Tag Archives: arthur magee

The missing slaves of Belfast

Olaudah Equiano - one of Belfast's more famous visitors.

Question: What have Liverpool, Bristol and all sorts of other places got that Belfast hasn’t?

Answer: A corporate history of slave trading.

Hurrah! One shameful pursuit into which we did not dive. Continue reading

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, friends, history, life, Music

Irish mysteries

Actor Brian Kennedy who plays The Lover, Bassanio in the Fringe Benefits Theatre production of The Merchant of Venice. That'sBelfast City Hall he's posing in. This version of the play is set in 1912

I’m just back from an intriguing week in Ireland. (Where I met some people you may know – more on that below – with a pic.) But the whole place was unexpectedly mysterious.

I’m not talking about leprechauns or the absence of snakes. These are modern mysteries.

1. Fat people. Where are they all hiding? Continue reading

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Trust

The internet is a terrible place… scary… red in tooth and claw and packed to the gills with trolls, scammers, spammers, backbiters, fakers and bigots of many persuasions.

Or so I was warned.

And no doubt they’re out there.  But so far I’ve been lucky in those I’ve encountered – the other members of the Loose Bloggers Consortium being a case in point. (The rest of them are also writing about trust today – links to their blogs are further down the right hand column.)

So, in the light of the naiviety, gullibility, trust that has grown up between me and other people who exist on the internet, I’ve gradually revealed and had revealed to me (ahem, no, not like that – we’re not talking webcams here) details about our personal lives.

And taking a step further, I’ve trusted and some of them have trusted, to actually meet offline in meatspace, (like Padmini for instance).

Which is what I want to do again, this month, in Belfast.

If any of you – and yes I am thinking of you in particular GM – fancies meeting on the evening of Sunday 15th April at Arthur Magee’s Walk Round Belfast For People Too Lazy To Walk, then he and I will see you upstairs in the Garrick bar (haunt of Thackery & thespians since 1870) on Chichester Street  near the front of the City Hall. There’ll be Continue reading

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Titanic Town fever

It must be catching, this Titanic fever. There’s no escaping it on telly or in the news. Here’s my contribution…

In other words – enough already. We built it. It crashed. It sank. Continue reading

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Filed under history, life

Thank you Culture Northern Ireland

Thank you Culture Northern Ireland for giving me a £100 Amazon voucher (for winning a writing competition completing a survey). And thank you Gerry Anderson and politician Gregory Campbell for helping me spend it. Well, to be more precise – they had a row. But Continue reading

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There’s more to Belfast than peace walls

Arthur Magee - Ambassador of the humane to humanity

How could you not love a face like that? It’s playwright and tour guide Arthur Magee. He has a bee in his bonnet about the type of tourism that goes on in Belfast – sometimes called “terror tours”. You know the sort of thing – here’s the Falls Road, here’s the Shankill, here’s where he was shot and she was blown up.

Anything wrong with it? Maybe not. Can be educational, even respectful. And it’s clearly part of the history and undeniably internationally known. I’ve even done it myself in an informal way for foreign mates who, to my surprise, had studied Northern Ireland at college. Odd to think of yourself as a laboratory specimen.

But though Norn Irn’ers have been known to revel in their notoriety and believe – or demand – that the world revolves round them (“Never mind the fall of the Berlin Wall – what about the Apprentice Boys wanting to march across the Ormeau Bridge!?!) – you can imagine that it can become tiresome to feel that visitors see you solely in the context of the Troubles. A bit like being in a zoo too. In the cage.

Brendan Deeds - writer

Which is why Arthur Magee has come up with an alternative Continue reading

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