The Lord Mayor of Belfast and Miss Northern Ireland, Meagan Green are just two of the high profile names that will help to paint the town purple next month, when Belfast City Hall hosts a glamorous charity ball in aid of Northern Ireland Hospice.

The glitzy Violet Ball, hosted by the Lord Mayor of Belfast Máirtín Ó Muilleoir will take place on Saturday March 29 at Belfast City Hall and will include an exclusive live performance by one of Ireland’s most successful singers, Brian Kennedy.
Organised by the NI Hospice’s Belfast to Boston Marathon team, who will run the Boston Marathon this April in aid of the charity, it is hoped the Ball will raise over £25,000 to go towards the building of a new state of the art adult hospice at Somerton Road, Belfast.

Guests at the event hosted by the Lord Mayor will include Miss Northern Ireland, Meagan Green, Olympic gold medallist Dame Mary Peters and boxing legend Barry McGuigan, to name but a few.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has been a strong supporter of Northern Ireland Hospice during his year in office. Commenting on the plans for the gala event, he said:

“The Violet Ball is shaping up to be a fantastic evening and I am very much looking forward to hosting the event at Belfast City Hall, which will be a suitably grand setting for such an occasion.

“This charity has supported so many families throughout Belfast and the Violet Ball is a great opportunity to give something back to this wonderful organisation, as it strives to raise vital funds to rebuild its adult hospice at Somerton Road.”

The Violet Ball will begin with a drinks reception at 7pm, sponsored by Samuel Adams Boston Lager and healthy energy drink ‘Little Big Shot’, followed by a four course dinner in Belfast City Hall’s Great Hall and a headline performance from Brian Kennedy.  Popular Belfast venue, The John Hewitt will run a bar for the evening.

A charity auction and ballot on the night will see a range of fantastic items up for grabs, including a guitar donated by Snow Patrol and high value pieces of boxing, rugby and golf memorabilia, which will be auctioned in aid of NI Hospice.

The exciting event is the brainchild of the four-strong NI Hospice Belfast to Boston Marathon Team, which includes Stuart Kennedy, Peter White, Boston native, Eileen Jack and her husband, Daniel.

Commenting on the inspiration behind the glamorous event, Stuart Kennedy said:

The Violet Ball promises to be a night to remember, with unforgettable entertainment, food and drinks,  all set within the incomparable surrounds of Belfast City Hall.

“In addition to running the Boston Marathon in aid of Northern Ireland Hospice this April, we hope to raise £25,000 from the Violet ball to help the charity on the road to building its new state of the art adult hospice.”

Joanna Pawson, fundraising and marketing manager for the Northern Ireland Hospice added:

“We are so thankful for the support of the Lord Mayor of Belfast and our incredible Belfast to Boston marathon runners for their support in creating this wonderful event.

“Initiatives such as the Violet Ball will raise vital funds to help to turn the dream of a new Northern Ireland Hospice at Somerton Road into a reality.”

As part of their wider fundraising efforts, the NI Hospice Belfast to Boston Marathon team are also organising a 5k Between the Bridge run in June to help raise even more funds towards the rebuild of the Northern Ireland Hospice.

Tickets to the Violet Ball cost £100 each or £1,000 for a table of 10. For further information on the Violet Ball, visit www.nihospice.org or call 028 9077 7123.

From Landfill to Living Room

From garbage to garden or landfill to living room, it’s amazing what can be done with the usually cast-off! Although many of us now embrace recycling to some degree, landfills are still home to many discarded but useful items.

The free to visit Waste Not Want Not – Landfill to Living Room event (noon-five) at Ards Leisure Centre on Saturday 8 March, plans to challenge visitors to consider making their living rooms home to intercepted or reclaimed items. A dedicated swap shop invites members of the public to bring small pieces of furniture, bric-a-brac, curtains etc. to swap with others at the event. Electrical items, toys and larger furnishings such as beds and settees are for obvious logistical reasons not included. Sources for the swap can be auction pieces, car boot finds or simply something on skip row.

Organiser Gill McNeill said, “An example of the increasing market for previously discarded useful and necessary items, is the current demand for wooden pallets. To some they are either landfill or wood burner fodder once they have fulfilled their function.  But in other countries this is seen as an expensive waste of resources when they can be turned into polished wooden floors, furniture and cabinets.”

“As well as keeping cost down and providing jobs, valuable hardwood previously buried or mulched is now perceived as a quality, value-added product with potential for profit. It’s not just wood but rubber, vinyl, glass, metal, and paper are fast exiting the waste stream and becoming resources on the commodities market for repurposed products.”

