Movie Review of the Week.

Welcome to our movie review of the week.  This week Chris has reviewed the Kings Speech for your reading pleasure.

  • Director: Tom Hooper
  • Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham-Carter, Guy Pearce
  • (****) 4/5

“The King’s Speech”; Tom Hooper’s latest oscar-baiting film tells a familiar tale of triumph in the face of adversity, elevated to the lofty realms of regality. Colin Firth is perfectly cast as Albert; his immaculate English reserve and stiff upper lip craft a warm and likable character. Albert ascends to the throne as George VI, in place of his brother David (Guy Pearce) who abdicates in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. The film opens with Albert addressing a crowd of many thousands at Wembley Stadium, he struggles to deliver the words the to an eager and expectant crowd. His crippling stammer is both hugely frustrating and a constant source of shame for the Duke of York. His wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham-Carter) looks on with a familiar pity. The voice of The King, especially in times of political instability and war, is vital in maintaining the faith of his subjects.

Firth inhabits the character of Albert with all the guile and subtlety that only an actor of his quality can. He characterises ‘Bertie’ with a short fuse and gentle vulnerability. Creeping insecurities borne from a childhood of teasing and torment. He has worked with the best speech therapists in hope of curing his condition. Physical therapy does not seem to be working. His loving wife Elizabeth comes across an intriguing character, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) – an Australian who claims to have a revolutionary and unique method of treating the condition. The relationship between the two is initially cold, with Bertie (as Logue insists on calling Albert, much to his annoyance) unsure of his approach. Logue tackles the emotional impact of Albert’s troubled childhood, and insists that the root of the problem is psychological and not physical.

The relationship between the two develops wonderfully throughout the film, the initial wariness and doubt of Logue’s practices soon abate – allowing an unlikely bromance to form. An enduring friendship that would last many years. Whilst witnessing Albert’s fight against his inner demons, an unlikely parallel crept into my mind: Rocky. The relationship between Albert and Lionel is broadly similar to that of Rocky and his trainer Mickey. Logue instills belief in the anxious monarch. He spars with Bertie throughout, jabbing and prodding to provoke self-acceptance and confidence. This new found certainty allows Albert to assume the role his father always hoped he would.

The emergence of radio broadcasting in the film mirrors the current technological revolution of today. The British Monarchy now has a Facebook page, showing their willingness to embrace modern methods of communication. The touching affects of Albert’s struggle and rise to the throne shape an uplifting story of human spirit, told in parallel as an involving history lesson.

Director Tom Hooper has scaled heights similar to his subject; from directing Byker Grove and Eastenders to a surefire Oscar nominated performance. His story is fully developed and visually beautiful, he makes full use of the grand backdrops and setting to wonderfully frame his images with opulent palaces and stately residences. The banter between Albert and Lionel is always witty and allows for an unexpected source of comedy. The film is occasionally very funny and the dialogue is consistently well written. An A-list cast of British supporting players rounds off the movie well, allowing the burden of focus to shift from Albert and Lionel’s odd-couple. Timothy Spall plays Winston Churchill, Michael Gambon is the ailing King George V (Albert’s father) while Derek Jacobi is Archbishob Cosmo Lang.

“The King’s Speech” is a well crafted drama of high quality. It is certain to garner Colin Firth an Oscar nomination and probably his first Academy Award. Characters who overcome personal defects to ultimately triumph are traditionally favourites of the Academy, most recent Best Actor awards have gone to characters with some form of affliction. Firth is likely to continue this trend.

2011 : A Film Odyssey is the movie review site of Chris Vaughan.

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Something Old… or Something New?

Quirky Weddings, the brainchild of two local entrepreneurs, Cate Conway and Saima Akram is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland to offer “brides to be” an eclectic mix of unusual yet remarkable ideas to help in the all important Wedding Day preparations.

Changing tastes, styles and trends have sparked a revolution in the wedding industry with more and more people looking for alternatives to the traditional approach.

