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Belfast festival gets under way

Queen's University, Belfast
Image caption The Belfast festival at Queen's begins on Friday

The annual Belfast Festival at Queen's gets under way on Friday, with ticket sales already exceeding £300,000.

This year's festival runs until Saturday, 30 October.

Highlights include Colin Bateman's first ever play, National Anthem, a talk by Michael Palin and the Ulster Orchestra performing with Paul Brady.

NI rockers Therapy? will showcase their Troublegum album and Grammy award-winning musician Mary Chapin Carpenter will also be in concert.

Other events include the National Theatre of Scotland's production of the army drama, Black Watch, and Alan Bennett's play The Habit of Art.

There will also be talks by the broadcaster Jenni Murray, politicians Paddy Ashdown and Peter Hain, and novelist Roddy Doyle.

Festival director Graeme Farrow said organisers had been "overwhelmed" by the number of ticket sales already.

He added:"Covering everything from the war on terror, to feminism, espionage, teenage suicide but also magic, circus and comedy we aim to provide audiences with a unique opportunity in Northern Ireland to see such world-class performances and productions."

More information is available at the festival website.

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