Matthew Zajac’s multi-award-winning ‘The Tailor Of Inverness’ is a story of journeys, of how a boy who grew up on a farm in Galicia [Eastern Poland, now Western Ukraine] came to be a tailor in Inverness. His life spanned most of the 20th century. His story is not straightforward.
He was taken prisoner by the Soviets in 1939 and forced to work east of the Urals, then freed in an amnesty after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. He then joined the thousands of Poles who travelled to Tehran, then Egypt, to be integrated into the British Army, fighting in North Africa and Italy. He was then resettled in Britain in 1948, joining his brother in Glasgow. This is the story he told. But there is another story, and pps a third and a fourth one, for in order to survive, he had to adopt different identities. Like all immigrants, the tailor had to adapt and he did that very successfully, integrating himself into the fabric of Highland life.
‘The Tailor of Inverness’ is, without doubt, Dogstar Theatre Company’s most successful show to date. It has now toured Scotland four times and played at festivals, theatres and universities in Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Wales, Australia and the USA. The production is multi-award winning including the Scotsman Fringe First and The Stage Best Solo Performer Award at Edinburgh Fringe 2008.
The Tailor Of Inverness will be staged at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh on Wednesday 11th June at 8pm. Tickets are priced £10 each, and can be booked by contacting the Box Office on  3752 1821, or online at www.marketplacearmagh.com
Dust off the party boots and make your way down to Lilian Bland Community Park to enjoy the free, fun-filled family day out on Saturday 7th June!
The annual Party in The Park, which is now in its fifth year, will run from 12-6pm and will be jam-packed with activities and entertainment for all the family.
With amusements and live music entertainment from This Way Up, the Really Rubbish Orchestra and the Ballyduff Sliver Band, there will be something for young and old! Other activities on the day will include bouncy castles, go karts, party games, face painting, glitter tattoos, drumming circles, kids characters, balloon modelling and much more!
Lisa O’Kane, Tourism and Events Manager at Newtownabbey Borough Council commented:
“Party in the Park is always a great day out for families to share and enjoy together. The activities and carnival feel encourage everyone get into the spirit of summer as the holidays draw near and with most activities and entertainment free to enjoy, why would you not join in?!”
Only amusements and foodstalls are chargeable. The event is organised and funded by Newtownabbey Borough Council and Glengormley Chamber & Traders’ Association. For more information, visit www.getintoglengormley.com.
This June 7 & 8 North Down Borough Council, in association with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, will welcome some very special visitors to their Seashore Festival Event – The Twister Aerobatic Display Team!
Formed in 2010, the Twister Aerobatic Team have performed at events across Europe and the Middle East showcasing the highly efficient Silence Twister aircraft.
The Team are incredibly versatile performing stunning aerial ballets with breath-taking routines in their purpose-built display crafts.
As part of the Seashore Festival, the team will be performing two afternoon displays on both the Saturday and the Sunday, guaranteed to wow the crowds with their daring stunts. The displays will be taking place at 2.30pm & 5.45pm on both the Saturday and the Sunday.
As well as the aerial displays, there are lots of other things happening around the town on this weekend too. Two spectacular tall ships, The Mercedes and The Golden Lion will be alongside The Eisenhower Pier and open to the public on both days for visitors. There are also opportunities for night sailings on the Saturday and Sunday evening. Tickets cost £10 and are available from Bangor Visitor Information Centre. Pre-booking is essential.
A special steam train “Bangor And Back For A Bob” will be travelling from Belfast on the Saturday and Sunday, making two return journeys per day. Tickets are also available from North Down Museum and Bangor Visitor Information Centre and cost £1 each.
At The Town Hall, a Vintage Motor Display will be taking place, showcasing hundreds of fabulous vintage vehicles and down on The Promenade, a special Summer Fair will be taking place featuring lots of local retailers selling their wares. Also making a welcome return to The McKee Clock Arena, The Armed Forces will be providing a wide range of activities and vehicles for everyone to enjoy.