The first Alternative Wedding Fair, organised by Quirky Weddings takes place on Sunday 13 February at the Black Box in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast.

With a name like Quirky Weddings, the fair could hardly be run of the mill. In addition to the usual exhibitors, there is also a Pecha Kucha Lite taking place.

Co-Founder Saima Akram explains, “We wanted an event with no pressure, no hard sell so we decided to add the Pecha Kucha Lite. Couples in attendance will see a series of 3-minute presentations from over 15 exhibitors. They’ll have a list of the names of the exhibitors and if they want to hear more, they tick the name on the list. We then pass their contact details and put them in touch. It’s a bit like a speed-wedding fair.”

Cate Conway also commented “To add to our alternative approach we are launching a wedding listings site with a difference. Our Facebook page is growing in popularity daily and our blog will be going live shortly. Northern Ireland has been crying out for something new. We’ve been inundated with enquiries from couples and suppliers. Couples can expect to see some very unusual offerings at the fair. We have been amazed at just what is out there and we know this is just the start!”

Movie Review of the Week : Blue Valentine

  • Director: Derek Cianfrance
  • Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
  • (****) 4/5

Sometimes there is no need for big setups or complex plot-lines, no twist in the tale or Hollywood happy ending. Often the most touching and affecting films are those that draw closely on real life, enabling the audience to relate on a personal level. Easier than it sounds, but the difficulty lies in casting actors with the bravery and raw talent to convey the authenticity of the everyday. Sometimes a straight line can be the hardest to draw. It is more technically and emotionally challenging to inhabit a character rooted in the normal, than say a psychotic ballerina or a stuttering monarch. The themes explored are free to resonate within each actor, allowing them to draw on individual experience to inform the performances.

“Blue Valentine” director Derek Cianfrance had the good fortune to cast two leading actors who are quickly establishing themselves as real and credible talents. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play Dean and Cindy, their developing and diminishing love story viewed in non-linear narrative; focusing on the inception and heartbreaking end of their relationship. They meet at 24, fresh faced and with a willing openness to love. Dean is a goofy romantic, he serenades Cindy with his ukelele while she dances for him in the street. Cindy, an aspiring student with hopes of a career in medicine is initially cautious of Dean, eventually giving in.

The films jumps between past and present, showing us how Dean and Cindy first met, how they fell in love and how Cindy fell pregnant. We flick back and forth between then and now; a present in which Cindy and Dean attempt to reignite the spark of the past. The broken time structure shows nothing of the 6 years in between, allowing us to develop our own understanding of each character. Dean is now slightly overweight, balding and drinks too much, while Cindy is overworked and overtired. They are unable to communicate without fighting, they pick out flaws in each other, imperfections that they probably found endearing at the start. Often they do not even need to speak to articulate the distance that has grown between them. Dean is a some time house painter and Cindy is working as a nurse. The unrealised potential that Dean has frustrates Cindy – who is ambitious and driven. The traditional gender roles are all but reversed, with Dean preferring to stay home and play with their daughter Frankie.

The film lives and breathes through the raw and honest performances of Gosling and Williams. Both characters are damaged and complex, it is the conflict in each of their characters that give them such depth and vulnerability. Dean is drifting into alcoholism and struggles to hold down a job, but he is a good father and loves his wife and child. Cindy can be selfish and cruel, but is also ambitious and smart – she wants the best for her family. Neither of them have done anything ‘wrong’, there are no affairs or violence – no big incident to incite their decline. Their relationship has become sour and bitter, the love that once was has slowly worn away over the years. In a heartbreaking final scene, Dean struggles to understand what went wrong begging “Tell me how I should be. Just tell me. I’ll do it. ” while Cindy repeatedly sobs “I can’t take this anymore”. There is no bad guy, there is no good guy. They are two people caught up in a terrible situation. The passion and romance of the early days replaced with resentment and disdain.

Cianfrance’s intimate direction is full of sharp focus close ups and he makes ordinary backdrops seem strikingly beautiful, soaked in faded colours. His trust in his actors to improvise certain key scenes allowed for a remarkable realism to exist, the couple seem so natural together – whether they are happy or not. The pain conveyed by Gosling and Williams is almost too much to bear, it is an emotionally draining experience. “Blue Valentine” harks back to the blue collar suburban realism of John Cassavetes, Cianfrance crafts a similarly taut examination of family – soundtracked perfectly by Grizzly Bear’s understated melancholy and ornate melodies. We Shouldn’t really care for Dean or Cindy, but the strength of their performance attracts you to their flawed characters. Gosling and Williams have matured into fine actors, capable of tackling characters of astounding depth. “Blue Valentine” is the rarest of films, a grown up tale of unflinching honesty that does not pander to melodrama or cliche. It is not a story of love found and lost, but of love endured; a love that slowly and painfully dies.

2011 : A Film Odyssey is the movie review site of Chris Vaughan.

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Ulster Museum calls intrepid explorers for overnight adventure!

Ulster Museum calls intrepid explorers for overnight adventure

Settling in for a night at the museum is Ciaran Bradley (left) with Rebekah and Alex Williams, as they experience the Ulster Museum by torchlight. Children aged between 7 and 11 years old and their families have the opportunity to enjoy a sleepover with a difference on Friday 28th January, to discover what Peter the Polar Bear and the Edmontosaurus Dinosaur get up to after the visitors leave. Tickets can be booked by calling 028 9044 0017 or visit for more information.

An adventure with a difference is promised when the first group of children stay overnight at the Ulster Museum this month.

Tickets are still available for the ‘Night at the Museum’ experience on Friday January 28th, which is open to children aged between seven and 11 and their families.

For anyone who has ever wondered what Peter the Polar Bear, Takabuti the Mummy and the Edmontosaurs get up to when the visitors leave the Ulster Museum for the night this is the perfect chance to find out!

But don’t worry, you won’t be alone as staff will be on hand to give you a torchlit tour of the museum and you will be entertained with reptile displays and craft activities before bedding down for the night.

Les McLean, Head of Operations at the Ulster Museum, said:  “This is the first time the new-look Ulster Museum will have members of the public staying overnight.

“We hope that by taking part in this unique and exciting experience many of our younger visitors will engage with and explore the Museum in a new way.”

The overnight stay at the Ulster Museum will start at 7pm on Friday January 28th and finish at 9.30am on Saturday January 29th 2011.

The cost is £39.95 per place. Please contact 028 9044 0017 during normal museum opening hours for information or booking. Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

For more information go to

Terms and Conditions

‘Night at the Museum’ is for children aged between seven to 11 years (P4 to P7). There must be a minimum of one adult staying for every five children. If the group contains male and female children an adult of each gender must be present.

Participants will take part in evening events including reptile displays and craft activities.

A light breakfast will be provided for all participants but it is advisable to also bring snacks.

The museum will be heated but those staying are advised to wear warm, comfortable clothing.

Participants will need to bring non-flammable sleeping bags and torches and will sleep in the Welcome Zone of the museum.

Featured Movie Review of the Week!

We are pleased to welcome on board guest film reviewer Chris Vaughan of 2011 a Film Odyssey .  Chris has undertaken to review 365 films in 365 days – no mean feat by any stretch of the imagination!

We will be selecting one review per week to feature on the whatsonni blog for our readers.  What we love about Chris’s endeavour is that his reviews are all encompassing  irrespective of budget, language or subject matter – not just the lastest releases but this week for example he has reviewed Conviction, The Searchers and The Last Exorcism. Chris has an obvious passion and enthusiasm for cinema – if you enjoy the reviews from 2011 : A Film Odyssey maybe you could even suggest/request a particular movie review?

Our choice this week is Chris’s review of The Searchers, a particular favourite of ours here at the whatsonni office. I personally remember watching this movie with my father as a child and if I see it on a listing I will still go out of my way to watch it over and over again.  Enjoy!

Confession time. This is the first John Wayne film I have ever seen. Pretty much the first Western I have seen too. It is a genre that has long put me off. Hammy acting and lazy scripting being my main demotivating factors. I had read a lot about The Searchers and had often seen it highly rated amongst not only Westerns but cinema in general. I have got to say I was pleasantly surprised. John Wayne is cast as the monumental Ethan Edwards. A mysterious character who has returned to his family home in a remote Texas outpost from The Civil War. Little is known of Ethan’s background, aside from his military history and deep knowledge of Indian language, tradition and culture. I had never appreciated Wayne’s dominating physical stature. The man his huge and his considerable frame makes for an intimidating screen presence.

Ethan’s family is ambushed by a wandering Indian tribe. His brother, sister-in-law and nephew are murdered, while the family’s two young daughters are kidnapped. The young girls are to be assimilated into the Indian tribe. And so goes a now familiar tale of kidnap and revenge. A more contemporary theme of racial tension is tangible throughout. Groundbreaking for the time in it’s measured exploration of cultural identity. Director John Ford portrays equal acts of bloody brutality from both sides. A posse of locals is soon rounded up to form a search party. Ethan scours the isolated wilderness for years in search of his kin.

The film is hugely influential in refining the portrayal of the lone hero. Scorcese’s Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver is informed by the tortured loneliness of Ethan Edwards and Werner Herzog’s lingering landscapes are lifted directly from Ford’s Monument Valley. In fact it is hard to see movies such as Die Hard or Rambo existing if it wasn’t for this picture. However, despite it’s wide influence I felt that the scope of Ethan’s journey wasn’t conveyed effectively. Barren Texas desert moved to snowy river in one dated looking fade-out cut scene. The desperation of the search and its vastness could have been clearer. I had no feeling that 5 years had lapsed over the duration of his mission.

The Searchers is well worth a watch. I didn’t get as much from it as I thought I would. I looked on it more of a lesson in film-making than a riveting thriller. Perhaps I need to watch some more Westerns to fully understand the grandeur of this movie. It may well be the pinnacle of Western film-making, but for me it does not stand up to classics like The Godfather, Citizen Kane or Rear Window. For anyone into Westerns this is obviously a must see, for anyone interested in film-making please check this movie out to discover what informed some of the all time great directors and movies through the years.

2011 : A Film Odyssey is the movie review site of Chris Vaughan.

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National Trust invites local people to skip the gym and lose the Christmas weight – outdoors.

It’s an all too familiar feeling. What seemed like a good idea to have that third mince pie or extra serving of pudding a few weeks back has left you feeling sluggish and feeling the pinch around the waistband.  With the average person gaining 5lbs over the party season the National Trust is giving you the chance to shed some of your weight gain with a new month long, outdoor challenge.

The challenge builds on recent research by the University of Essex which shows that exercising in a natural environment boosts people’s physical and mental health more than going to indoor gyms, even in winter.  This suggests that the Outdoor Gym Challenge, which can be done anywhere – not just in the breathtaking outdoors places looked after by the Trust – could prove to be far more beneficial and less costly than signing up for New Year gym membership, 60 per cent of which are given up in the first six months.

Cycling at Castleward

Exercises in the challenge include power walking, tree press ups and ‘spotty dogs’ (on the spot step backs using opposite arm and leg).

In Northern Ireland the National Trust has an abundance of properties with perfect outdoor gyms.  At Castle Ward in County Down explore the stunning 820 acre walled demesne with walking, running and cycling trails. There’s a popular 3.2 mile running route and a 2.4 mile woodland route which is a good all over body workout as the terrain works every muscle and there’s plenty of scenery to keep the mind alert.

