Seed sharing and plant swapping is at the core of the new exhibition, ‘Dispersal’, by artist Alice Clark, which will be on display in The Market Place Theatre’s Main Gallery over the coming weeks.

Alice intends to have an interactive event based round a greenhouse in the gallery whereby the audience is invited to bring seeds to the gallery and share stories of how they have nurtured them, where they came from and what they mean to them. These stories will be documented and mapped using elements of sound recording, photography and drawing. Over the course of the show the visual elements will change as more seeds, and the backgrounds to them, are added.

Alice Clark will be present from 1-4pm on Thursdays for the duration of the show Dispersal to continue the collection and exchange of seeds from the audience. The process is two way and audience participation is needed and very welcome. All transactions are free.

Continuing the outdoor theme, artist Sue Morris will bring her exhibition, ‘Up The Garden Path’ to the Theatre Foyer. Sue returns to the motif of the garden to explore notions of private and public space and the fractal nature of time. The installation consists of a series of mixed media works, including drawings, photographs and photomontages, supported by a sound piece with three elements – birdsong, the human voice and an electronic wall clock.

Both exhibitions will be on display from Friday 28th March until Saturday 26th April. Admission to both exhibitions is free. For further enquiries, please contact the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821.

You can follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/marketplacearmagh) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mptarmagh) for the latest information and video previews.

It’s a Jungle at The Courtyard Theatre

Riverbank Productions bring to life Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale ‘The Jungle Book’ at The Courtyard Theatre on Sunday 18 May with a delightful afternoon performance.

Lost in the Indian, man cub Mowgli is brought up by wolves and befriends Bhagheera the panther and Baloo the bear. Mowgli must avoid the playful monkeys, Shere Kahn, the dangerous tiger and Kaa the snake.

With original catchy, sing-a-long music, comedy and audience participation, four talented performers present a show guaranteed to please old and young alike, ideal for all the family.

Relive the magic of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’ on Sunday 18 May. Tickets for this adventure cost £8 and are available for this adventure online at www.thecourtyardtheatre.com or by contact Box Office on 028 9034 0202.

Tandragee 100 2013 – Information for Tourists

The Tandragee 100 is the largest National Motorcycle Road Racing Event in Northern Ireland. It is held early in the racing season, usually in the first weekend in May, and the circuit is located in County Armagh between Tandragee, Markethill and Armagh.

It attracts approximately 160 competitors which equates to approximately 300 entries from around the globe.  Spectators at the event number in excess of 10,000 and television audiences are also in the thousands.

The first Tandragee 100 took place on Saturday 19th April 1958 and has been one of the most popular events on the annual calendar, always attracting top-class entries and huge spectator attendances.  It was, on that first day, a 100-mile handicap race (thus the name) and over the 53 years it has run (with the exception of 1972, 2001 & 2010 when it was cancelled) it has evolved into the prestige event it is today.

It’s now a 2-day event with practicing on day 1 and racing on day 2.  There are various classes ranging from the support classes, the smaller 125cc bikes, through to the larger 1000cc bikes.  It’s a culturally inclusive event in that all types of people from differing countries, cultures and walks of life are involved as competitors, officials or spectators many of whom stay overnight in the local area.  The North Armagh Motorcycle & Car Club Ltd, which is affiliated to its governing body The Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre), co-ordinates approximately 800 volunteers to run the event.

There is a long tradition of sporting culture in Northern Ireland, not least of motorcycling.  Promoted by the North Armagh Motorcycle & Car Club Ltd, the Tandragee 100 has been held on the same course between Markethill and Tandragee in the shallow hills of County Armagh since 1958 and has now developed into the best National Road Race in Ireland, with winners that include all the big names from Creith to Farquhar, two generations of Dunlops, as well as County Armagh’s local motorcycling hero Philip McCallen.  It has been called a ‘mini TT’ by top riders with its mix of flat out blasts, narrow technical bumpy sections such as Cooley Hill Road, its fast sweeping bends and the 180 mph Cabragh Straight – the 5.3 mile course is a test of road racing unmatched by other national courses. It offers riders the chance to really ‘set up’ their bike for the NW200 or the TT.

This year, six-times World Champion and TT Legend Jim Redman will be taking part in the Parade Lap at the start of the event on the Saturday.

