Relaxed Performance of Oliver at Theatre at The Mill

Going to the Theatre can be overwhelming and intimidating for many people.  This year, as part of our 5th Anniversary celebrations, we are staging a relaxed performance of our Summer Youth Theatre production Oliver on Saturday 1 August at 2.30pm.

Our relaxed performance is open to all, but is adapted to accommodate people who may have sensory or learning issues.  These can include (but are not limited to) autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders, Down’s syndrome and learning difficulties.  The relaxed performance of Oliver is suitable for children and adults and will feature adapted lighting and lowered sound levels.  Audience members will be free to talk and move around the auditorium if they wish, we also have an open door policy so patrons can make use of the quiet room as they please.  Other facilities include ample free car parking, accessible seating, accessible bathroom facilities on all levels and a hearing loop system.

Lionel Bart’s sparkling musical adaption of Charles Dicken’s novel tells the story of nine-year-old orphan Oliver Twist who falls in with a group of street-urchin pickpockets led by the Artful Dodger and masterminded by the wily and devious criminal Fagin. When Oliver’s intended victim, Mr Brownlow, takes pity on the lad and offers him a home, Fagin’s partner in crime, Bill Sikes, conspires to kidnap the boy to prevent him from talking.

Oliver opens Fri 24 July – Sat 1 August, tickets available from £9

Further relaxed performances will take place throughout the year , Annie Get Your Gun Saturday 10 October at 2.30pm and Jack and the Beanstalk Saturday 12 December at 1pm at The Courtyard Theatre. A social story is availble to view  on our website

For further information contact our Box Office on 028 9034 0202.

Free Outdoor Performance of Jane Eyre in Banbridge

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is bringing culture outdoors again with an unmissable performance of Jane Eyre in Solitude Park, Banbridge on Friday 7th August 2015 at 7.30pm.

Chapterhouse Theatre Company, who previously performed in the park and brought great literary classics such as Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility to life, will deliver another powerful adaptation of this beautiful story of undying love by Charlotte Brontë.

Jane Eyre tells the tale of the young governess and her arrival to the mysterious Thornfield Hall deep in the Yorkshire moors where she meets the enigmatic Mr Rochester and so begins the most unforgettable of love stories.

When a secret from the past returns to haunt them, can Jane and Rochester’s passion survive the forces that might tear them apart forever?

Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy to what is certain to be another captivating performance by a highly acclaimed theatre company.

Pack a picnic and bring your family along to this free event. A range of refreshments such as strawberries and cream, tea and coffee, popcorn and slush puppies will also be on sale.

Climb Slieve Donard in aid of Cancer Fund for Children

Climb Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland’s highest peak on Sunday 20th August and help raise funds for NI’s leading kid’s cancer charity to ensure children, young people and families don’t have to face cancer alone.

Money raised will go towards supporting a range of Cancer Fund for Children services including Daisy Lodge, the charity’s therapeutic short break facility, located nearby in the tranquil foothills of the Mourne Mountains.

Cancer Fund for Children and its service users are appealing to members of the public to set off in support of Daisy Lodge in a sponsored 5.8 mile Slieve Donard trek which will see participants climbing to 2,550 feet, enjoying breath-taking views as far as Scrabo Tower, the Wicklow Mountains and Isle of Man while showing solidarity with children, young people and families affected by cancer..

Bethany Courtney aged 18 from Ballynahinch was diagnosed with cancer like illnesses Aplastic Anaemia and PNH two years ago, (these are diseases of the blood which destroy the body’s red blood cells). Bethany spoke about the restorative setting of Daisy Lodge and how it has helped her:

“The whole Shimna Valley Complex is just beautiful. It’s like an oasis with the trees and Mournes in the background. I have enjoyed stays there where I benefited from peer support and from the charity’s team of Specialists including Gemma O’Toole. I was so glad to be able to talk to her about how I was feeling about my illness. This was a big breakthrough for me as I had tried counselling before and was unable to open up, but with Gemma I just felt so relaxed and comfortable. It helped me see I don’t have to face things alone. I’m urging people to sign up to Slieve Donard so more young people can benefit from this type of support.”

Climb Slieve Donard this August and help Cancer Fund for Children reach its target of £26,000 which will help more children and teenagers like Bethany Preen.

The challenge sets off on Sunday 30th August from Donard Car Park in Newcastle at 9.30am. Afterwards, participants can celebrate with a BBQ at Hugh McCann’s Pub in Newcastle.

To register for Slieve Donard visit Alternatively, phone 02890805599 or email

Sunflowerfest organisers announce full line-up and schedule of events for leading local festival

With one week to go until thousands of eager festival goers descend upon Tubby’s Farm, Hillsborough, for the 6th annual Sunflowerfest, festival organisers have announced the full programme of performances scheduled for the five main stages of the festival from Friday 31st July – Sunday 2nd August.