Rowallane Garden and Minnowburn both offer long walking trails and ample safe space to run and exercise in the outdoors.  Whilst on the outskirts of Belfast, Divis and the Black Mountain is a walkers paradise where you can combine a walk with a spot of geocaching- an outdoor activity in which you have to seek and find caches using GPS technology. There are four caches hidden in this dramatic, windswept landscape which take in the summit of Black Mountain as well as the National Trust visitor centre and a circular way-marked walk around the mountain.

Downhill Demesne

Or why not head to Portstewart Strand where many walkers and families enjoy the two miles of magnificent golden sands.  A super way marked trail at the top of the sand ladder meanders through 6,000 year old dunes to the river edge at the Bann Estuary.  The serenity of the estuary provides habitats for shelducks and other waders – a wonderful contrast to the wind and waves of the open beach.

Further along in County Fermanagh, Castle Coole and Florence Court both offer perfect outdoor gym spaces for walkers, joggers and keen runners.  Cyclists can also gather some speed at Florence court along the cycle trails on site.

Other key sites include;

  • Mount Stewart Co Down, where abundant walks await
  • On the North Coast, Downhill Demesne and Carrick-a-Rede to the Giant’s Causeway – coastal walks
  • Springhill – the perfect outdoor gym offering forest and acres of open space for all sorts of exercise
  • The Argory – with riverside and wider estate walks as well as cycle paths and trails to explore while burning off the calories

Jo Burgon, Outdoors Programme Director at the National Trust, said: “Enabling everyone to enjoy the outdoors is one of the core reasons why the Trust exists.   One of our founders, Octavia Hill wanted to bring peace and beauty into the lives of ordinary people, and she campaigned to save open spaces from development and to protect access across the UK.  Everyone across the region can enjoy an outdoor gym where a National Trust open space is nearby.  We have miles of coastline and countryside with many paths for walkers and those who enjoy the great outdoors.

Dr Jo Barton, a green exercise specialist with the University of Essex, said: “The effects of exercising outdoors in natural surroundings can be life changing.  This is because of the effect it has on your mood and levels of self-esteem.

Outdoor Gym!

“Mood is an integral component of daily life and strongly influences our feelings of happiness and how we cope with stressful situations.  Exercising in nature lifts your mood and boosts your self-esteem.  It also has immunising properties which helps you deal with future challenges more effectively.

“Research implies this is true regardless of the weather conditions, where you are, and how long you exercise outside.  Even a five minute walk outside to escape your work can reenergise you and restore your mental fatigue. This is even more important in winter months when daylight hours are reduced.  A short walk on a crisp winter morning can really lift your spirits and set you up for the day.”

The exercise challenge, devised by Somerset outdoor training company Eco Fitness which already runs exercise programmes at the National Trust’s Stourhead in Wiltshire, has been designed to ease people into an outdoors regime where exercise is more like fun then a chore.

Jennie Antell from Eco Fitness said: “We hope people will be inspired to just get outdoors and give our plan a go.  Weekend activities are fun and sociable and focused around exercising with friends and family, and in the week we want to encourage people to make effective use of their lunch hour and grab some time outside.

“No props or equipment are needed.  It really is easy to join in.  It’s just a case of wearing the right clothing and getting outside to enjoy the fresh air, whatever the weather.”

The Trust’s outdoor gym challenge marks the start of its five year focus on the Outdoors.  To follow the day-by-day plan, visit

‘Oh the drama – at Belfast’s New School of Performing Arts’

BSPA Patron Rachel Tucker with Artistic Director James Huish

Local singing sensation James Huish has teamed up with private equity group Loft Commercial Holdings LLP to secure funding to launch the new Belfast School of Performing Arts (BSPA).  The prestigious new school will be based at the home of the Belfast Operatic Company in their purpose built rehearsal facilities on Heron Road in the city and will focus on delivering fun based music, drama and dance classes for 6 to 18 years olds.