Well-known Northern Ireland recycling-based retailer, restore will also be at the event to explain how they are meeting the ongoing task of up-cycling and repurposing everything from bicycles to furniture.

The organisation’s PR and Events Officer, Cathy Megahey said: “We love to encourage people to get creative with second hand furniture. For as little as £1 plus some DIY input and a tin from our salvaged paint range, smaller pieces can be transformed into bespoke additions that would look good in any living space.”

“Our restore shops in Belfast, Antrim, Larne and Ards sell pieces of refurbished furniture from small coffee tables to dining room sets, wardrobes and suites with a range of prices to suit everyone.  Call in and have a look at some of our items to get your creative juices flowing.”

As an added incentive, a free to enter competition to find the best repurposed or

up-cycled item saved from landfill will launch at the event. Visitors can enter the ‘Skip the Skip’ competition by emailing a a ‘before and after’ photograph of what has been saved from the skip to wnwn@takesplace.info – live from Sunday 9 March 2014.

Prizes for the best creations include a £250 IKEA prize voucher, a refurbished chair from restore and two composters from Ards Borough Council Waste Awareness. The competition closes on Friday 23 May 2014.

So if you want to help conserve forests, reduce waste, recycle valuable resources, and have a little fun in the process, it’s so simple – just reuse those curtains or that old piece of furniture!

A free make and take recycled craft is available for children and for adults, plenty of common sense advise from a number of exhibitors.

Waste Not Want Not – Landfill to Living Room is supported by Ards Borough Council, Ards Borough Council Waste Awareness, East Belfast Mission/restore and the Ards Chronicle.

It’s a Total Stitch Fest – New Alternative Craft Show Celebrates Handmade in Ireland!

A new craft event for Ireland will be taking place in Belfast for the first time on Sunday 9th March, when TOTAL STITCH FEST – THE ALTERNATIVE CRAFT SHOW appears at the Ramada Plaza in a big celebration of all that is handmade and unique. Brought to you by the creative folks behind Frock Around The Clock, the new event aims to bring together a community that fosters a burgeoning handmade and DIY culture, and will be the perfect place to shop for one-of-a-kind goods made right here in Ireland, in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere with designer makers who exude a special energy.

TOTAL STITCH FEST will feature a curated marketplace of around 60 designer makers and artisans from all over Ireland who combine new and traditional craft techniques to produce fresh, innovative work not found at mainstream craft shows. There will also be sellers of craft supplies, various craft demonstrations running throughout the day, a Designer Fashion Exhibition by UNIFY, and a fantastic competition to enter. As a nation who lament the loss of our manufacturing heritage, it is time to make amends – forget mass produced and head to TOTAL STITCH FEST for the best in local and Irish handmade products for you, your family and your home!

Creative Director Becky Moore says ‘the idea for TOTAL STITCH FEST was born out of the growing success of the handmade element of our Frock Around The Clock Vintage Fairs over the last 5 years, and also the popularity of our craft workshops which we ran with textile artist Rosie Moore of Cut Out Doll.  Through this new event we seek to provide inspiration and learning to both a new generation of crafters and seasoned craft addicts, as well as a quality handmade shopping experience which features Irish creative talent. Our commitment is to showcase the best and brightest in indie craft and design so TOTAL STITCH FEST is aimed at shoppers who seek niche and handmade products in opposition to mass produced items, and all handcrafted products available at our Alternative Craft Show will be made by Irish crafters, designers and artisans. With the growing interest in buying local we hope to encourage socially-minded consumers to boost the local economy by purchasing unique gifts handcrafted in their own community and by connecting with the people who made them’.

The craft marketplace will include suppliers of craft materials such as Abacus Beads, The Textile Studio, Simply Spun, and Fine Fish Yarns as well as many designer and artisan stalls selling a wide variety of high quality, unique handmade products including clothing and fashion accessories, furniture, home décor & soft furnishings, art & photography, jewellery, gifts, toys, artisan foods, bath & beauty products, candles, and much more! Exhibitors will include Ewe Sir, specialising in giclee prints, greetings cards and felted original artworks of native Irish wildlife, Petite Jou Jou, creator of unique toys and baby accessories, Vintage Aggy and Molly, selling gorgeous one-of-a-kind miniature teacup dolls, Purls of Colour, creating unusual handknitted accessories using natural fibres, handspun yarn and fabric strips, B-Louise, specialising in crocheted fashion accessories, birds and upcycled lampshades, Colour and Cloth, with handmade designs in scarves and cushions created from naturally hand-dyed textiles, Smudge Illustration, showcasing beautiful textile artworks produced from recycled fabric and thread, Junk Jewels, an upcycling duo who create a variety of funky upcycled items including old suitcases turned into chairs, and Koko Designs, architects of handpainted silk lampshades, scarves, notebooks and bags.