From spoken word and comedy performances in the Moot to local gems and cocktails at the Pond Stage, the picturesque backdrop of the Campfire Stage which will feature a range of more acoustic, folk and traditional acts, and the heavier, more alternative acts housed in the Barn Stage, this year’s festival is offering something for every musical taste and all ages of festival guest.

Music will kick off from 1.45pm on Friday 31st July and from 12pm on Saturday 1st August and 12.30pm Sunday 2nd August, with exciting headline acts Dreadzone (10.45pm, Friday), Senser (10.40pm, Saturday) and Skinny Lister (9.50pm, Sunday) closing the main stage on each night of the festival.

“We’re incredibly proud of the line-up we’ve secured for this year’s festival,” said Michael Magowan, organiser, Sunflowerfest.  “Our planning for this year began immediately following last year’s festival and the line-ups we have confirmed for all of the festival’s stages represent the very best in local music as well as a number of rising stars in the British and Irish music scenes alongside veterans of the industry with Dreadzone and Senser.”

“We aim to organise an excitingly different and magical weekend festival each year and this year will not only include our five stages of live music but will also see a cocktail bar on a boat, a fully-supervised kids’ zone with arts, crafts and fun educational activities, the Bliss realm, sponsored by Vita Coco, which will nurture mind, body and spirit, and back by popular demand we will have a UV Silent Disco for guests to enjoy.”

Now in its 6th year, the annual festival held each summer on Tubby’s Farm in Hillsborough, County Down, has quickly become a must-attend festival for all things related to music and art. The annual festival is attended by music lovers from across the UK and Ireland and as far away as Russia, Germany, China and America.

To purchase tickets to next week’s festival or explore the full line-up of events and activities for all festival guests, visit

This year’s confirmed music line-up is as follows and can also be accessed online at



DREADZONE -10.45 – 11.55pm
KING KONG COMPANY – 7.10pm – 8.10pm
BUNOSCIONN – 5.50pm – 6.35pm
RUNABAY – 4.35pm – 5.15pm
TEMPEST FUGITIVES – Winners of Jägermeister Battle of the Bands – 3.25pm – 4pm
STORMTREE – 2.20pm – 2.55pm


NANU NANU – 9.45pm – 10.45pm
EVIL PRESIDENTES – 8.10pm – 8.45pm
JBR – 6.35pm – 7.10pm
REMEDY – 5.15pm – 5.50pm
GREEN MONKEY – 4pm – 4.35pm
THE TITANICS – 2.55pm- 3.25pm
PALM TREE DYNAMITE – 1.50pm – 2.20pm


COCO AND THE BUTTERFIELDS – 9.45pm – 10.45pm
DECOMPOSING IN PARIS – 8.10pm – 8.45pm
LILITH LANE – 6.35pm – 7.10pm
HIS NEW ATLAS – 4pm- 4.35pm
DAVID GOODWIN – Buskfest Winner – 2.55pm- 3.25pm
DONNA DUNNE – 1.50pm – 2.20pm


WOLF LIKE ME  – 9.30pm – 10.30pm
MATTHEW BURKE – 8pm – 9pm
TAKODAH – 6.45pm – 7.45pm
MOSA – 5.30pm – 6.30pm
GRAHAM McKINSTRY –  4.15pm – 5.15pm
WILLIAM MARTIN  – 3.00pm – 4.00pm
COMERADE HAT  – 1.45pm –2.45pm


LUKE McGIBBON/DAVID JAMES GRAYII (comedy) – 10.45pm – 11.20pm
MAGS & THE BEARDS – 8.45pm – 9.40pm
PAUL CURRIE  (comedy) – 7.30pm – 8.10pm
NEW YORK MINUTE – 6.35pm – 7.10pm
WORD OF MOUTH POETRY (Cat Brogan & Clare McWilliams) – 5.30pm – 6.00pm
GILDED THIEVES – 4.30pm – 5.10 pm



SENSER – 10.40pm – 11.55pm
SCREAMING EAGLES – 9.05pm – 9.55pm
TRIGGERMAN – 7.40pm – 8.25pm
DEANY DARKO – 6.20pm – 7.05pm
THE HARDCHARGERS – 5.50pm – 5.45pm
PREACHER’S SON – 3.55pm – 4.30pm
R51 – 2.45pm – 3.20pm
MY FELLOW SPONGES – 1.35pm – 2.10pm
THE LEFT BACKS – 12.30pm – 1.05pm


NASA ASSASSIN – 9.55pm – 10.40pm
MAVERICK – 8.25pm – 9.05pm
ELEVATION FALLS – 7.05pm – 7.40pm
HENRY CLUNEY -Stiff Little Fingers- 5.45pm – 6.20pm

LO MEJOR – 4.30pm -5.05pm

ROBOCOBRA QUARTET – 3.20pm – 3.55pm
HOT COPS – 2.10pm – 2.45pm
OH BOLAND – 1.05pm – 1.35pm
KRYPTIC STATE – 12pm – 12.30pm


URSULA BURNS – 9.55pm – 10.40pm
THE TWISTED SISTERS – 8.25pm – 9.05pm
HVMMINGBYRD – 7.05pm – 7.40pm
LOVE STREET – 5.45pm – 6.20pm
GILDED THIEVES – 3.20pm – 3.55pm
OWEN DENVIR – 2.10pm – 2,45pm
MONSOON SEASON – 1.05pm – 1.35pm
QUE PASA – 12pm – 12.30pm


THE JURY DISAGREE 9.15pm – 10.15pm
OBSIDIAN – 8.00pm – 9.00pm
SUSIE BLUE  – 6.45pm – 7.45pm
CONOR HUTCHEON  – 5.30pm – 6.30pm
UNA CLARKIN  – 4.15pm – 5.15pm
ADAM PORTER  – 3pm – 4pm
HANNAH ANDERSON  – 1.45pm – 2.45pm
URSULA BURNS  12.30pm – 1.30


MEN ON THE HILL  – 9.05pm – 9.55pm
DANIEL DUKE – 7.40pm-8.25pm
RUN KID  – 5.30pm – 6pm
ACOUSTIC SHOWCASE NI  – 4.35pm – 5.10pm
NATIVE OAK – 3.40pm – 4.15pm
CIARA O’NEILL – 2.30pm – 3.10pm
WORD OF MOUTH POETRY  – 1.30pm – 2.15pm
SINEAD COLL – 12.30pm – 1pm



SKINNY LISTER – 9.50pm – 11pm
LORIS – 8.20pm – 9.05pm
MAGWERE – 7pm- 7.45pm
THE WOOD BURNING SAVAGES – 5.40pm – 6.25pm
DANIEL DUKE – 4.20pm – 5.05pm
AMANDA ST.JOHN – 3pm – 3.45pm
TREEHOME – 1.40pm – 2.20pm
BIG BELFAST CHOIR – 12.30pm – 1.05pm


ZOMBIFIED – 9.05pm – 9.50pm
WAR IRON – 7.45pm – 8.20pm
MATTY JAMES – 6.25pm – 7pm
PETTY YOUTH – 5.05pm – 5.40pm
ZALUPA – 3.45pm – 4.20pm
CIVIL SIMIAN – 2.20pm- 2.55pm
NAOISE ROO – 1.05pm – 1.40pm


MUTEFISH – 9.05pm – 9.50pm
HOW – 7.45pm – 8.20pm
HVMMINGBYRD – 6.25pm – 7pm
THE DANDY HORSES – 5.05pm – 5.40pm
NA LEANAI – 3.45pm – 4.20pm
GROUSE – 2.20pm – 2.55pm
TECIMERICO – 1.05pm – 1.40pm


BLOOMER WHITE (DJ) – 9.30pm – 10.30pm
JAMES McNEICE – 8.15pm – 9.15pm
PADDY MALLON  – 7pm – 8pm
LEIF  – 4.15pm – 5.15pm
STOMPBOX JONNY  – 1.30pm – 2.30pm
ALICE SIGNAL FIRES  – 12.15pm – 1.15pm


GEOFF HATT & GUESTS – 8.20pm – 9.05pm
VOKXEN  – 6.30pm – 7pm
WORD OF MOUTH POETRY  – 5.40pm – 6.15pm
TIN POT OPERATION – 4.45pm – 5.25pm
CATHERINE HATT  – 3.55pm -4.25pm
WORD OF MOUTH POETRY  – 1.40pm – 2.20pm
NATIVE OAK  – 1.05pm – 1.30pm

Scott Inspires Hornets to Victory

Jason Scott probably awoke Thursday morning feeling a little beaten up but another Belfast Hornets victory was undoubtedly a suitable balm.

The rookie right fielder was hit by pitches three times on Wednesday evening as the Northstars (4-8) were taken down 8-3 at Hydebank Park.

Advertised as a pitcher’s duel between Mark Smith and Melvin Woods, the game wouldn’t disappoint with Smith ( 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 10K) taking the win and improving his team to a 9-1 record. Before leaving with tightness in his arm, Woods (6 H, 6R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 8 K) was himself on his way to a solid outing before the ball was handed to Will Mitchell in the last inning.

