Published: 9th May 2019

Theatre stars to bring Jimmy Ellis’ story to life for Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival


Evening performances of Jimmy Ellis: Home Again are set to be one of the highlights of this year’s Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival. The shows will be held on the 25th and 26th May 2019 at 8pm in Titanic Belfast’s Andrews Gallery.

The film is an auto-biographical reflection of the late actor’s family home and life working at the docks during his childhood in East Belfast.

It stars Stuart Graham – The Fall, Hunger – and Katie Tumelty – Fly me to the Moon, Divorcing Jack – who play Jimmy and Jimmy’s mother Tilly, and local actors Christina Tedders, Conor McFarlane and Oliver Stevenson who play his sister Eileen, younger Jimmy and various characters.  It has been adapted by novelist and director of the Seamus Heaney Centre, Glenn Patterson and is produced by Blunt Fringe.

Jimmy Ellis: Home Again combines poetry and live music to recreate and celebrate Jimmy’s family and the characters who informed his own life as well as the lodgers who inhabited the house at Park Avenue during the war years, and his family’s work at the docks.

Jimmy Ellis has long been held in fond esteem in Northern Ireland, and by everyone who knew and worked with him. He paved the way for many actors from Northern Ireland to be recognised in the wider world stage and his own story adds to the narrative of Belfast as an immensely rich artistic hub.

Long-time friend of Jimmy’s Adrian Dunbar said of the piece: 

“The great Marlon Brando once said that Nostalgia is the most powerful drug of them all. I can only imagine the powerful spell the works and voice of Jimmy Ellis will have on those lucky enough to attend Jimmy Ellis: Home Again.”

Claire Murray from Blunt Fringe said:

“We feel very privileged and excited about bringing Jimmy’s words to life in this way with the help of his widow Robina and other people who knew and admired him, and surrounded by the history of Belfast’s maritime which was such an important part of his childhood growing up here.”

The Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival is delivered by Belfast City Council in partnership with Titanic Foundation with support from Tourism Northern Ireland, Belfast Harbour Commissioners, Titanic Belfast and Titanic partners.  This year the three day event aims to attract over 100,000 visitors to Belfast’s iconic heritage waterfront throughout the day and into the evening.

Kerrie Sweeney, chief executive of Titanic Foundation, added:

Jimmy Ellis: Home Again is part of a new exciting approach to programme local arts, culture, music and food into the Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival.  It’s set to be a busy weekend along the Maritime Mile and we look forward to welcoming local residents and international visitors to celebrate our wonderful maritime heritage.”

Tickets are £15pp and include light refreshments. For booking details click here

For the full festival programme download the official Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival app