An Evening with Ernest and The Pale Moon

Critically acclaimed play from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, ‘Ernest and The Pale Moon’ awaits audiences at Theatre at The Mill on Thurs 19 June. This spine-chilling tale of obsession and murder is inspired by Hitchcock’s masterpieces and the tales of Edgar Allen Poe and is on stage for one night only.

Ernest spends his days watching the beautiful young woman who lives in the apartment opposite.  Upon seeing her with another man he is thrown into a jealous rage and driven to murder, though all is not what it may at first seem and slowly Ernest’s guilt sends him on a spiralling descent into madness.  The piece contains narrative twists and turns, live music, inventive design and physical storytelling to provide a thrilling and terrifying experience.

From the award-winning team behind ‘The Trench’ which visited Theatre at The Mill in 2013, drama company Les Enfants Terrible have built a formidable reputation for playful macabre tales by mixing drama, music, storytelling and inventive staging to create a gothic fantasies reminiscent of Tim Burton’s works.

To get a ticket for this thrilling theatre experience, visit or call the Box Office on 028 9034 0202.

10 Things to Do Next Week from the NITB

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (May 19-25).

  • Spring Exhibition, McKenna Gallery, Omagh, Co. Tyrone until May 31. An exhibition of collectable new work by gallery artists including a special feature of two portraits by Selena Mowat of comedy actress Pauline McLynn and model Sophie Dahl which have both been displayed at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

  • Divis Ridge Trail, Divis and Black Mountain, Belfast, throughout the year. Take a pleasurable walk along the brand new 4.2 miles Divis Ridge Trail and enjoy the spectacular 180 degree views across the city and beyond.
  • Dean Herbert Cassidy Memorial Organ Recitals, St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh, Co. Armagh, May 18-19. Dr Malcolm Sim, organist of Glasgow Cathedral will perform works by Handel, Bach, Messiah and Vierne.

  • 16th Annual International Guinness Blues on the Bay, various, Warrenpoint, Co. Down May 21-26. The festival includes music workshops, Jazz picnic and food festival as well as busking competitions and over 90 free fantastic blues gigs throughout Warrenpoint.

  • Micky Bartlett, Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, May 23. A brand new show from the young local comedian who is fast becoming one of the funniest and most popular acts on the entertainment circuit today.

  • An Evening with Doris Day and Gordon MacRae, The Playhouse, City of Derry, May 23-24. Transport yourself back to the era of romance as the story of Hollywood’s golden couple is told via a new piece of musical theatre.
  • Glen Fest, Owen Roes Club Rooms, Glenmornan, Co. Tyrone, May 23-25. The summer of fun kicks off with a great weekend of activity from a country fair and family fun day to an angling competition, boxing tournament and entertainment.

  • Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival 2014, various, Ballycastle &Rathlin Island , Co. Antrim, May 23 – June 1. A family friendly festival which includes various water sport activities, guided walks, seafood themed markets, music and entertainment.  The opening weekend is hosted in Ballycastle and closing weekend in Rathlin Island.

  • Curadmir Ulster Cycle 2014, Aghnablaney, Co. Fermanagh, May 24-26. A three day rolling base camp sportive where completion rather than competition is the aim. The challenging event will see Rider Villages set up across Northern Ireland where riders will finish and depart each day.

  • Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival 2014, Queen’s Quaysides, Belfast, May 24-26. Belfast’s quaysides play host to a fleet of Tall Ships with free activities, pop-up market and a chance to learn more about Belfast’s unique maritime history.  

Jacqueline’s Pick of What’s On this weekend across NI


Northern Irelands favourite Circus makes a long awaited return visit to Newcastle from 15th – 18th May and this year’s show is sure to thrill.  Duffy’s is one of the world’s longest-established circuses, amazing family audiences across Ireland over three centuries. The new show blends the traditional and the twenty-first century. Acts enjoyed by generations of circus-goers are brought right up-to-the-minute with a spectacular light show, state of the art sound and expert choreography. With the glamour of elaborate hand-made costumes, glittering lights and stunning special effects, you’re sure to be astounded by Tom Duffy’s.


The Strule Children’s Arts Festival presents Peter and The Wolf on Saturday 17th May.  Follow the adventures of Peter’s visit to his grandfather’s cottage on the edge of The Great Forest.  Meet all the familiar characters – the Duck, the Cat, the Little Bird and of course, the wonderful life-sized Wolf!


Enjoy an evening of classical music in the stunning surroundings of Castle Coole Enniskillen this Friday 16th May at 7.30 pm as the magnificent Grand Hall is brought to life with an array of musical scores.