TOTAL STITCH FEST will also include a Designer Fashion Exhibition by Belfast-based collective fashion studio UNIFY. A collaboration between designers of different disciplines, the exhibition will include cutting edge designs in fashion, bridal wear, millinery and jewellery from exciting young designers including David Henderson, Shaua Fay, Kiera Ann Marie Phillips, Marie Claire Millinery and Melanie Bond Jewellery. Visit www.unifyni.com for more details.

The event will also feature various craft demonstrations running alongside the craft marketplace throughout the day. Visitors will be able to see designers and artisans in action, demonstrating many crafts including spinning, fabric strip knitting, appliqué, fabric flower making, wet felt making, fashion upcycling, and much more. Some demonstrations will be interactive giving visitors the opportunity to ‘make and take’ a small something away with them. It is the perfect opportunity to meet the makers in person, and talk about their handmade goods and creative processes.

Visitors to the event will be able to enter a free draw for the chance to win a collectible Irish wildlife print from Cork based textile artist Molly Ellis of Ewe Sir, and 2 runners up will each win a pack of wildlife cards. Specialising in needle-felted illustration, appliquéd textile art, and native irish wildlife, Molly’s foxes, deer, and badgers are all made with a unique fusion of contemporary and traditional felting techniques. She also makes all her Giclee prints from start to finish and, by using archival paper and pigment, the prints are often mistaken for the originals.

TOTAL STITCH FEST – THE ALTERNATIVE CRAFT SHOW will take place from 12-5pm on Sunday 9th March 2014 at Ramada Plaza, 117 Milltown Road, Shaws Bridge, Belfast BT8 7XP.  Admission costs only £5. More information on the event and the exhibitor list can be found at frockaroundtheclockvintagefairs.com and facebook.com/frockaroundtheclockvintagefairs.


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (February 24 – March 2).

  • Lislea Drama Festival, Lislea Community Centre, Lislea, Newry, Co. Down, runs until March 8.  Lislea Drama Association presents their 33rd Drama Festival welcoming groups from all over Ireland with performances including the Lislea Dramatic Player’s production of Neil Simon’s ‘Odd Couple’. 

  • Queen’s GAA Festival, Upper Malone, Belfast, runs until March 22.  Enjoy the action of the first intervarsity GAA festival of its kind as Queen’s hosts the Sigerson, O’Connor, Fitzgibbon and Ashbourne Cups at their Upper Malone facilities as well as a programme of social events off the pitch.
  • Birds of Iceland Talk, St Macartin’s Cathedral Hall, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, February 25.  The RSPB Fermanagh Local Group, who actively supports the work of the RSPB within the community, will host a Birds of Iceland talk by Jim Wells.

  • All Shook Up – The Music of Elvis Presley, Millennium Forum, City of Derry, February 26-27.  Inspired by and featuring songs from the King of Rock’n’Roll, this hip-swivelling, lip-curling musical fantasy will have you jumping out of your blue suede shoes

  • An Evening with Mark Hix, Cultra Inn, Cultra, Co. Down, February 28.  Mark Hix is one of London’s most eminent restaurateurs and for one night only, the celebrated chef brings you a set four course menu with wine and chats about his food at your table.

  • Belfast Nashville Songwriter’s Festival, Various, Belfast, February 28 – March 9.  Celebrating its 10th year, Belfast will come alive to the sound of over one hundred singer-songwriters from Northern Ireland and across the world, from Americana to Blues & Rock, Country and Traditional Folk.
  • Wendy Jack Acoustic Show, Ranfurly House Arts & Visitor Centre, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, March 1.  A local singer-songwriter and recording artist, Wendy is set to perform new material as well as some classics as she takes her audience on a journey through a magical world of ‘Fairies’.

