an enduring impact on the arts in Northern Ireland for many years to come. The CAFÉ course alone will result in 18 new professional artists thanks to the funding from Legacy Trust UK and Leverhulme Trust to deliver this training.”
Land of Giants brings £750,000 of funding from Legacy Trust UK into Northern Ireland and as the show makes local artists, suppliers and up-and-coming production professionals central to its delivery the resulting legacy will be a better skilled and more confident workforce.
Cian Smyth, Cultural Olympiad NI Creative Programmer said: “Land of Giants is one of the most ambitious contributions by Northern Ireland’s arts sector to the London 2012 Festival celebrations. The Belfast Circus School is a really exciting arts organization - funded by the Arts Council, it inspires people to get involved in the arts and offers people an opportunity to learn valuable skills and be part of something very special.”
Tickets to Land of Giants, which cost £10 for an adult, £6 concession and £28 for a family, are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre with the option of booking online at www.gotobelfast.com, via telephone on Tel: 028 9024 6609, or in person at the Welcome Centre in Belfast’s city centre.
Learn more about Land of Giants via their Facebook page, facebook.com/landofgiantsni, Twitter account @landofgiantsni – or their website, www.landofgiants.info