Magherafelt Saint Vincent de Paul are holding an Antique and Collectables Fair this Saturday 17th May at the Parish Centre. The sale will include Fine Furniture,Irish Art, Victorian Jewellery, Vintage Clothing, Belleek, Silver, Silver, Linen and Lace, Militaria and much more.


Spend a night with the stars at Armagh Planetarium. On Friday 16th May all the action at the Planetarium will take place late at night.  And best of all, admission is free! Blasting rockets is always great fun, but have you ever launched a rocket at night?  Well, now is your chance in the twilight rocket launches which take place during the “Museums at Night” festival.  Come in fancy dress, maybe dress as an alien, an astronaut or your favourite character from Star Wars and you could win a prize.  With other activities planned and special Digital Theatre shows screened, this is a night you will not want to miss!


The ever fantastic Frock Around The Clock is on the road again, and off to Kells Ballymena for a fabulous outing of the famous Vintage & Handmade Fair. Around 50 exhibitors will be showcasing authentic vintage, stylish handmade and uniquely upcycled fashion, jewellery, furniture, homewares, collectibles, crafts & gifts, art & photography, sweet treats and much more! Taking place on Sunday 18th May from 12-5pm at Rosspark Hotel, Doagh Road, Kells, Ballymena Admission £3.


Celebrate Belfast Zoo’s 80 year history by taking a special guided tour of the old zoo site on Sunday 18th May. The tour focuses on the Bellevue area, where the original zoo gardens were built in 1934. Visitors can also find out how the zoo adapted to the changing face of Belfast, particularly during World War II when the Cave Hill area came under heavy attack. The tour starts at 2pm.  Tickets must be booked in advance. For more information or to book, call 028 9077 6277or email

North Down Tourism Events, this coming week and next…

10 MAY – 16 MAY Thursday 15 May

Arco String Quartet, plus special guests The Farriers Council Chamber
Bangor Town Hall

The Farriers will join Arco String Quartet for a captivating evening full of excitement and charm, set in the stunning Council Chamber of Bangor Town Hall.

Tickets £11 Adult, £9 Child. Starts 7.45pm. Pre-booking essential.

Info: North Down Museum, (028) 9127 1200,,

17 MAY – 23 MAY Until further notice

Exhibition: Day Trip to Bangor North Down Museum, Bangor ‘Didn’t we have a lovely time, the day we went to Bangor…’

This exhibition takes a nostalgic look back at Bangor as a holiday spot to day-trippers and overseas visitors alike. The story is told through a selection of original poster art, souvenir brochures and postcards.

Free admission.

Info: North Down Museum, (028) 9127 1200,,

Until Sunday 1 June

Exhibition: Percy French Art North Down Museum

1st May 2014 marks the 160th anniversary of the birth of Percy French, the renowned Irish artist, songwriter and performer. In this exhibition explore the art of Percy French through a selection of prints owned by the Percy French Society.

Free admission.

Info: North Down Museum, (028) 9127 1200,,

Saturday 17 May & Sunday 18 May

Family Fun at Cockle Row Cottages Groomsport Harbour

Free entertainment, 2pm-4pm. Sat 17: Children’s Crafts, Balloon Modelling Sun 18: Party Animals NI, Children’s Crafts Cottages open to the public 11am-5pm.

Free admission

Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069,,


Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 June

Seashore Festival Bangor Seafront & Town Hall

North Down Borough Council is excited to announce the arrival of not one but two spectacular tall ships which will be visiting Bangor this June 7th & 8th as part of their Seashore Festival event. The ships – The Mercedes and The Golden Lion will be moored alongside The Eisenhower Pier and will be open to the public on both days. And if you fancy sailing the high seas on a tall ship, there will also be opportunities for hour-long evening sailings!

Tickets cost £10 and are available for sale now at Bangor Visitor Information Centre and North Down Museum or online at

For more info on the full programme of activities at the Seashore Festival, including ‘Bangor and Back for a Bob’ in an original steam train, visit

Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 July

Heartbreak Productions presents ‘Pride & Prejudice’

Bangor Castle Walled Garden Tickets £6.

On sale now! Book online or call for tickets. Pre-booking essential. Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069,, Book online:

Saturday 26 July

Red Hot Chilli Pipers

Grounds of Bangor Town Hall Free event


The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will be playing from 4pm – 6pm and the event is free and non-ticketed. From 12 noon, other activities will be taking place around Castle Park and The Town Hall too, including Ulster Scots dancing, music and demonstrations and a children’s entertainment area which will guarantee to make the event a great family day out.

Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069,,


Armagh Craft Fair will take place this year on Saturday 24 May at The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre, Armagh.

‘Armagh Craft Fair’ is a high quality event that offers something for everyone with beautiful yet affordable craft, new craft makers, free craft demonstrations, a free craft exhibition, great food, musical entertainment  and much more….

‘Armagh Craft Fair’ features many and varied Craft Stalls, displaying and selling high quality craft from makers across Ireland. On show will be textiles, jewellery, wood, glass, soaps, ceramics and candles to name but a few.

There will also be workshops throughout the day for kids and adults in Jumping Clay, Wire Jewellery, Ceramics – Hand-building and Throwing, and a Spring Floral Arrangements Demonstration.

One of the highlights of the Fair are the FREE Craft Demonstrations throughout the day. Visitors can watch the master craftsmen or have a go themselves at learning a new skill in Wood Carving, Tiffany Glass, Traditional Basket Making, CERAMIC Hand Building Techniques, Jewellery, Clay Sculpture, UDU Drum Making, Leather Working, Traditional Blacksmithing, Spoon Carving and Traditional Rush Craft.

There will be music at the event as well as an extensive food and drinks menu from ‘Footlights’ Bar & Bistro.

Entry to the fair is FREE. For further information on the fair visit or the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821

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.

Talbot House: A Home From Home

Commemorate the Centenary with the Great War drama, ‘Talbot House’. This play journeys to The Courtyard Theatre on Wed 21 May and presents the story of a solitary haven for allied troops on the battlefield.

For much of the Great War the Ypres Salient was a hot bed of violent activity, but in a small house, just a few miles from the front lines in the town of Poperinge, an ‘Every Man’s Club was situated.

Amidst the turmoil, trauma and even boredom of life in the British Expeditionary Force this house became for thousands of servicemen, regardless of rank, a home from home where they could relax, read, pray, entertain and be entertained. It was called Talbot House and was run by a young diminutive army Chaplin by the name of Philip ‘Tubby’ Clayton.

The haven would soon be referred to as simply Toc H, Toc being the army’s signaller’s code for the letter ‘T’ and following the end of the war the house would be the inspiration behind the Toc H movement.

This play by peter Gill recreates the humour, music and wonderful atmosphere of this inspirational house.

Don’t miss this tender tale at The Courtyard Theatre. Tickets for the play are £12 & £10 and are available for purchase online at or by phoning Box Office on 028 9034 0202.


Industry body, Pubs of Ulster has welcomed Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Ivan Lewis MP to Belfast.

SSOS_GREAT ULSTER PUB WEEK: Industry body, Pubs of Ulster welcomed Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Ivan Lewis MP to Belfast on Thursday 8th May. Mr Lewis made a trip to the city to hear about the new Pubs of Ulster led initiative, The Great Ulster Pub Week, which was designed to champion and celebrate Ulster’s pubs for the role they play in the cultural and social fabric of life in Northern Ireland. The inaugural Great Ulster Pub Week ran 1-9 May 2014, with over 160 pubs hosting hundreds of unique events, great food, great entertainment and great pubs. For further information, visit Pictured L-R: Great Ulster Pub Week touring caricature artist, Brian Spencer shows Colin Neill, CEO, Pubs of Ulster and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Ivan Lewis MP some of the portraits he’s captured during a nine day Live Drawing marathon for The Great Ulster Pub Week, 1-9 May 2014. Picture by Stephen Hamilton, Press Eye.

Mr Lewis made a trip to the city on Thursday 8th May to hear about the new Pubs of Ulster led initiative, The Great Ulster Pub Week, which was designed to champion and celebrate Ulster’s pubs for the role they play in the cultural and social fabric of life in Northern Ireland.

The inaugural Great Ulster Pub Week ran 1-9 May 2014, with over 160 pubs hosting hundreds of unique events, great food, great entertainment and great pubs.

During his visit, Mr Lewis met with Colin Neill, CEO, Pubs of Ulster and  Peter Dolan, owner of The Albany on Belfast’s Lisburn Road – just one of the pubs participating in The Great Ulster Pub Week.

Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Pubs of Ulster said: “We are encouraged that the Shadow Secretary of State has come to Northern Ireland to meet local publicans and learn about Pubs of Ulster’s latest campaign to promote our great local pubs.

“The Great Ulster Pub has highlighted many of the great pubs we have right across Northern Ireland; showcasing their importance, not solely in economic terms but also the contribution they make to the local communities they serve.”

