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What's On in October

30 September 2016



In October the Linen Hall Library marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with the exhibition Shakespeare Lives Through Sir Kenneth Branagh on Stage and Screen which spotlights NI actor Branagh’s Shakespearean roles using archive material from Queen’s University Belfast and the Linen Hall’s Theatre and Performing Arts Archive.

We’re always reminded to take a moment to stop and smell the roses. Northern Ireland artist Sorrel Wills does exactly that with her art exhibition Serenity in Landscape launching in the Library on 5 October. Looking for the exceptional in the ordinary, her series of oil paintings captures moments of pure serenity.

The October schedule in chronological order:

Shakespeare Lives through Sir Kenneth Branagh on Stage and Screen

3 – 28 October / Exhibition / Free
Belfast-born Kenneth Branagh is now an international star of stage and screen. In this exhibition, marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, we look at the trajectory of Branagh’s classical acting career using material from the McClay Library at Queen’s University Belfast and from our own Theatre and Performing Arts Archive. This is part of the Ireland-wide programme of events entitled Shakespeare Lives Across the Island: Conversations and Celebrations.

Irish Language Classes

Free Irish classes for all levels:
Improvers begins Monday 3 October at 4.15pm – 5.15pm
Advanced begins Thursday 6 October at 4.15pm – 5.15pm
Beginners begins Friday 7 October at 4.15pm – 5.15pm

Serenity in Landscape

5 October -  30 November / Art Exhibition / Free
NI artist Sorrel Wills studies moments when beauty is noticed in ordinary everyday places and activities. Working in oils, she explores the pleasures of depicting sunlight and shade with loose brush strokes showing an appreciation of colour and contrast.

Lost on the Titanic: The Story of the Great Omar with Dominic Riley

Saturday 8 October at 12 noon / Talk / Free
The Great Omar was the most elaborate and opulent binding ever created and took a team of craftsmen over two and a half years to finish. Unfortunately, it went down with the Titanic. Today bookbinder Dominic Riley tells the fascinating tale of the Great Omar.

Shakespeare: Here and Elsewhere

Thursday 13 October at 2pm / Workshop / Free
Professor Mark Thornton Burnett MRIA, Queen’s University Belfast, heads a workshop on Shakespeare in film and popular culture, and looks at the popular Game of Thrones TV series as a hyper-adaptation of Shakespeare.

Prospero’s Prison

Tuesday 18 October at 2pm / Read Through / Free
The Educational Shakespeare Company reads through Prospero’s Prison, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Ulster Nurses, Medics and Volunteers in the First World War

Wednesday 19 October at 1pm / Lecture / Free
Kicks off the first in a series of three Belfast Somme 100 lectures. Dr Johanne Devlin Trew from Ulster University reveals stories of local medical staff and volunteers whose work during the Frist World War did much to improve healthcare.

The Star Man

Wednesday 26 October at 1pm / Book Launch / Free
Belfast-born journalist Conor O’Clery launches his new book that tells the story of William Kean, a journalist and rebel in the 1790s. Historical figures of that time, such as United Irishmen Wolfe Tone, Henry Joy McCracken and Thomas Russell, make appearances in this new fiction.

Linen Hall Reading Group

Thursday 27 October at 1.10pm / Discussion / Free
All are welcome to join in the discussion and debate of the selected title of the month. Cakes and Ale by Somerset Maugham is October’s chosen book.

Halloween Fancy Dress Storytime and Rhyme

Saturday 29 October at 11am / Children’s Event / Free
Get your ghoulish gowns on and come celebrate the ghostly season with us. There will be readings from favourite terrifying tales and prizes for best dressed guests. Suitable for 4 – 7 year olds. Families welcome.

Pictures and interviews are available on request. Contact Linen Hall Library PR and Marketing Officer Rachel Wetherall at or Tel: 028 9032 1707.

The Linen Hall Library, one of Belfast’s oldest charities, is open free to the public.
Our opening hours are Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm, and Saturday 9.30am – 4.00pm.