Unfortunately for Woods’ Northstars, the Hornets provided a more balanced attack, led from the leadoff spot By Sean Gottschalk (3 H, 2 RBI, 2 SB). Northstars coach Darwin Sanchez would attempt to motivate his team with an inside-the-park home run in the third inning but unfortunately for the maroon and gold, four errors and seven men left on base gave them little chance to catch the expansion Hornets.

In a game that included spotty defence on both sides, both coaches will be looking for tighter fielding as the season moves into its second half.

Attention turns to the smaller diamond on Sunday as the Angels look to bounce back from a nailbiter loss to the Cubs last week.

Despite a valiant comeback, Jay Slevin and Jonny Craven’s team just got pipped 14-13 with the tying and winning runs on base. They will be facing off against the Bangor Buccaneers (3-4) in a mid table clash at Hydebank. With a 4-4 record in this, their rookie season, the Angels have shown potential and the coaches will be hoping that they start strong from the first pitch.

Be sure to check out the Facebook pages and twitter feeds for the teams of the Belfast Baseball and Softball Club – The Belfast Northstars(@NorthstarsBB) , The Belfast Buccaneers(@BelfastBucs), The Belfast Hornets (@BelfastHornets) and The Belfast Angels Softball Club (@Belfast_Angels).


Thousands of people every year attend a summer festival where they experience exhilarating live performances, enjoy unique experiences and make new friends, and this year in Northern Ireland is no exception with so many excellent festivals to choose from all over the country.

Tourism NI’s Destination PR Officer Pauline Gormley explains why attending a festival is the perfect way to ensure you have a fun filled summer to remember:

“Whether you have a love of live performances and spending time with friends or you are after something more low key and a day out with the family, there is a great festival to suit you in Northern Ireland.

“Our varied festival selection means that foodies, music lovers and keen culture vultures are all catered for – the only difficulty is choosing which one you want to visit.  Why not turn your festival experience into a short break or holiday and sample some of Northern Ireland’s hotels, B&Bs and self-catering properties and don’t forget the many caravan park and glamping sites to really make you time away special,” said Pauline.

Tourism Northern Ireland has outlined a list of fun festivals that are available over the coming months:

Ulster Fleadh / Fleadh Uladh | 18 – 26 July | Dromore, County Tyrone

This huge celebration of traditional Irish music, song and dance returns to the village of Dromore with concerts, lively pub sessions and impromptu street performances, culminating in a Cultural Parade.

Fiddler’s Green International Festival | 19 – 26 July | Rostrevor, County Down
This popular, long running festival will feature over 200 events including music, outdoor ceilis, children’s activities, guided mountain walks, art exhibitions, workshops and sports.  Confirmed music acts include Irish artists Seamus Begley and Steve Cooney, Kíla, Danú and The Sands Family.

Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival | 23 July – 3 August | Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

A multi-arts festival celebrating Irish Nobel Prize writer Samuel Beckett, who attended school in Enniskillen.  The line-up features theatre, dance, film, visual arts and literature, with international names from across the arts world.  Quirky venues include the island town’s four churches and nearby Devenish Island.

August Féile | 30 July – 9 August | Belfast
Ireland’s largest community festival plays host to headlining music from home and abroad, as part of a diverse range of events including comedy, sporting, exhibitions, tours, drama and debates.  This year’s headline acts include reggae legends UB40 and comedian Frankie Boyle.

Sunflowerfest | 31 July – 2 August | Hillsborough, County Down
This well established and family-oriented festival will feature superb live music, storytelling, poetry and interactive art, dance and music workshops, in a beautiful setting with on-site camping at Tubby’s Farm near Hillsborough.

7 Hills Blues Festival | 6 – 9 August | Armagh City
From Chicago Rhythm to Funk Style this festival brings some of the finest Blues bands to the atmospheric streets of Armagh, with local bands appearing alongside top class international acts.  Fringe events add an artistic and family-oriented buzz, with eateries and shops getting involved to bring a real Blues feel to the city.

Stendhal Festival | 7 – 8 August | Limavady, County Londonderry
This multi-award-winning music and arts festival will return for a fifth year to Ballymully Cottage Farm near Limavady.  There will be a vast array of musical genres, including Friday night headliner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Donovan.

Club MTV | 15 August | Derry~Londonderry
Following on from the success of MTV’s visit to the city in 2014, there will be an MTV Club event at Ebrington Square this Summer.  Stay tuned for line-up announcements.

Belsonic | 15 – 26 August | Belfast
Belsonic returns to Belfast’s Custom House Square this August with another eclectic range of world-class musical artists.  The line-up will include Rudimental, Duke Dumont, Paloma Faith, Stereotypes, The Coronas and Bastille.

