Theatre at The Mill presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Theatre at The Mill in association with Mr Hullabaloo presents Disney’s Beauty and The Beast Jr.

The creative team responsible for the hugely successful pantomimes at The Courtyard Theatre bring Disney’s adaptation of a classic tale to life in an enchanting new production, directed and narrated by Mr Hullabaloo with a talented cast drawn from Theatre at The Mill’s Home Spun and Summer Youth Theatres.

Mr Hullabaloo and his team are established and popular children’s entertainers.  Hullabaloo’s collaborations with Newtownabbey Theatres include sell-out pantomimes at The Courtyard Theatre including Jack and The BeanstalkAladdinCinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, as well as his fairytale-inspired Tea Parties.  The principal roles will be performed by graduates of the highly successfully Theatre at the Mill Summer Youth Theatre and include Maria Sweeney acting the role of Belle, and Aaron Kavanagh, performing the role of Lumiere.  Members from Newtownabbey Home Spun Youth Theatre will also perform in this especially written junior version of the musical, and will feature in key supporting roles and as part of the main company.

Originally produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, Beauty and the Beast is a musical fantasy romance, based on the traditional French fairy tale of the same name by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont. One of the most popular and critically acclaimed musicals, Beauty and the Beast focuses on the relationship between the Beast, a prince who is magically transformed into a hideous monster as punishment for his selfishness, and Belle, a beautiful young woman who he imprisons in his castle.

The show that will be produced in Newtownabbey will feature all the popular songs including Academy Award winning title track Beauty and the BeastBe Our Guest and Belle, as well as additional songs written by Howard Ashman and Sir Tim Rice.

Newtownabbey Home Spun Youth Theatre School nurtures future stars of stage and screen with weekly tuition throughout their course, leading to exams and professional qualifications for members with ambitions to develop a career in theatre, and makes available to the Youth Drama School the opportunity to participate in a professional performance. The Youth Drama School most recently participated in Theatre at The Mill’s Christmas comedy Eternally Scrooged.

Speaking on behalf of Theatre at The Mill, Arts Centre Manager Bernard Clarkson said:

“I am delighted to bring such a wonderful show to audiences in Theatre at The Mill. Beauty and the Beast is a family favourite and a visit at one of our matinee or evening performances would be a wonderful treat over half time break, with opportunities to explore the Museum, Newtownabbey Walk and enjoy the lovely setting here at Mossley Mill”

Beauty and The Beast runs at Theatre at the Mill from 18 to 23 February. Tickets, which cost £15 & £13, can be booked online at or by phoning 028 90340217


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 10 – 16).

  • The Stray Birds, Black Box, Belfast, February 12.  Moving On Music is delighted to present The Stray Birds as they take flight in Belfast for the very first time.  Formed in friendship honed on the road, The Stray Birds sound is drawn from the richness of American folk music traditions, spun with a stirring subtlety and grace.

  • After Hours – Valentine’s Day at Titanic Belfast, Belfast, February 14.  Explore the amazing Titanic Belfast galleries, enjoy a theatrical performance which will bring the Titanic to life and relax in the atrium which will be transformed into a bar with live music.

  • Al Grant – Jim Reeves 50th Anniversary Concert, The Market Place Theatre, Co. Armagh, February 14.  Al Grant has established himself as one of the biggest attractions on the Irish and UK concert scene.  As 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the death of Jim Reeves, Al presents a unique insight into the life and times of Jim with a wonderful concert of classic hit songs.

  • Valentine’s Can-oo-dle, Share Village, Co. Fermanagh, February 14.  Looking for something special to do this Valentine’s Day? Why not enjoy a romantic paddle around Enniskillen Island with your loved one.  You will also release a Chinese lantern while you sip complimentary bubbly under the full moon.  
  • I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, Waterside Theatre, Co. Londonderry, February 15.  The Soda Popz is a sensational seven piece band featuring some of Northern Ireland’s top musicians and vocalists.  This show will pay tribute to some of the best-loved hits from the fabulous 50s and 60s as well as some modern tunes with a rock ‘n’ roll twist.