The teaching syllabus will focus on delivering structured training sessions every Saturday morning, developing key skills in the areas of dancing, acting and singing.  The school’s tutors and assistants will draw from a wealth of professional experience in their own specialist areas and, with the emphasis on ‘fun while we learn’, will help to develop solid foundations for anyone aspiring towards a career in the performing arts.  The school will run over three terms with students and tutors working towards a large live production of a popular hit show (details of which are still a closely guarded secret!).

Rachel Tucker, local girl and star of hit Andrew Lloyd Webber TV show ‘I’d do anything’, will be the schools inaugural patron. She is looking forward to running workshops with the students when her busy schedule allows her to make it back home to Belfast.  Rachel is currently based in London playing the lead role of ‘Elphaba’ in the West End’s award winning, critically acclaimed production of ‘Wicked’ (  Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire that re-imagined the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, WICKED tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two girls who first meet as sorcery students.

Passionate about the arts and, in particular, musical theatre, Rachel is hugely excited about the new school, which will give budding local talent the opportunity to hone their skills from an early age alongside some of the Province’s most respected professional tutors.

She goes on to say, “Northern Ireland is a culturally rich and diverse place which has over the years generated a wealth of talented actors and actresses who have shone on the global stage.  We should be embracing this heritage and encouraging and engaging young people to get involved in the performing arts from an early age.  BSPA represents a huge opportunity to really raise the bar and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to be involved.  James and his fantastic team should be commended for taking the initiative to establish such a valuable asset to help develop our very own home grown talent for the future”.

Artistic Director, James says, “Initially we are limited to just 75 places for the first term which will start in January 2011 and interest has been overwhelming with 65% of the slots already snapped up by eager young actors and actresses. We are also hugely excited to announce the Rachel Tucker scholarship which provides for a limited number of assisted places for low income families each term”.

In addition to the in house Saturday morning classes the BSPA team will also be out and about holding performing arts workshops in local schools and colleges.  The workshops are specifically designed to support the learning outcomes of the new A level performing arts syllabus and will focus on both the performance and technical elements of a production.  Head teachers are encouraged to get in touch for further information.

Connor Dinsmore from Ballymena based private equity group Loft Commercial Holdings goes on to say “We are fully committed to our investment in BSPA – not only will the new school fulfill a real supply gap in the local market place but it also represents a huge opportunity to engage, educate, encourage and properly equip young people who may wish to pursue a career in the performing arts.  We are really excited about the potential to scale this business up and are looking forward to supporting James, Rachael and the rest of the team”.

Anyone who would like more information or to register their interest is encouraged to go to the school’s website as places are quickly filling up.

All the latest news from the Alley Theatre!

2011 Spring news from the Alley Theatre

January 2011

Aladdin comes to Strabane

Panto fun is coming to the Alley as welcomes Aladdin and his crew for 5 nights of panto fun. Starring Gary Gamble as Widow Twankey and a host of top North West actors, this fun panto will entertain everyone from 3 to 103!
There is a limited run for the Panto at the Alley Theatre, so early boo

king is very advisable to ensure an enjoyable night’s entertainment in the palatial surroundings of Strabane’s state of the art theatre.

Can Aladdin achieve his dream of getting the Princess to fall in love with him?  Can Aladdin’s mother, Widow Twankey, successfully run a Chinese laundry despite the help of her accident prone assistant (and prospective boyfriend) Wishee Washee?  Can the evil Abanazar steal all the gold and riches or can our hero, Aladdin, put a stop to his uncle’s evil plans and ensure that everybody can live happily ever after?

The questions are simple but make sure you join in the fun as all will be revealed in the Alley Theatre with the production of “Aladdin – the Pantomime!” To book simply contact the Alley Box Office on 028 7138 4444 or book online by clicking here.

Do you have a child in P1 – P4?

Would your child like to star in the Alley Panto, Aladdin? We have some places on offer for P1 – P4 children who want to star in the panto, no experience required, just bags of energy!

If your child is interested, make your way to Melvin Hall, Strabane, between 5 p.m. until 6 p.m for an open call on Jan 3rd. Good luck!