EastSide Arts Festival | 19 – 31 August | Belfast
An annual festival celebrating the creative talent of East Belfast.  One confirmed highlight will be the return of the hugely successful Dancing Shoes – The George Best Story to the city’s Grand Opera House.

Hilden Beer and Music Festival | 28 – 30 August | Hilden Brewery, Lisburn, County Antrim
A favourite for all lovers of beer and music, at Ireland’s oldest independent brewery.  Enjoy more than 20 acts over three music stages, with three bars serving over 30 ales, stouts, lagers and ciders from Ireland and Britain, plus a food village in the front garden.

Tennent’s Vital | 29 – 30 August | Belfast
Taking place at Belfast’s Boucher Road Playing Fields, this is one of the biggest events in the local music calendar.  Big names Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding, John Newman, The Script and Kodaline are among the confirmed acts.

Carnival of Colours | 29 – 30 August | St. Columb’s Park, Derry~Londonderry

This flagship circus, arts and music festival will be filled with top treats for all the family.  Highlights include the very best of international and local street theatre,  storytelling, workshops and international foods, with evening cabaret, music and comedy.

Belfast Mela | 30 August | Belfast
The Mela (a Sanskrit word meaning ‘to meet’) returns to the city’s Botanic Gardens for a huge multi-cultural celebration of music, dance, food and visual arts.

Bluegrass Music Festival | 4 – 6 September | Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, County Tyrone
Head to this popular outdoor museum where there will be strumming on the porches of the log cabins, dancing in the cobbled streets and jamming outside the General Store!  The line-up includes some of the biggest names in bluegrass, hailing from Ireland, England, North America and mainland Europe.

To find out more about activities and events taking place in Northern Ireland click on or visit your local tourist information centre.


Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (July 27-August 2).

  • The 4th Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, Enniskillen Town, Co Fermanagh, July 23 – August 3. Lovers of music, theatre, dance and literature, will not want to miss a moment of the jam-packed programme. The Festival is the first of its kind to celebrate the life and works of the Nobel prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett who spent many of his formative years studying at Portora Royal School. This year’s Festival will feature six World Premiere productions and a Talks programme that has something for everyone.
  • The Wickerman Gathering, Navan Centre & Fort, Killylea Road, Armagh, Co Armagh, August 1. Get down to Navan Centre and Fort for some live music, traditional dance lessons, storytelling, activities and crafts, Ceili and a Wickerman fire ceremony. Along with entertainment from one of Europe’s most celebrated folk theatre ensembles the ‘Armagh Ryhmers’. Booking essential. From 6pm – 10pm.
  • Kite Festival 2015, Downhill Demesne, Castlerock, Downhill, Co Londonderry, August 2. Enjoy an afternoon of high flying fun for all the family on this stunning coastal estate. There will be kite shows, a craft village, exhibitors, helicopter rides, quad pod rides, Wild Geese Display team (weather permitting) and much more. From 12-5pm.
  • John Hewitt International Summer School, English Street, Armagh, Co Armagh, July 27-31. The John Hewitt International Summer School is a five-day festival of culture and creativity which takes place in The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre. The International Summer School is now in its 28th year and features readings, talks, discussions and debates as well as celebrating visual art, music and theatre.
  • Féile an Phobail, various venues, Belfast, July 30 – August 9.The 27th Féile explodes into colourful life across West Belfast and beyond. Ireland’s biggest community festival and summer school will feature over 400 events from live music and comedy to sport, exhibitions, drama, discussions and debates in over 30 venues including the Féile Big Top in the heart of Falls Park, Clonard Monastery, An Chultúrlann and a mix of iconic venues across the City.
  • Open House Festival, Bangor, Co Down, August 1-31. The Open House Festival is back in Bangor for the third year running and it’s bigger and better than ever. Taking over the entire month of August from the 1 – 31, Bangor will be filled with all things music, art and culture.
  • Ranger Round-Up, The Argory, Co Tyrone, August 2-33 (Sundays only). Enjoy an all-weather exploration of The Argory. Make mud pies, set up a snail race, find a mini-beast, explore in the play area and toast marshmallows on the campfire. From 2-4pm.
  • Summer Theatre Portrush, Portrush Town Hall, Co Antrim, July 29–August 1.  Enjoy live comedy theatre suitable for all the family. There will be a performance each night from Wednesday to Saturday each week at 8pm.
  • Creative Peninsula, Ards Arts Centre, Newtownards, Co Down, July 31-August 9. Experience and enjoy some of the best arts and crafts that Northern Ireland has to offer at the Creative Peninsula, a superb fun, friendly and creative series of events taking place in Ards and North Down. Now in its 14th year, the Creative Peninsula offers a range of free and bookable opportunities for people of all ages and levels of experience to see, learn about and even ‘try their hand’ at some of the many art and craft forms that are practiced in the local area.
  • Cairncastle Ulster Scots Bluegrass and folk festival, Ballgally, Larne, Co Antrim, July 25-August 2. Enjoy this unique Ulster Scots based festival with international Scottish, Bluegrass and Country bands which will appeal to those over 45 years old, some families and those who have a variety of interests wishing to explore culture, history and musical activities.