Along The Promenade, a speciality craft and food market will be trading on both days. And watch out for some wonderful, especially themed, street theatre and live music which will be dotted around the town as part of the festival.
Some come on down to Bangor this 7 & 8 June from 12pm to 6pm for this fantastic event!
A book is whatever you want it to be. A best friend, a total solitude, an action-packed adrenaline rush or your first steps to discovering new worlds.
The Belfast Book Festival, supported by Nicholson Bass and Belfast Calling, is thrilled to welcome authors from all walks of life from June 9th – 15th.
From political heavyweights, former Labour cabinet minister Alan Johnson and former ConservativeAnn Widdecombe, to Ireland Rugby’s bagman ‘Rala’ O’Reilly and ex-Horslips drummer Eamon Carr, Russia Today economics experts Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert with finance columnist Mitch Feierstein, and breast cancer survivor Christine Hamill – they’re all united as published authors.
The Festival is a celebration of Northern Ireland’s love of all hardback, paperback and e-books. With artists and authors representing many key themes including literature, poetry, non-fiction, sport, coming of age, art and music, there’s something for everyone.
Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said: “Belfast has long been famous as a city of readers and writers and the Belfast Book Festival perfectly captures the moods of invention and reflection and fun which only a book can excite. The Arts Council is delighted to support this Festival – reading is still a private and intimate joy, but where it goes ‘live’, on song, outdoors or on stage, this is where public funding rightly comes into its own.”
There’s also lots to keep children entertained at the Festival, including a special Family Fun Day on Saturday 14th June, from 10am, designed to help younger generations fall in love with reading plus an arts and crafts market.
If you’re after something sweet, come and indulge with the queen of couture cakes, Mich Turner. Mich has catered for top celebrities including Madonna, David Beckham, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne and even Her Majesty The Queen. Savour every morsel of Mich’s tips on passionate baking, at Hillmount Garden Centre, Wednesday 10th June from 6.30pm.
Music fans can revel in music when Jan Carson performs her vibrant work with a musical response by Hannah McPhillimy. Blues aficionado and band manager Paul Charles‘ career started when he took on his first group aged 15, and never looked back. The Magherafelt man is behind the popular Detective Inspector Christy Kennedy series and has also written on how to succeed in the music business. Meanwhile theatre lovers will enjoy performances of Brendan Behan’s The Confirmation Suit and Frank O’Connor’s Guest of the Nation by local actor Conor Maguire at Linenhall Library.
There’s plenty going on at Book Festival Extra – an extra chance to get up close and personal with fantastic authors outside of the Festival Week schedule. Award-winning French writer, Pierre Lemaitre, who will be in town on Friday 30th May from 7.00pm, shot to fame after Alex won the CWA International Dagger for best crime novel of 2013. There’s no admission for Pierre’s show, so come down to Crescent Arts Centre early!
Book Festival Extra continues with Irish journalist and playwright Mary Kenny, who will talk about a lifetime dedicated to campaigning for women’s rights, on Monday 16th June from 8.00pm.
Prolific broadcast writer and novelist, Liz Nugent, visits the Crescent Arts Centre on June 18 to talk about her years of scriptwriting and the best-selling Unravelling Oliver, a shocking thriller about Oliver, a man who savagely beats his wife into a coma and delves into an unsettling exploration of his mind.
There will also be two great opportunities to see The Bookseller of Belfast, a highly acclaimed documentary about the former bookseller John Clancy and the different lives he encountered as he made his way through the pages of his vast stock of unsold books, and throughout the streets of Belfast.
All events will offer our audiences the chance to ask their favourite authors and personalities questions, along with signing sessions. For more information, the full programme and tickets, contact Crescent Arts Centre on 028 9024 2338 or visit www.belfastbookfestival.com.