On Friday 2nd May 2014 the public roads that make up the course are closed from 3.30pm; practice starts at 4.00pm and the roads open again at 9.30pm.  On Saturday 3rd May 2014 the roads close from 10.00am; racing starts at 11.00am and the roads open again at 7.00pm.  This year we will have the following 8 separate races:-

A Open Race (201 –1010cc ) Non Championship 6 laps
B Junior Support Race (201/400/650cc/Supertwin machines) (Irish/Ulster Championship) 5 laps
C Supersport Race  (Irish/Ulster Championship) 6 laps
D Classic Race (a) up to 250cc (b) 251-350cc (c) 351-1000cc (Irish/Ulster Championship Race) 5 laps
E Lightweight 125cc Race/450cc Singles /SS400* (Irish/Ulster Championship) 5 laps
F Senior Support Race (401-750cc machines excluding 650cc/Supertwins) (Irish/Ulster Championship Race) 5 laps
G 250GP* & 650cc Twins* (Irish/Ulster Championship) 5 laps
H Senior Open Race “Tandragee 100 Race” (Irish/Ulster Championship) 7 laps

Entry into the race area is free, however, the Club do ask spectators for a donation (however big or small) and to buy a Race Programme which costs £10 Stg.  Access to grandstands costs £2 Stg on Friday and £5 Stg on Saturday.  Parking in one of the official car parks is £2 Stg for the entire day and camping at the back of the paddock is free of charge.  Food stalls are available in the paddock and various locations around the course on the Saturday.  Toilets are also provided around the course.  There is a map of spectator facilities available on our website www.tandragee100.co.uk.

The event takes place on a Bank Holiday weekend and there are many tourist attractions in the Armagh area – check out the Visit Armagh website – www.visitarmagh.co.uk and the Discover Craigavon website – www.discovercraigavon.com.

Why not stay in Northern Ireland a while longer and check out the North Coast – check out the website – www.northcoastni.com or visit the NW200 – www.northwest200.org.

All of the above websites include accommodation and travel links.

The Courtyard Theatre presents Tea with the Old Queen

The Courtyard Theatre presents Tea with the Old Queen, the fictional diaries of Backstairs Billy, by Graham Woolnough on Friday 11 April.

This superb and hilarious one man show starring Ian Stark, is based upon the fictitious ‘secret’ diaries of ‘old queen’ William Tallon, one time Steward and Page of the Backstairs to HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

During 40 years of service Billy, with discretion and diplomacy tidied up every little Royal mishap. He played Dame in the Christmas Panto, danced with ‘Her Maj’ and even sprayed air freshener whenever Prince Philip ‘let one off’.

We hear all the secrets – Princess Anne refusing to stop smoking indoors – even after the fire at Windsor, ‘Her Maj’ welcoming Chinese Ambassadors Mr Woo and Mr Wang, and the visit by Tony and Cherie Blair when a salt shaker went missing!

“Cheeky. That’s the one word I would use to describe Tea With the Old Queen, a lively, irreverent, sometimes naughty, often hilarious look at the royal family through the eyes of a loyal servant, William.”

FringeGuru **** review (September 2013)

“Graham Woolnough’s lusciously bizarre backstage peek at the lives of royalty is a theatrical treat for those with any political disposition. In a speedy 50 minutes, Ian Stark’s Backstage Billy pinpoints the highs and lows of a career serving the Queen Mother. Stark encapsulates the batty upper-class with bracing energy and comic intelligence, all the while never undermining an adorable and very real sense of satisfaction he received from a career spanning 40 years in service.”

Broadway Baby **** review (September 2013)

Ticket prices to see Tea With the Old Queen at The Courtyard Theatre on Friday 11 April 2014 at 8pm are £12, and £10 concession. Book online at www.thecourtyardtheatre.com or phone Box Office on 028 9034 0217.

Calling All “Friends of St Columbanus”

Thursday 10 April will see the launch of “The Friends of St Columbanus”, a group that are forming to celebrate the life and legacy of Bangor’s Saints, most notably Saint Columbanus.

Bangor Abbey & St Columbanus Stained Glass Window (St Columbanus Church, Ballyholme).

The formation of the group comes on the back of the recent moves to see the establishment of “The Columban Way” Cultural Route to link Bangor, Luxeuil-les-Bains (France) and Bobbio (Italy.

The union will recognise the influence of Columbanus’ work within central Europe and is to be formally established by 2015, the year that will mark the 1400th anniversary of the passing of St Columbanus. This anniversary year being one that will be marked with events throughout the European countries he was influential in.

This route is set to become the 30th European Cultural Route and sit alongside some of the most famous routes such as the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela.

After the initial creation of “The Columban Way” it is envisaged that it will expand to take in the additional countries of Switzerland, Austria, Germany and the Republic of Ireland where Columbanus also left his mark.