Please note some of the events require pre-booking. For more details on these and other events click on, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto

Jacqueline from shares her pick of what’s on this weekend across NI


Enjoy Live Music Sundays at the Ward Park Bandstand Bangor throughout July and August from 3pm – 5pm  featuring Johnny and the Riviera Swing &, Jazz Band this Sunday. Please feel free to bring along a picnic but the park operates a strict no alcohol policy.  If the weather is inclement the event may be cancelled


You’re invited to step back to the 1800s to see what really went on behind closed doors in the Victorian big house at the Argory’s Victorian Tea Party this Sunday 26th July. Get the gossip from the Housekeeper and the Lady’s Maid and enjoy a delightful afternoon tea; finger sandwiches, Victoria sponge, homemade scones and other traditional delights.  Afternoon tea sittings: 1:30pm, 3pm, 4:30pm


Taking place in the island town of Enniskillen, lovers of music, theatre, dance and literature, will not want to miss a moment of the jam-packed programme for the 4th Happy Days Enniskillen International Becket Festival, which runs from July 23rd – August 3rd.  This year’s festival features Drop the Dead Donkey’s Neil Pearson, wife of Benedict Cumberbatch Sophie Hunter, Pirates of the Caribbean actor Kevin McNally, the amazing Maguy Marin Dance Company from France and Germany’s number one theatre company the controversial Berliner Ensemble.  Northern Ireland’s own Ian McElhinney, who played Ser Barristan on Game of Thrones will perform, while local star Adrian Dunbar will once again Direct a World Premiere production, on Devenish Island, in his role as Festival Associate.


This year’s Glenelly Rockin by the River Festival takes place in Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, from Wednesday 22nd July to Sunday 26th July 2015 with the Annual Family Walk, Treasure Hunt, Hip Hop Dance Classes, Ceili, Jiving Competition, Johnny Brady, Vintage Rally, The Whistlin’ Donkeys, Family Fun Day,  Justin Mc Gurk & The Boogie Men and much more. Lots of fun for all the family to enjoy.


The Red Sails Festival Portstewart continues all week.   All of the entertainment at the Crescent is free and includes a variety of music & drama, Irish & Scottish dancing, art, cheerleading and fancy dress. There are various competitions and challenges. On Saturday 25th at 10.30pm there is a firework display to mark the end of the festival.


In their special 5th Anniversary production, the Theatre at The Mill’s annual Summer Youth Theatre are staging a new production of the classic smash hit musical, Oliver! under the direction of Sean McNamara, director at the leading conservatoire for musical theatre, GSA. Show runs 24th July to 1st August.


Don’t miss the Transformer art exhibition by the amazing Transformer comic creator Nick Roche at W5 this summer. This gallery exhibition of 22 large backlit images will be on display until 30 August.   Initially known for his fan-favourite Transformers comic book work (Death Of Optimus Prime, Last Stand Of The Wreckers), Nick has moved on to working with Marvel Comics on their Death’s Head and New Warriors titles. Nick has recently side-stepped into the hard rock arena, designing the album artwork for The Darkness’ upcoming LP, ‘Last Of Their Kind’, and providing the Viking-themed comic book imagery for the video to their song ‘Barbarian’. Nick’s current work can be seen in the comic Monster Motors: The Curse of Minivan Helsing (written by ‘Hop’ and ‘Minions’ screenwriter, Brian Lynch) which is available now from IDW Publishing.

Add your events free at Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at for news, competitions and what’s on near you.

Bright Sparks Summer Camps at W5 Belfast

Looking for something to keep the kids occupied this summer? There are still spaces available for W5’s Bright Sparks Summer Camps running 27th – 31st July and 3rd – 7th August 9am to 5pm each day for children 8-13yrs!

Do you know the next budding Brian Cox, Dara O’Brien or Alice Roberts? Bright Sparks summer camp is a week-long adventure for inquisitive young minds aged 8-13 years old. As well as participating in exciting science activities such as crime labs, rocket races and building challenges, children will have a go presenting spectacular science experiments and create a video of their experience to share with family and friends.

What does it offer?