Festival highlights include:
Ex-Labour cabinet minister, Alan Johnson, with his memoir, This Boy, a heart-wrenching account of growing up in poverty in post-war London. It recently won the RSL Ondaatje Prize, which recognises the best evocative and emotional writing in fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Crescent Arts Centre, Sunday 15th June, from 1pm. £8/£6
Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, discussing her life after politics as a novelist. Ann has published four fiction works which show her as a compassionate writer. Crescent Arts Centre, Sunday 15th June, 8pm. £8/£6
Patrick ‘Rala’ O’Reilly, bagman for the Irish rugby team for almost 20 years, with his book, Rala: A Life in Rugby, which features anecdotes from Brian O’Driscoll, Keith Wood and Paul O’Connell.Methodist College Belfast, Thursday 19th June, 7.30pm. £8/£6.
Russia Today business experts, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbet, will both be in conversation with Independent and former Daily Mail investment columnist, Mitch Feierstein.
Crime writer Pierre Lemaitre was awarded the Prix Goncourt, France’s top literary prize, for Au revoir là-haut, a World War I epic. Alex, which scooped the CWA International Dagger for best crime novel of 2013, was his first work translated into English. Crescent Arts Centre, Friday 30th May. Free admission
Northern Ireland’s premier vintage fair, Frock Around The Clock, is excited to be appearing at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum on Saturday 14th June, where the scene will be set to celebrate all ‘Minis, Mods and Monsters’ at the Cultra Hill Climb 2014.
Vintage lovers everywhere are invited to the daylong event, run in association with the Thoroughbred Sports Car Club NI (TSCCNI), to celebrate the Swinging Sixties in roaring style as fashion, lifestyle and music meets motoring and scootering at Cultra’s Manor House, for a Mod-tastic day out for the whole family!
The theme of the world’s oldest active Hillclimb is in celebration of Paddy Hopkirk’s win on the Monte Carlo rally 50 years ago as Northern Ireland commemorates an important year for the Mini, and the event will also recognise the coolness of Vespa-riding mods and modified cars, alongside monster cars and trucks.
The Frock Around The Clock Vintage Fair will be located in the upstairs of the beautiful Cultra Manor House and will feature 21 fantastic stalls showcasing and selling authentic vintage, handmade and upcycled clothing, fashion accessories, homewares, jewellery, art, crafts & gifts, collectibles and much more, all set to a backdrop of ’60s music on vinyl! The exhibitor list includes White Rabbit Vintage who will be selling a fantastic range of genuine vintage 1960s dresses, the perfect attire for the vespa and mini loving lady, Vintage USA, specialising in vintage costume jewellery and retro homewares, Tiny Tower Vintage offering an unrivalled range of vintage china, books, toys and collectibles, Edna’s Front Room, selling a wide range of vintage items including 1960s homewares, scarves, bags, ties and hats, Norma Jean Vintage, offering authentic mod dresses, vintage homewares and collectibles, and Tickets Please, who specialise in bespoke artworks created from 1960s Northern Ireland railway tickets – a perfect Father’s Day gift for the avid vintage transport fan.
The event has something for everyone – visitors to the Vintage Fair can also appreciate the sights and sounds of the Hillclimb while browsing and shopping for vintage delights as the windows of the Manor House will overlook the races and the lawn where food from the BBQ or an ice cream from the vintage tricycle can be enjoyed. Crosslé Car Company of Holywood will also have a display on the ground floor of Cultra Manor, where Plum Tyndall will launch his book ‘Hidden Glory’, based on the world-famous car company, in the most fitting of settings.
Mark Kennedy, Road and Rail Curator at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum comments, ‘We are delighted to partner once again with the TSCCNI for this year’s Cultra Hillclimb event ‘Minis, Mods and Monsters’, which is sure to be a great hit with visitors to the museum, and we are also extremely delighted to welcome for the first time the popular ‘Frock Around the Clock Vintage Fair’ that will put on a super show in Cultra Manor, ensuring that not only is the event an incredibly competitive day for all the drivers, but there will be endless entertainment for all our visitors too.’
Becky Moore, Creative Director of Frock Around The Clock also commented, ‘We are delighted to have been invited to join the Cultra Hill Climb 2014, and look forward to adding the glamour of vintage fashion and lifestyle to the thrilling excitement of motor racing for what promises to be the best Cultra Hillclimb yet! We would encourage our visitors to indulge their love and passion for a more glamorous age by dressing in vintage attire – It’s not compulsory but it will allow you to enter into the full swing of the theme and to enjoy a truly magical step back in time’.