As part of this development of the legacy of Columabnus and Bangor to European Christianity “The Friends of St Columbanus” group is to be formed to undertake a number of roles.

  • Build upon the spiritual and ecumenical legacy of Columbanus.
  • Develop and make available educational materials to spread the history of the Abbey and its Saints both locally and internationally through local school development, international exchanges and lectures.
  • Expand on the current level of pilgrimage visits both to and from Bangor to countries where our Saints left their mark such as Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
  • Seize upon the spirit of our Saints in developing a sense of community around our Christian Heritage.
  • Development of events and celebrations to mark key events such as the 1400th commemoration of the passing of Columabnus in 2015 through, concerts, services, activities.

The “Friends” are to be supported by North Down Borough Council who are keen to build on the potential tourism links and relationships between the nations involved both pilgrimage and educationally focused.

The initial meeting of the group will take place in First Bangor Presbyterian Church, Main Street Bangor at 7.30pm on Thursday 10th April.

All are welcome and light refreshments will be served.

Sights and sounds of spring!

Spring is one of the best times to visit National Trust woodlands.  As the days lengthen and winter starts to fade the woodlands come alive in fresh bursts of colour and the cacophony of song birds.

Malachy Martin, National Trust Conservation Ranger in Fermanagh explains what to look out for and the best places to go to discover the joy of spring.

At this time of year the ground beneath the oaks is a carpet of wildflowers and herbs, all competing for light before the leaves in the canopy thicken up.  Snowdrops are first, quickly followed by primroses, wood anemones, early purple orchids and a little later bluebells.

The woods are filled with bird song at the beginning of the breeding season as the males are claiming their breeding territories. Resident robins, blackbirds, thrushes and wrens are joined by migrant warblers such as chiffchaffs, blackcaps and willow warblers. After the cuckoo the chiffchaff is perhaps the most identifiable as its song is a repetition of its name.

The odd bee will be seen and heard at the start of spring; these are probably large furry queens that after mating the previous year have slept peacefully through the cold of winter. Butterflies will start to appear and spring caterpillars are a vital food source for breeding birds such as the blue tit, which time their nesting season to coincide with the caterpillar glut.

Ponds become noisy places as the male frogs wake up from their winter hibernation and croak to attract females from their winter quarters on land.  There is a good pond at Florence Court to visit and if you are lucky enough and time it just right you may witness the splashing activity as mating frogs fill the water with masses of spawn.

While at Florence Court listen out for a new addition to the estate, the great spotted woodpecker. They begin to ‘drum’ to attract mates in spring, both male and female can take part having maintained separate territories outside the breeding season. The male woodpecker also performs an elaborate courtship that may result in a spiralling chase around the tree.

Over at Crom the bird to listen out for is the Grey Heron. They are often seen standing still in the shallow waters of lakes, rivers and ponds, patiently waiting for a tasty fish to pass. They nest in tall trees with other herons to form a heronry. The nest is a large platform, made from twigs and grass, and built by both male and female birds. The most distinctive call is a loud, harsh ‘frarnk’, often given when flying overhead with its long legs stretched out and its neck pulled in.

Also at Crom, swallows, house martins and swifts return in mid spring after spending the winter in warmer climes. Swifts spend most of their lives in the air landing only to breed. On fine days they circle high up in the air but at dusk they swoop around roof tops in high speed aerial chases giving high, screaming calls.

Crom is also very important for bats and they return to their maternity roots in late spring. While we generally need bat detectors to hear bats, some young people can hear their high pitched calls. Some of the smaller bats such as pipistrilles flap their wings very rapidly and the distinctive whirring sound produced, lead to them being called the ‘flittermouse’.

It’s time to get outdoors and experience all that spring has to offer at National Trust places near you.

10 things to do next week in NI

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (March 31 – April 6).

  • Baby Animal Festival, Streamvale Open Farm, Dundonald, Co. Down, until April 30.  There is no better time to see, feed and cuddle the newborn animals than at Streamvale this spring, meet the new baby lambs, chicks, bunnies, calves and more as well as making the most of the nature trails as they bloom back to life.

  • Jekyll & Hyde, Waterside Theatre, City of Derry, March 31 – April 5.  The Londonderry Musical Society stages their adaptation of Jekyll & Hyde, the musical thriller based on the novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

  • Trace Your Family Tree, Cregagh Library, Belfast, April 2.  Family Ulster Genealogist Brian Watson gives an illustrated talk on how to trace your family tree using records available on the internet as well as other sources of information.  

