Belfast, my home city, has just honored one of its favourite sons, Sir Kenneth Branagh, by giving him freedom of the city. In what can only be described as a rare instance of Northern Irish Politicians agreeing on something, the city council unanimously voted on Monday night to honour the actor and director.
In response he had this to say: “I thank Belfast City Council for their generosity, and please know that I will continue to shout aloud to the world at large about the many amazing developments happening in the place I am proud to call home.”
Born in 1960, he left us at age 9 to move to England, he still considers Belfast to be part of himself. As someone who proudly calls this city home I think Mr Branagh said it best with:
“I’m proud to say that you can take the boy out of Belfast, but you can’t take Belfast out of the boy.”
Though Sir Kenneth Branagh is a recognized in the world of cinema he is still very fond of his theater work, if you ever visit the gorgeous lyric theater in Belfast you will see a painting of him there, in honor of his service to our arts. Few people realise this about Belfast but we have a very serious and deep art scene that sadly is over looked, one that runs deep within our blood. If you are looking to see more of Sir Branaughs talent then I suggest seeing this summers Dunkirk, maybe you want something a little more classical then check out Henry V – I know its Shakespeare but do not role your eyes dear reader for his performance here is outstanding. As a director he wowed us on more than one occasion especially with Thor, a film most people kind of wrote off, yet he came to it and made it something special, something worth watching. He also did the Audible release for Heart of Darkness and this audiobook is definitely worth a listen, a great story furth accentuated by Sir Branagh’s amazing performance. As a city we can hold our head with pride because here is someone who is no ashamed of his Belfast heritage.
Speaking of the city Kenneth proclaimed: “It gave me a profound sense of family, a magnificent landscape to play in, and a Belfast sense of humour that is a constant boisterous reminder to never take yourself too seriously.
All I can say is Sir Branagh your always welcome in Belfast.