C.S. Lewis Festival returns to enchant East Belfast and beyond!

The White Witch of Narnia returned this morning to once again cast Edmund under her spell from a scene depicted in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia - this was all part of the launch of the C.S. Lewis Festival this morning at Belmont Tower.  This colourful celebration of one of Belfast’s most famous sons, returns next month for an extended weekend of theatre, tours, talks, films, storytelling and family events across the east of the city and beyond.

The second C.S. Lewis Festival, which takes place from Thurs 20 - Sun 23 November 2014, has been generously funded by Belfast City Council, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. It marks the 51st anniversary of the death of the renowned author, theologian, academic and creator of the incredible Chronicles of Narnia series.

C.S. Lewis Festival Launches(C.S. Lewis Festival 2014 officially launched at Belmont Tower this morning; L - R: The White Witch; Edmund played by Josh from Campbell Prep and Festival Organiser Wendy Langham)

Across 4 days of Lewis-related events will be reflections and assessments of the cultural significance of Lewis’ rich legacy, the impact he had on Belfast, as well as the strong influence his native city had on his vast body of work.

Festival Organiser Wendy Langham said:

“C.S. Lewis is one of those figures that everybody has heard of, but perhaps few realise that he was born, and for a time, was schooled in east Belfast. The 2014 C.S. Lewis Festival seeks to discover and celebrate those connections and invite people to come on a journey with us across the east, and hopefully have a lot of fun in the process!”

Some of the highlights of the 2nd C.S. Lewis Festival include the Great Story Quest which takes the award-winning Replay Theatre into local primary schools, a CS Lewis Bus Tour, where local Lewis expert Sandy Smith takes intrepid travelers on a very personal journey into the heart of Lewis’ Belfast. Campbell College – the young Lewis’ alma mater, and the inspiration behind the famous Narnia lamp, will play host to the C.S. Lewis Nearly True Tours, hosted by Young at Art, as children big and small are invited into a magical realm of exploration and adventure amidst the enchanted grounds of the famous college. There will be screenings including The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and the gripping documentary – The Man, The Myth and the Wardrobe, featuring an introduction from east Belfast director Moore Sinnerton.

Actor David Payne brings his acclaimed one man show An Evening with C.S.Lewis to the festival for the first time. Early-birds can enjoy the Narnia Breakfast at the Park Avenue Hotel. There’s also an opportunity to enjoy an evening with two experts who will expand your knowledge of Lewis the man and his meaning for today during C.S. Lewis- The Bigger Picture. This year’s Lewis at Lunchtime in the Ulster Hall, will have a timely focus on C.S. Lewis and the Great War.

St Mark’s Church, Lewis’ much-loved original place of worship, will be hosting a suitably seasonal Winter Wonderland Craft Fair and the Holywood Arches library will offer up a range of storytelling and creative writing workshops and displays for kids big and small.

Elsewhere there’s more creative workshops, screen printing and exhibitions throughout the east of the city!

The C.S. Lewis Festival runs from Thurs 20th - Sun 23 November. You can download the programme here: www.communitygreenway.co.uk/CSLewisfestival. Sign up to the C.S. Lewis mailing list. You can also keep up to date with the latest information via Facebook.com/CSLewisFestival and Twitter @CSLewisFest