  • Jazz Supper Evening, The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre, Armagh, Co. Armagh, April 4.  Enjoy a wonderful evening with great jazz music and supper with the popular Martello Jazz Band taking centre stage featuring a sound reminiscent of the Dixieland bands of the 1920’s New Orleans.

  • Celtic Soul, Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, April 4. Celtic Soul is a seven piece ensemble paying homage to the music of Van Morrison with sensitive and knowledgeable renditions of his classic hits and album tracks.

  • Learn To Talk To Your Animals, Clonoe Community Centre, Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, April 5. A one day workshop by Spiritual Councillor Maxine McKeown teaching you about animal communication by quietening the mind and focussing  on your senses allowing you to listen more clearly to animals.

  • Nuno Felt Scarf Workshop, Enniskillen Castle Museums, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, April 5. Organised by textile designer, Jacki Sleator this workshop offers the chance to work at your own pace in a relaxed atmosphere with beginners welcome to learn a new skills.
  • Northern Ireland Adventureland Weekend, across Northern Ireland, April 5-6.  Northern Ireland Adventureland Weekend offers a chance for friends, family, beginners and adrenaline seekers to get out and experience Northern Ireland’s great outdoors with over 55 fun outdoor events on offer.
  • Titanic Quarter 10K, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, April 6.  The Titanic Quarter 10K is back for the eighth year  offering the chance for runners to take part in the TQ10K, 1 Mile Fun Run or the TQ Sprint races, the day will also provide family fun events for spectators before and after the race.
  • Easter Train Rides, Drumawhey Junction Railway, Donaghadee, Co. Down, April 6.  Enjoy a family day out and experience the delights of this miniature railway with locomotives, carriages and buildings on the 1.5km track.


“Jungr is mistress of all she surveys…. This music is the North American Songbook’s climax, revealed by its greatest interpreter.” 5-stars (The Independent, February 2014)

The UK’s finest interpreter of song, Barb Jungr returns to the songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen with the release of her album ‘Hard Rain’ on 24th March. Barb has also taken this wonderful new collection of material on the road, including a date at the Newtownabbey’s Theatre at the Mill on Thursday 1st May. Barb premiered the set at London’s Purcell Room on Friday 14th February to much critical acclaim.

“…a four star show…The most literate of singers, Jungr is the perfect interpreter of this kind of material.” (The Times, February 2014)

Barb has recently completed another triumphant run of shows in the U.S.A. Over the past few years the British chanteuse has been wowing critics and audiences alike at home and abroad with her insightful, intelligent interpretations of well-loved songs combined with her powerful and often witty performance style. Barb’s shows in NYC have now reached legendary status, with her latest season there last December completely selling out – don’t miss one of Britain’s best kept secrets live on her home turf.

Often referred to as “the politicised chansonnier” and cited as one of the world’s best performers of Dylan’s material, Barb turns to six of his most politically hard-hitting songs along with five of Leonard Cohen’s most impassioned songs of conscience. Barb’s selection for Hard Rain reflects her despair with the political times that we live in and she has deliberately chosen songs that resonate as strongly today as they did when they were originally written: Blowin’ In The Wind is now 51 years old and its sentiments are as relevant today as they ever were.

“In 2002, the British singer Barb Jungr released “Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan: Every Grain of Sand”, which is, as far as I’m concerned, the most significant vocal album of the 21st century thus far.”  (The Wall Street Journal, 2011)

“The only word to describe her dramatic interpretations is revelatory…..I was open mouthed with astonishment.”  (New York Times, December 2013)




TIME: 7.45pm

TICKETS: £15, Concession £13

Book Online: www.theatreatthemill.com

Box Office: 028 9034 0217


“possibly our best interpreter of Dylan’s songs”  (Billy Bragg)

For further information please contact:

Further information/interviews etc. please contact Dorothy Howe Press & Publicity, Tel:  0208 995 3920 Email: press@dorothyhowe.co.uk

Jacqueline from whatsonni.com shares her pick of What’s On this week across NI.


Want to learn more about the birds that visit your garden? Then why not come and join the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) for their garden birdwatch morning on Thursday 27th March. Both experienced and amateur bird watchers welcome.  Contact WWT Castle Espie reception to book your space on 02891 874146 or email info.castleespie@wwt.org.uk.


The 4th Armagh City toy fair & display show will take place once again in Armagh City Hotel  on Sunday 30th March from 12-6pm with a great variety of dioramas & collection being displayed this year at the event : trucks, cars, farm, plant, trains and steam engines. Also at the event will be the largest collection of cattle trucks, Britians,Landrovers,Massey Ferguson tractors and Volkswagen car dealership. There will also be exhibitors from Scotland this year with avariety of trade stands at the event to fuel the hobby.