During his visit, Mr Lewis also met with Duncan McCausland, chair of the independent complaints panel for The Joint Industry Code for the Responsible Promotion & Retail of Alcohol in Northern Ireland to hear about the Code’s ban on irresponsible drinks promotions, which has now been in operation for over a year.

Colin Neill, CEO, Pubs of Ulster added: “The hospitality industry in Northern Ireland is moving forward and publicans are investing in diversifying their businesses. We are providing a world class product and this requires legislation that is fit for purpose.

“The Great Ulster Pub Week clearly demonstrated that Northern Ireland’s pubs provide a safe and enjoyable environment for their patrons, as well as contributing greatly to the communities they serve.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to discuss our Responsible Retailing Code with the Shadow Secretary of State, which demonstrates our industry’s commitment to selling alcohol responsibly and ensuring that the pub remains the safest place to consume and enjoy alcohol.”

Shadow Secretary of State, Ivan Lewis said: “Pubs make a significant contribution to the Northern Ireland economy, and also provide a hub for socialising. The high standards I experienced at The Albany today are testament to the quality of the hospitality industry in Northern Ireland, which makes it a brilliant place for tourists and locals alike. I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit such a thriving local business.”

For further information on The Great Ulster Pub Week, visit

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers for Bangor!

North Down Borough Council in conjunction with The Ulster Scots Agency are delighted to announce that the world-famous Red Hot Chilli Pipers will be playing a FREE concert in Castle Park, Bangor on Saturday 26th July.

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers who will be playing a free concert in Bangor’s Castle Park on Saturday 26th July.

From a cameo appearance at T in The Park in 2004 with The Darkness to opening the main stage in their own right in 2014, the past ten years has seen The Red Hot Chilli Pipers become the most famous bagpipe band on the planet – ever! Bagpipes with attitude, drums with a Scottish accent and a show so hot it carries its own health warning. The band’s achievements have reached incredible heights with their ground-breaking fusion of traditional Scottish music and Rock/Pop Anthems which they proudly call ‘Bagrock.’

Highlights from the band’s past few years include; a Gold Disk for over 100,000 UK sales for their first album, Triple Platinum album status for their third album, twice awarded ‘Best Live Act in Scotland and sell out tours, gigs and festivals worldwide to name but a few!

The Chillis have never been more in demand for their infectious style of feel good music which appeals right across the age range to people all over the world. They have a pool of the very best musicians from Scotland and across the globe – many holding World Champion titles and all serious players with impressive credentials and qualifications.

Speaking about the concert, North Down Borough Council’s Tourism Manager, Alison Stobie said: “we are thrilled to announce that The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will be coming to Castle Park in July. It is wonderful to welcome an act of this calibre to perform a free concert for residents and visitors alike. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers are a world-class act and everyone is welcome to come to Castle Park to enjoy the show.”

Also commenting on the event, the Chief Executive of The Ulster Scots Agency, Ian Crozier said: “The Ulster-Scots Agency is delighted to be supporting the event in Bangor this July. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers are a wonderful headline act and sure to draw a large crowd to this fantastic event. Combined with the other Ulster-Scots based activities on the day including music, dance and family fun we are sure that the event will be a huge success”.

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will be playing from 4pm – 6pm and the event is free and non-ticketed. From 12 noon, other activities will be taking place around Castle Park and The Town Hall too, including Ulster Scots dancing, music and demonstrations and a children’s entertainment area which will guarantee to make the event a great family day out.

For further information check


This summer Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey invites children and young adults with an interest in the performing arts to take a step back stage and discover what it means to be part of a real stage show.

Catherine McCabe of Homespun Youth Drama Group launches the official summer workshop programme at the Theatre at the Mill which offers hundreds of children and young adults with an interest in the performing arts to take a step back stage and discover what it means to be part of a real stage show. Running from June 30th - August 16th, the workshops offer master classes in everything from musical theatre, drama, music and dance teaching the vital skills and processes needed to get a jump start in the industry. Enrolment is now open. Those interested in attending are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment as places are limited. For more info see

Running from June 30th – August 16th, the official 2014 Summer Workshop programme which was launched today [6 May] offers hundreds of children and young people across Belfast and beyond the chance to star in their very own show.

Aiming to expose young people to all the aspects of a real stage show from auditions through to key dancing, music and acting skill sets, budding actors and actresses will have the opportunity to make contacts and learn from the best in the profession including the Theatre’s own Home Spun Youth Drama group and Directors from the prestigious Guildford School of Acting.