  • Cultural Crossings 2014, Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre, Limavady, Co. Londonderry, March 1.  Louisiana-born Sarah Savoy will perform with a top Cajun dance band, playing both guitar and washboard along with her humourous chat and easy Southern charm she is set to captivate her audience.
  • Planet Aliens, Armagh Planetarium, Co. Armagh, March 1.  A family show telling the story of the Planet Aliens and the wonderful world they come from, with a uniquely designed set along with props, puppeteers and local actors that will teach children about the stars, planets and the cosmos.  
  • Spring Walking with Cowper Lynas, Londonderry Arms Hotel, Carnlough, Co. Antrim, March 1-2.  A weekend of spring walks led by qualified Mountain Leader Cowper Lynas as you explore the local Glens of Antrim area.  

Here are Jacqueline’s pick of family events taking place this weekend across the North.


Come and spend February half term with WWT Castle Espie and discover the world of endangered animals through the endangered race game; a game of drama and excitement as you take on the role of an adventurer travelling the globe to save endangered wetland animals (11-1pm and 2-4pm drop in).  Follow the endangered trail out of doors to discover the 9 hidden animals and an amazing fact about each one. Join Wild Bill Kookaburra as he sets about repairing our Bug Hotel and has a look to see what wildlife is about the place (drop in between 11-1pm and 2-4pm each day).  Or try your hand at an endangered animal craft (drop in session between 11-4pm).


Dungannon Film Club present Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on Saturday 22nd February at the Dungannon Arts and Visitor Centre, (Hill of the O’Neill, Ranfurly House) 2.00pm.  Admission only £3.


On Thursday 20th February, Tom Kelly Promotions present AL GRANT- A Celebration of the Life and Music of Jim Reeves with special guest Isla Grant Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen at 8pm.  Now established as one of the biggest attractions on the Irish and UK concert scene, Al Grant presents a unique insight into the Life and Times of Jim Reeves to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of his death. Renowned for his classic interpretation of Jim Reeves songs with unerring similarity to the voice of the ‘Great Man’ this promises to be a wonderful evening.


The Bridewell in Magherafelt are hosting a children’s knitting workshop on Saturday 22nd February from 10.30 am to 11.30 pm. Suitable for children from 7 to 12 years of age.


LCM Promotions present  The International Voices of Country Music at the Armagh City Hotel this Sunday 23rd February.  Featuring from Nashville, Collin Raye.  Wiith special guests Billy Yates & Roly Daniels.  Why not stay the night and enjoy some top class Armagh hospitality!


Disney’s classic tale Beauty and the Beast is brought to life in an enchanting new production directed and narrated by Mr Hullabaloo with a talented cast drawn from Theatre at the Mill’s Youth Theatre. This new production reveals the story of Belle a beautiful young French woman and the Beast who is really a young prince trapped in a spell by an evil enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved then the spell will be broken. Although time is running out for the Prince, if the curse is not broken, he and his household will be forever doomed.  This tale as old as time includes your favourite songs from Disney’s Oscar nominated, animated classic film.  Tuesday 18th – Saturday 23rd evenings 7pm.  Wed- Sun matinees 2.30pm.  Signed performance Thursday 20th.


Join NIPRA for a five hour paranormal investigation aboard the SS Nomadic on Friday the 21st of February, from 7pm to midnight.  Get ten or more of your friends and family together for a private night on the ship.

Youth Scheme a Bright Idea!

Young entrepreneurs will be given a chance to start their own business at a unique ‘Ideation Camp’ on the following dates throughout the areas of Ards, Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Down and Newry & Mourne postcode areas.

12.02.14 ; Newtownards – Ards Art Centre 6-9pm
18.02.14 ; Banbridge – The Old Town Hall   6-9pm
20.02.14 ; Armagh – Armagh City Hotel  6-9pm
25.02.14 ; Downpatrick – Down County Museum  6-9pm
26.02.14 ; Newcastle – Newcastle Centre, Central promenade  6-9pm
04.03.14 ; Newry – Hub Business Centre, St Colman’s Park 6.30-9.30pm
05.03.14 ; Craigavon – Craigavon Civic & Conference Centre  6-9pm
The Bright Idea Youth Entrepreneurship Programme is an innovative business start up programme which is being funded by Craigavon Borough Council and five partner councils. The scheme will encourage innovation and entrepreneurship and motivate potential business owners in the 18 to 29 age group, to think and act positively to get their business idea off the ground. The Ideation Camps are being held to help participants experience and develop skills that can increase the relevance, scale and impact of their business ideas. To register your place to attend an Ideation Camp log on to www.brightideani.com.
Find us on Twitter : BrightIdea NI https://twitter.com/brightideani
Bright Idea Facebook ; BrightIdea Programme for Youth Entrepreneurs https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bright-Idea-Programme-for-Young-Entrepreneurs/149144255266757
This project is part financed by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland, and the local authorities of Ards, Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Down and Newry & Mourne. Invest Northern Ireland works with individuals, companies and organisations in manufacturing and tradable services which show the ambition and commitment to grow by being more innovative, more entrepreneurial and more internationally focused.