  • Hands-on activities that are engaging and informative
  • Fun and exciting topics representing a range of STEM disciplines
  • Opportunities to explore W5 including our brand new exhibit Climbit
  • Enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and experienced staff
  • Drop-off and pick-up times designed to accommodate working parents

Workshops – Children will participate in a number of themed workshops throughout their week at the Bright Sparks Summer Camp. Typically these fun, classroom- based workshops last between 60-90 minutes and feature a range of hands-on practical STEM activities specifically developed for this age group.

Floor visits – Supervised by Summer camp staff, children will have an opportunity to explore W5’s dynamic exhibition areas with over 250 + interactive exhibits including their latest and biggest exhibit Climbit.

Demonstration Shows – throughout the week there will be an opportunity to see some of W5’s many Sci-Five floor shows.

Project – Over the course of the week, children will work with each other and the staff to create a short movie of their experience. As well as filming exhibits and workshops, they will have a go at learning some of the demonstrations and tricks used in our science magic show and film those too. They will then learn some basic editing techniques to create their very own W5 movie.

Ten-pin bowling/cinema – Making the most of W5’s convenient location, W5 can offer the children a fun afternoon of ten pin bowling or a trip to the cinema.

What will it cost?

The total cost for one week is £100.
How do I apply?
For further information visit or to book telephone 028 90 467700, 028 90 467793 or 028 90 467790.


It’s been home to the world’s most expensive cocktail and the world’s oldest Old Fashioned, now Belfast’s Merchant Hotel is breaking the mould yet again with the launch of Ireland’s first dedicated water menu.

Laura Motiejunaite at the launch of the five-star hotel’s new water menu. With an exclusive range of 13 bottled waters, the new menu includes some of the world’s purest waters, originating from 10 countries including Italy, Iceland, Finland, the Faroe Islands and Fiji. Prices on the new water menu start from £4.95 and go right up to £26.45 per bottle, with a description of the water and its mineral content guiding guests through the options available. Never ones to do things by halves, The Merchant has also appointed two new water butlers that can help guests choose the water that is right for their palate, explaining the unique benefits, tastes and attributes of the different brands, many of which can be rarely found in the UK and Ireland. For more information on The Merchant Hotel or to book a dining experience visit

This summer, The Merchant Hotel will launch its new water menu, with an exclusive range of 13 bottled waters.  The handpicked selection has been curated to include some of the world’s purest waters, with bottles originating from 10 countries including Italy, Iceland, Finland, the Faroe Islands and Fiji.
Prices on the new water menu start from £4.95 and go right up to £26.45 per bottle, with a description of the water and its mineral content guiding guests through the options available.  Never ones to do things by halves, The Merchant has also appointed two new water butlers that can help guests choose the water that is right for their palate, explaining the unique benefits, tastes and attributes of the different brands,  many of which can be rarely found in the UK and Ireland.

Commenting on the launch of the new water menu, Gavin Carroll, general manager of The Merchant Hotel said: “Just like wine, the location where water is produced will impact on its taste and flavour.  Whilst experts can differentiate between the mineral content and PH balance of different types of water, discerning consumers are also increasingly demanding a wider choice of waters.

“The ethos behind the new water menu is to allow our guests to have the chance and choice to curate their own bespoke food and beverage experience.  Our water butlers can help customers decide on the type water that will best complement the food and wine they choose, to enable them to experience the perfect taste journey.

“The brands featured on our new menu are some of the world’s best and have been sourced from a range of global locations including glaciers, tropical islands and mountains.
“Of course, we know these luxury waters won’t be to everyone’s taste and new menu will be offered as an additional option to our current water menu that includes local Irish brands and for those that don’t want to splash out on water, we can still offer a glass of ‘Belfast water’, free of charge.”

For more information on The Merchant Hotel or to book a dining experience visit

The Merchant Hotel’s Water Menu

Iceberg, Still: Canadian Arctic Ice shelf Newfoundland – £26.45 750ml Btl
In the Canadian Arctic, the snow froze and compacted into enormous glacial walls, sheltered from all impurities from the outside world. Thousands of years later, the ice is considered to hold the purest water on earth. The water has the lowest mineral content of any bottled water, resulting in a smooth and neutral taste. TDS 9mg – Sodium 1.5mg – Magnesium 0.4mg – Calcium 0.7mg

Fiji, Still: Fiji Islands Rainforest – £5.50 1000ml Btl
Fiji water begins as rain falling on the tropical island of Viti Levu’s north coast and is drawn from an artesian aquifer that lies hundreds of feet below the edges of a primitive rain forest, as it filters down through layer of ancient volcanic rock, the natural filtration process introduces the mineral silica which contributes to a distinctively smooth mouthfeel. TDS 224mg – Sodium 18mg – Magnesium 15mg – Calcium 18mg