For primary school children [5 – 10], Mr Hullabaloo returns with an adaption of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Following the success of last year’s Over The Rainbow, this unique week-long musical theatre adventure has been designed to give little ones the chance to experience a fun but structured theatre school environment where they will sing, dance and star in their very own show.

For teenagers [12-18] with musical theatre aspirations, Theatre at the Mill in association with Guildford Theatre Company presents Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. Running daily, the 12 day workshop offers young people the unique opportunity to work with the best Theatre professionals in the industry. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from Sean McNamara Director of the Guildford School of acting as well as Guildford Theatre Company’s resident Director, Choreographer and Musical Director.  In addition the Theatre’s own Home Spun Youth Drama presents Stage-Door. A week-long workshop focusing on training and processes for stage performance, this course will teach vital skills of the trade to aspiring young performers. Workshops are open to all young people with an interest in theatre, there are no auditions and roles will be cast during the course of the workshop.

If dancing is more your thing, Home Spun Youth Drama Dance will be hosting a week-long dance workshop based around Cinderella the Ballet and Grease the Musical. Open to those with previous dance experience, participants [11 plus] will have the opportunity to develop their skills and build confidence in movement whilst learning choreographed routines from the very different worlds of Ballet and Musical Theatre.

Bernard Clarkson, Arts Centre Manage, says whatever your child’s age and interest, the Theatre at the Mill will have something for you;

“At the Theatre at the Mill, it is our aim to offer children and young people across all communities the chance to access and experience a variety of performing art forms while giving them an opportunity to be creative and learn new skills at the same time. With our latest workshop offering we do not disappoint. The summer 2014 programme is one of our best yet. Covering a wide variety of activities, these workshops are the perfect way to introduce your child too and develop their interest in the performing arts.”

The summer workshops begin on Monday June 30th and will run until Saturday August 16th. Enrolment is now open. Those interested in participating in a class are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment as places are limited. If you are interested in learning more about the workshops available log on to .

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


North & South in Harmony, on Saturday May 10th, brings together two community groups from Co Armagh and Co Monaghan in a feast of popular light and classical music – from Bach to The Beatles at the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre Newry on Saturday 10th May.


The Spring Continental Market is bringing its culinary delights to Cookstown from 9th – 11th May 2014. The aroma will inject a seasonal splendour into Cookstown’s retail experience. This is the first time that the Continental Market will be located in Mid Ulster as part of the Spring tour.  The award-winning Market, which will be located in Cookstown Town Centre, along William Street, will bring with it a fresh and cosmopolitan charm to the outdoor market experience.. Cookstown, renowned as the Retail Capital of Mid Ulster, has free on and off street parking, so come along and experience for yourself the assets of this market town!


The Lough Erne Recreational Paddle Saturday 10th May – Sunday 11th May 2014 is suitable and open to families, clubs, paddlers of all ages and abilities and can be paddled in any type of craft. So dust down your boat and come and join us on these social paddles.


Join Ballet Theatre UK for the dramatic re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s all-time favourite story of The Little Mermaid, who falls in love with a human Prince and gives up everything to win his love. Millennium Forum, Friday 9th May.


The Bard of Armagh Launch takes place Friday 9th May at Basil Shiels Bar – celebrating 20 years of uproarious bardic revelry with the best of traditional music and song ‘Puzzle Find Pat’ and special guest Patsy O’Hagan, Eminent Storyteller & Three Times Bard Winner. Tickets available at Basil Sheils Bar, Tassagh, Anne Mone Fancy Goods, Keady & House of Gold, Monaghan.  Also available online through Armagh Visitor Information Centre.


The Giro d’Italia, one of the world’s biggest cycling events is passing through the district of Moyle, the Heart of the Causeway Coast and Glens on Saturday 10th May. With lots of family fun including Balloon Modelling, Face Painting, Walkabout Characters, Climbing Wall, pink Fancy Dress and Pets in Pink Competitions. Sample Pink ‘Yellow Man’, attend pom pom workshops, enter pink themed golfing events, take part in time trial cycles and fun runs. For cycling enthusiasts no need to miss the action from other locations on the route with Big Screen delayed feed of Giro d’Italia race in a number of locations on Saturday 10th May.


Swing by Belfast Zoo on Saturday 10th May with your little monkeys and enjoy tiny tots day at Belfast Zoo. Enjoy activities including bouncy castles, face painters, crafts, animal feeding times and Mr Hullabaloo’s interactive theatre.

For more details on these and other events across Northern Ireland, news and competitions see, follow us @whatsonni and like us at Add your  events FREE OF CHARGE at www.whatsonni.