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Culture beat – March 13

16:27 13/03/2013

Join in Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations, enjoy electrifying comedy and embrace fine art and antiques.

Get ready to dress in green and dance a jig in a double celebration for the Irish community in Brussels this weekend with Saint Patrick’s Day coinciding with Ireland’s presidency of the EU Council. The latter’s cultural programme joins the Irish Film Institute and Flagey to present the film concert Irish Destiny. The first full-length feature to be made in Ireland in 1926 is directed by George Dewhurst and set against Ireland’s War of Independence. Now restored, it is accompanied here by the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia, performing an original score. We have five pairs of tickets to give away; see our Facebook page.

Warming up the Irish proceedings are trad-folk performers The Bonny Men at Muziekpublique on Wednesday. Since forming two years ago, the young seven-member band have made a name for themselves on the Celtic music scene and excel at live performances, with a modern, distinct sound and strong vocals, in both English and Irish.

For a visual display of Irish culture pop into the free art and photo exhibition Cork meets Brussels – Brussels meets Westport at Halles Saint-Géry until April 28. Other Irish-themed events will take place during the exhibition organised by the non-profit Irish in Europe Association. 

Standup World’s upcoming dose of British humour sees award-winning Essex comedian Terry Alderton at Théâtre 140 on Saturday. The comedy circuit regular, who also presents on TV and radio, delivers a risqué and improvised show in his manic style. Warming up the evening is fellow Brit Carey Marx, who blends dark humour and mischievous fun. Pre-show Indian buffet available. 

Coming together for a charity concert are the Cambridge Consort of Voices and Orchestre de la Chapelle des Minimes under the direction of La Monnaie choirmaster Piers Maxim at the Royal Chapel of the Protestant Church. Two works by Handel (As Pants the Heart and Dixit Dominus) are performed alongside Vivaldi’s Gloria in a Baroque programme. The concert is organised by the Lions Club Uccle Kauwberg and Innerwheel Bruxelles Brussel Breughel.

Hoping to capitalise on the professional art pack descending on the Benelux for TEFAF Maastricht (see below) is Eurantica Fine Art Fair, in Brussels from Friday until March 24. This year the fair is highlighting young talent: masterpieces by skilled craftsmen and artists’ first paintings. The fair has 120 exhibitors, mainly Belgian, but also French, Dutch, German, Italian, English, Spanish and Portuguese. 

Brussels’ biggest English bookshop Waterstone’s is increasing the number of its literary events aimed at the international community. Authors Stella Duffy, Gearóid MacLochlainn, Kapka Kassabova, Christopher Meredith and Rachida Lamrabet will do a meet-and-greet on March 21 at 15.00. The book signing session is part of the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference. The same day at 19.00, political authors Richard Corbett and Anthony Teasdale discuss the future of the European Union, Britain’s place in Europe and their books The European Parliament and The Penguin Companion to European Union. 

Explore the animal kingdom in miniature with this brief new exhibition for children, Bébés animaux at the Natural Sciences Museum from Thursday to Saturday. Designed for three- to eight-year-olds, it shows how 75 varieties of baby animals survive from birth to independent life. 

Outside Belgium

Maastricht is always worth a detour, and especially so over the next 10 days when the Dutch riverside city is transformed into a global art hub with dealers, academics and critics arriving for the art and antique fair TEFAF from Friday until March 24. Some 260 antiques and art dealers from 20 countries will be there. In addition to old masters and antique works of art there are sections devoted to classical, modern and contemporary art, jewellery, 20th-century design and works on paper.


Written by Sarah Crew