  • Magical Mystical Mill, Mossley Mill Civic Square, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, February 15.  Go on a fantastical adventure to a place inhabited by fairies and magical creatures.  Come see this other world come to life, as the magical characters tell their stories and reveal the enchanted world that surrounds the Mill. 

  • Horse Ploughing and Country Skills, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, Co. Down, February 15.  Watch the horses at work as ploughmen from throughout the country compete in the annual Folk Museum Ploughing Match.  Try your hand at straw rope making, horse shoe throwing or watch the skilled craftsmen.
  • American Wrestling Roadshow, Town Square, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, February 15.  The wrestling superstars will invade Omagh for a night that will leave your hair standing and heart pumping.  Cheer on your favourites but don’t be fooled there will be plenty of bad guys to keep you on the edge of your seat.
  • Flash Harry: the music of Queen, The Burnavon, Cookstown, Co.Tyrone, February 15. When it comes to a night of rock defining entertainment, there is no better tribute than Flash Harry.  Party to classic tracks including Bohemian Rhapsody, I Want To Break Free, A Kind of Magic and Radio Ga Ga – a guaranteed good night out.

  • Bird Box Day, Springhill, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry February 16.  Help to rejuvenate Springhill’s bird boxes, learn how to build your own nest and make some bird feeders to take home.  Watch while our staff and volunteers demonstrate how to make a bird box from scratch.    

Fall in love with National Trust places this Valentine’s Day

While romance is in the air, find someone to love this Valentine’s Day and enjoy time together at one of the National Trust’s special places.

Mount Stewart.

Discover somewhere different, fall in love with beautiful views and take a walk through centuries of romantic tradition at some of the most beautiful historic houses, gardens, coast and countryside in Northern Ireland.

Here’s a selection of the conservation charity’s top tips for romance:

Spend the day together

There’s nothing more important on Valentine’s Day than spending time together. Take the exhilarating rope bridge challenge at Carrick-a-Rede and enjoy a truly unique cliff top experience. Explore the basalt stone columns at the Giant’s Causeway or wander hand in hand through the inspirational gardens at Mount Stewart.

Think about the backdrop

A memorable day out needs a memorable setting. The breathtaking ruins of Downhill Demesne with Mussenden Temple perched on the cliff edge are guaranteed to capture the imagination. Or for a peaceful setting head to Florence Court in Fermanagh with its glorious walks set against the dramatic backdrop of mountains and forests.

Make a stay of it

Why settle for an afternoon out? National Trust holiday cottages are in some of the most beautiful places in Northern Ireland. Relax with a short break at Butler’s Apartment in Florence Court, enjoy coastal walks on the North Coast from Portbraddan Cottage or explore the cycle and walking trails at Castle Ward with a stay in Potter’s Cottage.

It doesn’t have to cost the earth

You don’t have to break the bank for a great day out. With an array of coast and countryside places across Northern Ireland, a stunning location may just be right on your doorstep. Enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Murlough National Nature Reserve, miles of golden sand and dramatic sand dunes at Portstewart Strand, and spectacular panoramic views over Belfast from Divis and the Black Mountain.

Find a quiet space

With extensive grounds on magnificent country estates, not to mention stunning walks on the coast and in the countryside, you can always find a secluded and romantic corner. Rowallane Garden is a world apart, with 52 acres of informal gardens to explore there’s plenty of space to find your moment. Or savour the peace at Castle Coole with a stroll around the lakeside walk and discover the wildlife that live in and around Lough Coole.

Fantastic flowers

From delicate white snowdrops to colourful winter gardens, you can see stunning displays of seasonal flowers at many National Trust places. The Argory and Springhill have some of the best displays of delicate snowdrops; much more memorable and impressive than any bouquet.

Give a thoughtful gift

Rather than something impersonal, pick up something special to remember your day. With a great selection of handmade delights and fine local produce, shops like the one at Mount Stewart or the Giant’s Causeway, are a great place to pick up a memento.

Further information on National Trust places to visit is available at  For further information on Holiday Cottages contact 0844 800 2078 or visit

Ulster Bank to hold Cookstown event to highlight £1 billion available for business

Ulster Bank is holding an event in Cookstown on 11th February to brief new and existing customers on accessing finance from £1billion available for businesses in 2014.

