Anything But Bland


Anything But Bland: It was in 1910 ladies and gentlemen when ladies did not build and fly their own aeroplane's but Lilian Bland did and she was from Northern Ireland. This is the hairstyle of the day with a white blouse all designed by Clodagh Deegan (Custume Designer) at Dumbworld. This is me wearing my outfit. It has been a wonderful experience to perform at the Ulster Hall with composer Brian Irvine - a fantastic experience.

Anything But Bland is a celebration of Lilian Bland, a remarkable and inspirational young photographer, journalist, jujitsu expert, jockey and gambler from Carnmoney, Northern Ireland, who in 1910 became the first women in the world to design, build and fly an aeroplane. Despite having no engineering experience she built the Mayfly (because "it may fly or it may not"). Using a whiskey bottle as a fuel tank and her aunt's ear trumpet as an engine hose, the Mayfly flew for the first time in Randalstown. On the day of the flight Lilian insisted the farmer keep his bull in the field so that she "would have every inducement to fly." Anything But Bland is an exciting collaboration between Dumbworld, Northern Ireland Science festival and the Ulster Orchestra. It is performed by the Ulster Orchestra and a specially created choral group make up of 150 female singers (aged 7-75+) from all over Northern Ireland. Conceived and created by Brian Irvine and John McIlduff.


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