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (February 17 – 23).

  • The 1975 in Concert, Ulster Hall, Belfast, February 17.  The popular alternative rock/indie band will bring their unique sounds to the Ulster Hall.  

  • Rustic Furniture Workshops, An Creagan, Co. Tyrone, February 17 – March 10.  Making rustic furniture is a traditional craft brought up to date using modern tools and fastenings.  The workshops will take you through the stages of designing and creating a simple garden gate using natural recycled materials.

  • Endangered, Castle Espie Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre, Co. Down, February 17 – 21.  Come and spend February half term with Castle Espie and discover the world of endangered animals through games, crafts, trails and stories.
  • Fabrics revamped with Sam Mercer, The Burnavon, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, February 19 – 26.  Learn how to shape, form and stitch beautiful and totally unique accessories using pieces of fabric you have at home or even discarded items of clothing.

  • A Taste of India, Belle Isle Cookery School, Co. Fermanagh, February 20.  This course is a must for people who love Indian food, cooked authentically.  It will steer you through the careful balance of spices that make up the fabulous flavours that India has to offer – a far cry from your local takeaway.
  • Tribute to the Stars, Millennium Forum, Co. Londonderry, February 21.  The UK’s official number one Abba tribute band, Revival, will take audiences back to the disco days.  Revival’s world renowned Abba stage show will guarantee to get everybody dancing to some of the world’s most famous pop tracks.
  • A Helping Hand for Wildlife, Murlough National Nature Reserve, Dundrum, Co. Down, February 22.  A hands- on day with the rangers building bird boxes and bug hotels to take home with you. 

  • Stand Up Man, The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre, Co. Armagh, February 22.  This play by Derek Murphy starring Tim McGarry and Nick Hardin, follows its protagonist over one week, as he journeys back and forth between his audience and his family.  Thaddeus is one joke away from total mental destruction and one wife away from owning all the land he ever dreamed of, a burial plot.

  • Jason Byrne – Comedy Night, The Alley Theatre, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, February 23.  Jason is the biggest ever selling act at the Edinburgh fringe festival and is one of the most exciting live performers you will ever see.

  • Ards Arts Book Club, Town Hall, Newtownards, Co. Down, every third Wednesday of the month.  Are you an avid reader? Ards Arts runs a book club for those passionate about sharing their reading experiences in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  Members take it in turn to suggest a suitable book to read and to generate conversation around the ‘book of the month’.

Here are Jacqueline’s pick of family events taking place this weekend across the North.


The popular “Sale on a Rail” event by The Style Fair returns this Saturday 15th February from 2pm to 5pm at Holywood Old School. Even more fabulous nearly new high end and designer fashion for you to buy on the day at up to two thirds of the original price.  Lots of top brands from the top end of the High Street as well as desirable designer labels. Tantalising rails from daywear to formal and chic to casual.  The only event of this kind in Northern Ireland entirely dedicated to pre-loved  and luxury recycling. So be sure to come early for the best choices!


The Craic Theatre is set to host a dark comedy with a difference as Stand Up Man by Derek Murphy prepares to take centre stage on 16th February following a two week run at the Grand Opera House’s Baby Grand theatre.  Stand Up Man follows Thaddeus McGuinn, played by Nick Hardin, a stand-up comedian who is one joke away from a mental breakdown. Disgraced ex-altar boy, Thaddeus, is about to face his toughest audience ever, his own sins. The play focuses on Thaddeus over one week, as he journeys back and forth between his audience and his family.  Well known Northern Ireland actor, comedian and TV personality, Tim McGarry will play a main role as Thaddeus’ alter ego as he visits his past and admits the errors of his way. This will be McGarry’s first serious theatre role after a successful, long-running career in comedy, radio and TV.


Enjoy a romantic paddle round Enniskillen Island with your loved one – together release a chinese lantern as you sip complimentary “bubbly” under the full moon on Friday 14th February from 6.30pm-7.30pm at Lakeland Forum, Enniskillen. Booking essential with Share Discovery Village.