The ‘Ahead for Business’ event in the Glenavon House Hotel on Tuesday February 11 will focus on accessing finance, business planning and cash flow management. It will start at 7.30am with a sit down breakfast, and businesses can register their interest to attend at

Building on Ulster Bank’s existing supports for businesses of all sizes, the £1billion is available to both new and existing Ulster Bank customers and is open to all businesses who are seeking finance to support their growth plans in 2014.

There is evidence of business confidence growing, demand is increasing and more businesses are coming to branches to discuss their 2014 plans. Ulster Bank is delighted to be actively supporting businesses in all sectors and all sizes from micro enterprises to multinationals.

Ken Murnaghan, Head of Business Banking, Ulster Bank said: “In 2014 we are delighted to have £1billion available to help business as the real drivers of growth, employment and confidence in our economy. We know that many of our business customers view 2014 as a key year in terms of implementing growth plans, from introducing new products and services to expansion overseas and hiring additional employees. Access to funding is essential to ensuring they are able to fulfill these ambitions.”

Ken Murnaghan continued: “Our teams are looking forward to hosting ‘Ahead for Business’ events at five locations in Northern Ireland. We intend to use these to help local businesses develop their ideas, spark new concepts and highlight the suite of supports we provide to companies of all sizes.”

The event will take place at the Glenavon House Hotel on Tuesday February 11 and will start at 7.30am with a sit down breakfast. You can register your interest to attend at

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


Warrenpoint Pantomime Club present Sleeping Beauty in Warrenpoint  Town Hall from Monday 10th to 16th February at 8.00pm nightly and matinees at 3.00pm on 9th and 15th.


The hottest act on the Irish music scene, Nathan Carter and his band make a welcome return to Strule Arts Centre with performances on Wednesday and Thursday evening. Book your tickets now to avoid disappointment!


Maguiresbridge School of Highland Dance host their own Annual Highland Dance competition on Saturday 8th February 2014 in the Church Hall Drumgoon Road Maguiresbridge starting at 11.00am which attracts dancers from all over Ireland and Scotland. .


St. Columb’s Hall Derry Wedding Fayre, presented by Perfect Bliss Wedding Events, takes place on Sunday 9th February 2014. Situated alongside the Derry Walls the Fayre is open from 2.00pm to 5.00pm with a catwalk Show at 4:30pm. Complimentary Entry. Perfect Bliss are delighted to be presenting St Columb’s Hall Wedding Fayre, such an iconic building in the heart of the City of Culture.


Fascinated by bubbles? Then this workshop will blow kids minds as art meets science to create amazing pieces of art to take home. Join bubble artist Juliann McGowan at the bubble factory at the Market Place Theatre on Saturday morning and learn how to make bubble drawings and rubbings. Create bubble worlds in clear boxes and cosmic characters and decorate your bubble sculptures with sparkly shakedowns. Children will even try bubble printing and story boarding. Think this is all impossible? Take a journey into the world of bubbles and find out! All materials supplied including aprons and gloves. Please wear old clothes.


The Courtyard Theatre Picture House presents 101 Dalmations on Sunday afternoon at 2.30pm. A woman kidnaps puppies  for their fur, but various animals then gang up against her and get their revenge in slapstick fashion.


Fresh from its sell-out run in the 2013 West Belfast Festival where it had audiences rolling with laughter in the aisles, Baby It’s Cold Outside comes straight to the MAC with the finest of Belfast humour – a comedy play not to be missed! Runs until 9th February. Set in a snow-trapped and isolated cottage on the Black Mountain outside Belfast, this comedy tells the story of a bizarre love triangle.


‘A Night For Swingin’ Lovers’ is the perfect Valentine’s present and night out, – our annual and hugely popular treat from The PM Big Band.

They bring a classic mix of vocals and instrumentals from The Great American Songbook, including selections from Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and other legends from this ageless and ever-popular musical genre.

Adding a little spice, the band will flavour the evening with swing, R&B, and big band versions of some modern classics as well as pop standards from the past thirty or forty years, ensuring an evening of music to appeal to everyone.

‘A Night For Swingin’ Lovers’ will be staged at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh on Saturday 15th February at 8pm. Tickets are priced £12 each, and can be booked by contacting the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at

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