Kintra returns for US success.

Almost 3 years after Kintra gave their first ever performance in the Alley, they make a welcome return to their ‘home’. 2010 was arguably Kintra’s most successful year so far when they made their debut performance in the United States at Milwaukee Irish Fest, the world’s largest Irish Festival.
With their unique blend of Irish and Scottish music, Kintra’s energetic and colourful stage show fuses the best of the traditional cultures on the island of Ireland, delivering ‘Two Cultures – One Sound’ with their inimitable contemporary slant. With extensive interest in Kintra from International festivals, a return to

the United States in the summer, and their debut album due for release in April, why not join them and help celebrate the start of their 3rd year in style! To book click here or contact the Alley.

Top Irish Medium returns to the Alley.

Though totally blind from birth Sharon Neill has developed a rare gift which she uses to give hope and proof to many that death is not the end. Having practiced clairvoyance for many years, Sharon is now a regular on TV and radio show across Ireland and the UK. Back by popular demand, catch Sharon at the intimate Alley Theatre for one night only, early booking recommended! To book click here.

New Spring Brochure out NOW!

Did you get your copy of the new Spring Guide? Well if you want to see what the Alley has to offer you this Spring, including some fantastic exhibitions, music, drama and comedy gigs, simply click here to download the NEW guide.

These are our truths

During 2010 Strabane District Council began a project with the post primary schools of the district, entitled “Understanding Our Present”.  This project involved training Year 10 pupils in creative writing and digital photography.

It was through these mediums the students were encouraged to explore themes of reconciliation. At the end of the project the students have left behind a wonderful legacy to share with the North West, a collection of stunning photography which offers a real insight into what it is like to be young and living in Strabane District.
“The students invite you to examine their world and perhaps through them examine your own views” commented Adrian Beattie from Strabane District Council. “This exhibition is a unique experiment in creativity and the works will stay with you long after the exhibition.”
This exhibition, which is free to attend, is supported by The Peace III Programme, managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the North West Peace III Cluster

And finally….

All New Years resolutions are made to be broken, so if you are around town…maybe buying yourself a wee treat, why not take a nip into the Alley’s new Cafe Horizon and spoil yourself more! From fantastic homemade scones with lashings of jam, chocolate cake or if you really want a health options meal, we have something to offer you on your day out in Strabane.

Upcoming Performances

  • Aladdin

Thursday 13 January 2011 Saturday 22 January 2011


  • Kintra.

Friday 28 January 2011


  • Sharon Neill

Saturday 29 January 2011


  • Cinderella Ballet.

Wednesday 09 February 2011


  • The Derry Boat

Tuesday 15 February 2011


  • Puckoon

Friday 18 February 2011


Featured Event

You shall go to the ball

Ballet Theatre UK’s new production of the classic ballet, Cinderella, tells
everyone’s favourite rags-to-riches story. Cinderella is tormented by her spiteful stepsisters and would do anything to attend the Prince’s glamorous ball. Rejected, upset and alone, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother intervenes and transforms her into a glittering Princess who shall go to the ball.

Join Cinderella on her adventure of daring magic, hansom princes, glass slippers, and see if she can find her ‘happy ever after”.

Wednesday 09 Feb @ 20:00 PM – 22:00 PM


The Derry Boat

Little John Nee is an unlikely gangster as he makes his entrance in The Derry Boat. Cued by a dissonant crunchy electric guitar chord, Nee, as Shugie O’Donnell, crashes through the door of a corrugated metal shack in a rumpled black suit and tiny sunglasses, waving a gun and toting a large suitcase.

This sets the stage for an unlikely roller-coaster ride that tells the funny but poignant story of the four generations of migration between Ireland and Scotland. The Derry Boat celebrates the strong and vibrant links which have existed between the North West and Scotland through the years

Tuesday 15 Feb @ 20:00 PM – 22:00 PM


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