Wed 26th March – see Nathan Carter in concert at the Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen 8pm. Nathan’s new album release follows the phenomenal success of ‘Wagon Wheel’, the title track of which has been one of the most requested songs ever on Irish radio. Early booking is strongly advised as this promises to be another sell-out concert!


The Mid Ulster Sports Arena in Cookstown is the venue on Saturday 29th March for a Family Fun Day with an amazing line up of entertainment including zorbing, segway, slides, rodeo bull, sumo wrestling, and much more! Admission is only £3 or £10 for a a family of four. The fun starts at 12pm.


The Portstewart Songwriters Festival is a brand new Music Festival for song writers and music lovers from all walks of life 28th-30th March 2014.Featuring Original Live Music in the coffee shops and bars along Portstewart Promenade, with over 20 FREE gigs plus showcase events, Industry Workshops and presentations. See www.northcoastni.com/music for full details.


Treat your Mother to a lovely afternoon tea at Larchfield Estate with live music and then enjoy a leisurely stroll around our 4 acre walled garden.  Starts at 1pm, please note advance ticket sales only. £25 per Adult, £12.50 per Children under 12.  For bookings please call 028 9263 8025. www.larchfieldestate.co.uk


Enjoy an evening with the Ulster Orchestra and Belfast Philharmonic Choir as they perform the music of Patrick Doyle from the films of Sir Kenneth Branagh at the Waterfront Hall on Monday 31st March. With highlights from Thor, Frankenstein, Jack Ryan, Shadow Recruit, Hamlet, Henry V and more! This event is part of the Belfast Film Festival. For more Patrick Doyle themed events including film screenings and workshops to to ww.belfastfilmfestival.org. Pre-concert talk by Patrick Doyle at 6.45pm.

Bikes AND Lego – Everything Is Awesome This Easter!

This Easter Monday, April 21st, The McKee Clock Arena, Bangor, will play host to a special one-off motorbike competition guaranteed to thrill and entertain young and old alike!

Trials bike rider Andy Perry preparing to compete in the Lego Live Bike Competition which will take place this Easter Monday, April 21st at The McKee Clock Arena, Bangor.

The Lego Live Show will feature eight of Ireland’s best trials riders who will compete over a challenging course of giant colourful Lego pieces in this specially designed, brightly coloured, arena show. Be prepared to be thrilled as these talented bikers showcase their amazing skills and perform some breath-taking stunts and manoeuvres! Starting at 11am, this spectacular show is not to be missed!

There are plenty of other activities happening around the Town too; a Giant Slinkies show will take place in The Sunken Garden alongside a special official Lego workshop, where children can come along and help build a mosaic of an iconic Bangor image.

On The Promenade, Bangor & Holywood Town Centre Management in partnership with North Down Borough Council will be hosting a Spring Fair where an array of local crafts and speciality foods will be available. Take the time to have a browse in this picturesque setting.

At 3pm over 200 children and young people from local youth and dance groups across North Down will take part in the spectacular Buttercup Carnival Parade. The parade will have a distinctly different feel this year and will be a celebration of Bangor and the surrounding areas with a lively Spring theme. Look out for giant buttercups, butterflies and ladybirds, dance groups, live music, a Pickie Swan, boats and lots of other surprises! There will also be a “Lucky Buttercup Competition” taking place with lots of opportunities to win some exciting prizes from local retailers like The Flagship Centre, Easons, The Sports & Fashion Outlet, Pickie Fun Park and many more.

This year, The Parade will be led by the The Mayor of North Down, Councillor Andrew Muir who will be travelling in a very colourful rickshaw.  The Parade’s route will start at The Town Hall, then onto Main Street, along Quay Street, turning into High Street and making its way back up Main Street to The Town Hall – an extravaganza not to be missed!

Also, on Easter Monday, North Down Museum will be holding its annual Easter Egg Hunt from 11am – 1pm (cost £1) and there will be live music in Coffee Cure with “The Woodworms.”

There’s plenty happening at Project 24 over the Easter weekend too with the rescheduled “Out Of The Shadows” event which will take place from the April 18th – 21st.

Pickie Fun Park will also be open all day with lots to do and see, take a ride on a swan, play in the play park or just have a coffee and relax in the refurbished café.

So come on down to Bangor with your family and friends this Easter for lots of family fun!

For further information check www.northdowntourism.com