On Sunday 16th February 2014 visit the stunning Belfray Hotel for the Perfect Bliss Wedding Fayre from 2pm-5pm. Meet with the staff from the Hotel & discuss your requirements for your Special Day. Browse through the services and products available from the suppliers in attendance.  Catwalk show from 4.30pm.   Admission is free.


From the producers of ‘A Viennese Strauss Gala’,  Magical Mozart by Candlelight is a sumptuous fully costumed show that will immerse you in the wonderful music and the classical baroque world of one of the world’s greatest romantic composers – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  With beautiful settings, costumes and lighting, and of course candles, the European Baroque Ensemble and singers transport you back to the sumptuous past. An evening of classical music and song, which includes excerpts from Mozart’s Operas including ‘The Magic Flute’, ‘The Marriage Of Figaro’, ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’, and much. Also the European Spirit Ensemble will perform some of his most memorable pieces of Mozart’s magical music. Enjoy this evening of Mozart masterpieces at the Market Place Theatre on Thursday 13th February.


Looking for some Gothic Horror/Romance this Valentine’s Day? Make your way to the Valentine Drive-In Double Bill Experience at Ballee Playing Fields Ballymena on Friday 14th February featuring My Bloody Valentine (1981) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992).


If you are looking for the ‘PURR-fect’ date this Valentine’s Day, why not come along and join in the fun at Belfast Zoo? You and your Valentine can enjoy special animal feeding times and learn more about animals in love at the keeper talks.


The Market Place Theatre in Armagh is set to host two new dramas, both produced by and featuring Northern Ireland talent.

Terra Nova’s new play, ‘Arrivals’ focuses on the incredible lives of Northern Ireland’s newest citizens. A cast of characters criss-cross the globe to land in Northern Ireland; searching for love, for marriage, for refuge, for work, for passion, for friendship, for inspiration, for a new beginning.

Six of Northern Ireland’s most exciting local writers were given free rein to work with six local and international actors and six members of Northern Ireland’s new multicultural communities to create a tapestry of interlocking stories; all offered to you in a single night of theatre. ‘Arrivals’ is something altogether new from the Company that exploded onto the stage last year with ‘The Ulster Kama Sutra’. ‘Arrivals’ will be staged on Friday 21st February at 8pm. Tickets are priced £10 each.

‘Stand Up Man’, stars Tim McGarry [BBC’s ‘Blame Game’ and ‘Da’ in ‘Give My Head Peace’], and follows its protagonist over one week, as he journeys back and forth between his audience and his family.

People see stand-up comedian Thaddeus McGuin differently. His son would like to see him gone, his wife would like to see him dead, and his audience would prefer not to see him at all. Disgraced ex-altar boy Thaddeus McGuinn is about to face his toughest audience ever, his own sins. Thaddeus is one joke away from total mental destruction and one wife away from owning all the land he ever dreamed of, a burial plot. ‘Stand Up Man’ will be staged on Saturday 22nd February at 8pm. Tickets are priced £12 each, and can be booked by contacting the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at www.marketplacearmagh.com

And to keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/marketplacearmagh) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mptarmagh) where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.

Join us at Castle Espie for Encounters of the Endangered Kind..

Come and spend February half term with us and discover the world of endangered animals through, crafts, trails, games PLUS help us restore Castle Espie’s very own bug hotel.

Activities kick off on Saturday 15th February with our annual bird box building workshops. This is the time of year when most of our garden birds are pairing off and on the lookout for nesting sites so let’s all give them a helping hand and make them a nest box.  So come along to our popular drop-in nest box building workshop and under our expert guidance you can make your very own box.  The workshop is suitable for all ages from toddlers to the retired. Extra charge applies £5 per box. Starts at 12.30pm and runs until 4.30pm and will take place on both Saturday and Sunday.

Kicking off on Monday 17th and running until Friday 21st February join us for ‘Endangered’ which consists of games of drama and excitement as you take on the role of an adventurer travelling the globe to save endangered wetland animals.  Follow the endangered trail out of doors to discover the 9 hidden animals and an amazing fact about each one.

Join Wild Bill Kookaburra as he sets about repairing our Bug Hotel and has a look to see what wildlife is about the place (drop in between 11am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm each day).

Or try your hand at an endangered animal craft in the centre (drop in session between 11am – 4pm).

Events are included in cost of admission and free to WWT members. Adult £7.05, child £3.45, family (2 adults and 2 children) £19 and kids under 4 go free.

For more information on WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre, events and news please visit wwt.org.uk/castleespie, email info.castleespie@wwt.org.uk or call 028 91 874146.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter  @WWTcastleespie.