The Cultra Hillclimb takes place at Cultra Manor on the grounds of the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum on Saturday 14 June, from 10am to 5pm. Major event day pricing applies and more information can be found at www.nmni.com/uftm.
The Market Place Theatre in Armagh is set for song and laughter this weekend, with the arrival of one of Northern Ireland’s leading amateur Theatre Groups, as well as one of Ireland’s leading singers.
Holywood Players return with their latest Alan Ayckbourn production, ‘Bedroom Farce’, which was a long running hit in both London and New York. Trevor and Susannah, whose marriage is on the rocks, inflict their miseries on their nearest and dearest: three couples whose own relationships are tenuous at best. Taking place sequentially in the three beleaguered couples’ bedrooms during one endless Saturday night of co-dependence and dysfunction, beds, tempers, and domestic order are ruffled, leading all the players to a hilariously touching epiphany. ‘Bedroom Farce’ will be staged on Friday 30th May at 8pm. Tickets are priced £11 each.
On Saturday 31st May, one of Ireland’s truly great singers, Cara Dillon, will take to the stage. Cara has one of those rare talents you only come across a handful times in your whole life. Her staggeringly beautiful voice has the ability to reach inside the soul of a song and imbue material with not only profound sweetness but also poignancy and depth. Having won the All Ireland Traditional Singing Trophy aged only 14 she went on to sing with ‘Oige’, ‘De Dannan’ and then ‘Equation’. It was in this band that she met her husband and musical collaborator Sam Lakeman. The combination of Cara’s expressive vocals and Lakeman’s rippling piano and fresh production squeezed new life into ancient material. Tickets to see Cara Dillon perform are priced at £20 each. Tickets for all events can be booked through the Box Office on  3752 1821, or online at www.marketplacearmagh.com
The festival might be in full swing but it’s not too late to get involved and come and experience the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival 2014.
The festival is organised by Moyle District Council, Ballycastle Community Development Group, Rathlin Development and Community Association and sponsored by the Northern Island Tourist Board.
This year the festival runs until Sunday 1st June, and promises to be a riot of colour and fun whether it’s, the music, the food or of course any of the maritime activities.
Caroline Carey, Tourism Development Officer, Moyle District Council said, “We are all very excited for the festival to begin so we can welcome visitors to this fabulous part of the Causeway Coast where they can enjoy all the wonderful maritime themed activities on offer.
“There are of course the obligatory shopping opportunities, from artisan craft in the market to the independent boutiques in the town, specially decorated for the festival we are sure there’s something to suit every taste. “
This is a maritime festival so of course there are numerous sailing experiences to get involved with, whether that’s a fishing trip on Lord Moyle, Lady Lynda or the Torra or getting into your own kayak or paddle boat.
It’s not too late to grab your camera and skip on board the Round Rathlin Sunset Cruise on Friday 23rd May, a perfect way to relax into the weekend, sit back, enjoy the live music and float past the fabulous scenery.
However for something just that little bit unique why not climb aboard the majestic Tall Ship, Irene and take to the waves. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience the thrill of sailing from o Ballycastle Harbour on a traditional Tall Ship.
The voyage is at sea for four hours and takes in a tour of the Rathlin Sound, the name of the body of water separating Rathlin Island from the mainland.
The maximum number of passengers allowed on each trip is 10 and the cost is £30 per person. The departure time varies according to the tide each day and there will be sailings everyday from Friday 23rd May to Sunday 25th.
Don’t worry if you prefer to stay close to shore, the Irene will be open for visitors from 10am everyday until 30 minutes before sailings depart. On Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th May it’s open from 10am until 8pm and it’s absolutely free to come on board. Irene will also be open again in the evenings when it is back in Ballycastle harbour until 9.00pm.
