Familiar faces from the arts in Fermanagh including Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar will take part in the unique and exclusive Inside Outside Festival, bringing together an eclectic programme of performances, participatory events and discussions directly into your home.

Local professional dance company Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre (DQDT) is leading the way in exploring innovative and creative ways for artists to engage with people during the current Covid-19 crisis.

Artistic director, Dylan Quinn commented: “At these challenging times we need to be creative in our thinking and in our actions and we hope to inspire that. There is also a lot of content being made available online for people to watch and download, however we are missing out on the collective experience of attending a venue together.

“Whilst we can’t do that in the current situation, we wanted to try and recreate that feeling by curating an online festival, where you can connect not just with the performances, but also with each other all from the comfort of your own home. To this end we will be giving guidance to audience members on how to experience specific performances. These suggestions will range from having a beer, a glass of wine or a cup of coffee in hand and taking a comfortable seat, to positioning yourself under the stars or in a darkened room. The festival aspires to create the sense of attending an event, despite being at home whilst still experiencing the creativity.”

Accessed via a range of social media platforms and managed though a new dedicated website www.insideoutsidefestival.com, Inside Outside Festival will run online from the May 22 to 24.

Platforming over 12 dance, music, drama, visual art, spoken word events/performances, the inaugural festival brings together new and exclusive work by local and international artists. The line-up includes familiar faces such as Adrian Dunbar and John Kelly, as well as local theatre makers Kat Woods, Patrick McEneaney and Fermanagh based artist Helen Sharp.

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter, Adrian explained that he will be reading some of Frank Ormsby’s poems: “Frank was born in Irvinestown and went to St. Michael’s, he is a central and significant figure in Ulster and Irish literature both as a poet and curator. He taught all his life at Inst and I’ve had the pleasure of reading his poetry recently at Castle Coole.”

Whilst showcasing work from artists with long standing connections with DQDT and Fermanagh including Jenny Ecke, Andy Garbi, and Vasiliki Stasinaki and leading Irish performers Ryan O’Neil with Maiden Voyage Dance Company and performer Liv O’Donoghue. You can enjoy uplifting traditional music from local musician Jim McGrath on Friday, May 22, and DJ Aidy Kelly will host a Skin Town disco on Saturday, May 23. The festival will come to a reflective closing with a collective sharing of Arvo Pärts, incredible Miserere on the watch2gether platform.

The diverse programme will include a range of engaging participation events including social discussions and a unique participatory dancing event ‘Dance on your Doorstep’.

Working with local community organisation Devenish Partnership Forum ‘Dance on your Doorstep’ will encourage as many people as possible to join together to dance at 4pm on Friday, May 22. A short dance routine to the hit ‘Dance Monkey’ has been created to ‘perform on your doorstep’ DPF leaders will be supporting community members of the Devenish Ward to ‘bust some moves’. You too can take part, simply by viewing the video and learning the dance routine on the DQDT and Inside Outside Festival Facebook pages.

The festival will be hosting the first of a number of discussions as part of the Dylan Quinn Dance Theatres programme ‘Conversations NI’, exploring issues around democracy and political representation in Northern Ireland. Experienced facilitator, Dr. Helen McLaughlin will lead discussions that seek to develop a more detailed understanding of and confidence in questioning the way people in Northern Ireland are represented. On Saturday, May 23, the festival will host a discussion exploring the issue of a Basic Universal Income.

The full festival programme i available via www.insideoutsidefestival.com. You can follow the Festival on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The festival has been supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland though The Rural Needs Small Grants Programme.