Now in its fifth year, the Pick ‘n’ Mix Festival is growing up.  It’s coming of age and getting its own room in the MAC – Belfast’s brand new arts venue.

Following the success of the first four Pick ‘n’ Mix Festivals, the MAC’s annual weekend-long festival returns this summer from 8-10 June bringing the very best in local music, theatre and dance.  Twenty one of Northern Ireland’s leading and emerging theatre and dance companies will stage forty five performances over the weekend in a jam-packed programme of mini plays, staged readings, dance performances and sneak peeks of brand new work.

With tickets priced at just £6, it’s the perfect opportunity for audiences in Northern Ireland to experience work by some of the finest local companies, alongside the hottest emerging young talent.

Chris Grant, who was once a member of the MAC’s youth panel and is now Creative Producer from Chatterbox Productions, a new company who are taking part in Pick ‘n’ Mix for the first time said:  “We are really excited to be taking part in Pick ‘n’ Mix 2012.  We’re a young company that has been going for just over a year, so this is the perfect platform for us to showcase our new work.  The play we are staging, The Man Who, is a brand new show written by BBC award-winning writer Seamus Collins and we’re really keen to see what audiences will make of it.  We’re also looking forward to catching lots of other performances during the festival and hopefully networking with some of the more established theatre companies.”

Gillian Mitchell, Director of Programmes at the MAC explains:  “The MAC is the home of independent theatre and dance in Northern Ireland and will continually play a key role in the development of the sector.  Pick ‘n’ Mix is a perfect example of this in action, where we showcase the most original, inspiring and often provocative homegrown theatre and dance on offer.  The festival is much loved by audiences and the arts sector alike, with its winning combination of unveiling exciting, brand new work alongside supporting the work of new and emerging companies.  We are thrilled to welcome the festival to its new, permanent home in the MAC.”

The eclectic Festival line-up includes a one woman short play, a live digital performance, an Irish language play, rehearsed readings, a dance workshop, a number of short plays and even a show specially designed for babies!  Each year, the Festival attracts a wealth of talent from companies across Northern Ireland who are keen to showcase their new work.

Damian Smyth, Head of Drama & Literature with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, one of The MAC’s principal funders, said: “The Pick ‘n’ Mix festival weekend has established itself as an annual ‘must-see’ and, this time, it brings the best in home-grown talent to the world-class venue that is The MAC. The diverse programme ensures that there really is something for everyone while the introduction of the ‘Ultimate Compilation’ package offers audiences the chance to experiment a little and try out the wide variety of high quality, contemporary performances from local up and coming talent. It’s not to be missed!”

Pick ‘n’ Mix 2012 runs at the MAC from 8-10 June. Individual performances cost just £6 per show, or audiences can book the ‘Ultimate Compilation’ ticket, to enjoy any 6 shows for £30. Tickets are available from themaclive.com or by phone on 028 9023 5053. The full programme can be viewed online at http://themaclive.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/PicknMix-Festival-Guide-2012.pdf