The Irene will also be in the harbour for the, ‘Blessing of The Boats Ceremony’, on Monday 26th May, at 7.00pm, this is an ancient maritime tradition that’s been revived by the festival organisers. Everyone is welcome to come down to harbour to enjoy the ceremony.
On Saturday 31st May take a trip to Rathlin Island. Immerse The traditional Drontheim and Curragh boats which will be on display and racing around the Bay watch from as
the traditional Drontheim and Curragh boats race around Bay.
On Rathlin Island there is a unique event taking place which chronicles the history of the island through the islander’s personal items retrieved from the sea around Rathlin Island and
For bookings and further information contact, Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre tel: 028 2076 2024
Sri Lankan born NI artist Anushiya Sundaralingam will be presenting her latest work ‘Re Root’, at the Crescent Arts Centre on Thursday 29 May at 6pm.
After relocating from Sri Lanka to the UK in the late 1980s Anushiya’s art practice explored issues of belonging. She is concerned with how our relationship with the natural and cultural environment shapes our sense of self and place and how, when our surroundings change, through displacement we require unprecedented responses and adaptation.
Her practice is varied and includes two-dimensional and three-dimensional works. She incorporates a diverse range of media to reflect the intricate and layered nature of community and belonging, and the complex nature of identity and place.
‘Re Root’ builds on the ‘Root’ exhibition (Belfast Print Workshop, 2013) and explores the metaphor of ’embodiment’: the ‘self’ in cultural transition and the challenges of identity. In the work, delicate dresses, constructed from saree fabrics, are woven and re-worked to indicate the complexity of the past and the necessity of a shared future. The original sarees have passed through generations and are given new life and meaning. The marks made, clothes worn and lives lived reverberate with the tensions of past and present, of traditional identity in the flux of transition.
Anushiya’s work has been included in fifteen solo exhibitions including Sri Lanka, Ireland and Australia, as well as over seventy group shows. She has received numerous awards and special commissions, and her work is represented in many public and private collections.
Northern Ireland based Creative studio to release new, Steampulp Fantasy graphic novel.
Derry-Londonderry based media studio Uproar Comics, the company that brought you the awards winning “Zombies Hi”, are working on a new project, Condundrum.
Conundrum is a Steampulp Fantasy filled with mystery and suspense that will make you question- “Who is God”?
Here is a brief synopsis of the upcoming graphic novel:
Wonders and Curiosities are the height of entertainment and fashion before the turn of the 20th century where a great man, Professor Wilde, debuts Wildes’ Wondrous World’s Fair to the public with great acclaim. With new technological, cultural, and natural discoveries available to everyone, the world’s advancement exceeded expectations in all forms. With the greatest minds working on new and greater concepts, the world has become a fascinating place. With high-powered Steam and the young electricity, no one ever thought we would need anything else. Over the next few decades there were no wars and all nations were working together for the prosperity of all. Then, after only weeks, an experimental atomic power station exploded with a thundering fire. No one could have survived it- and yet one man walked from the blazing fires unharmed. Some of the people believed him to be a God on Earth, an Übermensch, and he becomes widely revered when he exhibits strange supernatural abilities. No one could have anticipated this- except an elusive killer dubbed Zener, a mysterious stranger hell-bent on murdering anyone who stands in his way.
The live preview of Conundrum can now be seen HERE
This year’s Armagh County Show and Countryside Festival promises to be the event not to be missed in the Orchard County.
Saturday 14th June
The Armagh Show will be held in the beautiful forest setting at Gosford Park, close to the village of Markethill on the main Armagh/ Newry Road 6 miles from Armagh and 12 miles from Newry. It is a full blown agricultural show with 300 livestock and horse classes, trade and craft stalls, artisan food village, home industries and schools exhibits, dog show and lots of entertainment …. a day to spend time with the family, so come early and enjoy a celebration of rural life in a beautiful forest park setting! There is free parking in the show grounds and in fields close by. Follow direction signs and stewards instructions. Admission charges are: £10 adults; children under 16 free; Concessions £8. More information can be obtained by clicking on the links or e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or on website at: www.armaghshow.com You can also follow us on facebook and twitter.