Chanteldon, Sparkling: France – £8.45 750ml Btl
This naturally carbonated water is slowly filtered through the rocks of the Chateldonnaise mountains in France and emerg­es from the spring at a constant temperature of 6˚C.Chateldon has been continuously bottled since 1650 when King Louis XIV brought in barrels by mule to Versailles. TDS 1882mg – Sodium 240mg – Magnesium 49mg – Calcium 383mg

Basalt, Sparkling: Faroe Islands Suouroy – £5.45 500ml Btl
Three different basalt layers constitute these remote and pristine Faroe Islands. Suouroy, the southernmost island is in the lowest of these layers, dating back 58 million years. Seeping through the alkaline basalt layers, combined with zeolitic fractions, the water is perfectly purified and softened, acquiring its distinct taste and character with a high pH giving it a hint of sweetness. TDS 1200mg – Sodium 150mg – Magnesium 85mg – Calcium 90mg

Veen, Still: Finland Konisaajo – £7.95 660ml Btl
The first source of VEEN water lies hidden away from the world in the wilderness of Finnish Lapland. The water is filtered through an ice age till at the Konisaajo natural spring area. The spring area is located near a small village called Tengelio between two hills which are mainly layers of sand and gravel that were formed after the Weichsalian glacier during the early formation of the Baltic Sea. TDS 17mg – Sodium 1.9mg – Magnesium 0.6mg – Calcium 2mg

Saint Geron, Sparkling: France Auvergne – £7.85 750ml Btl
The mineral spring of Saint Geron in Auvergne has a long and proud history. Enjoyed by the Romans, this naturally sparkling water is the result of a thousand year voyage, starting with rainfall seeping into the soil and following crevices deep down into the earth. Enriched by minerals along the way, it rises to the surface with a burst of complexity and is heralded for its health benefits. TDS 1158mg – Sodium 225mg – Magnesium 53mg – Calcium 79mg

SNO Glacial, Still: Iceland – £7.15 750ml Btl
From the 20,000 year old Eyjafjallajökull Glacier in Iceland, completely unaltered with nothing added or taken away. 100% Natural. SNO comes from a time when the world was unspoiled and un-polluted, where it is filtered naturally through layers of volcanic lava rock. It is naturally high in Oxygen. TDS 52mg – Sodium 7.2mg – Magnesium 2.9mg – Calcium 2.4mg

Fuiggi Italy, Still: Frosinone – £11.50 1000ml Btl
Loved by Michelangelo, Fiuggi mineral water is a natural medicine, Italy’s pride and natural wonder. The healing Fiuggi water is an effective cure for urinary tract infections, gout, arthritis and arthrosis. TDS 122mg – Sodium 6.4mg – Magnesium 6.3mg – Calcium 15.9mg

De l’Aubier Maple Sap Water: Canada – £15.50 750ml Btl
This is the only water of its kind in the world. A still water of vegetal origin made from maple sap. Through the biological phenomenon of osmosis, it rises to the tree’s branches during the night and flows back to the roots during the day.  TDS 260mg – Sodium 2mg – Magnesium 2mg – Calcium 2mg

Vichy Catalan, Sparkling: Spain Girona – £6.45 1000ml Btl
This naturally sparkling water rises from a unique hot spring in Girona at 60oc. Ancient rulers, conquerors and health seekers have been coming to this spring for health benefits since the middle ages. Vichy Catalan mineral water is good for you, containing 27 of the 34 minerals that the human body needs for good health. TDS 3052mg – Sodium 1100mg – Magnesium 6.4mg – Calcium 14mg

Whitehole Springs, Still: UK Mendip Hills Somerset – £4.95 750ml Btl
At over 15,000 years old, Whitehole Springs are the only Tufa springs in Europe. Tufa, a coral-like substance, is formed from the high levels of calcium as the water flows from deep within the ancient Mendip Hills, Somerset. The still water is soft on the tongue and slightly sweet in taste. It is also very refreshing, just as a mineral water is expected to be. TDS 332mg – Sodium 6mg – Magnesium 6mg – Calcium 110mg

Speyside, Sparkling: UK Scotland Glenlivet Estate – £4.95 750ml Btl
Sourced from the highest naturally occurring spring in the UK on the remote Scottish Crown Estate of Glenlivet – no less than 1,000 feet above sea level. The spring produces water with an unusually low mineral content. TDS 58mg – Sodium 4mg – Magnesium 2mg – Calcium 12mg

Borjomi, Sparkling: Georgia – £13.95 500ml Btl
This is the purest glacier water from the Bakuriani mountains and originally from the factory of Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich Romanov in late 19th century. Due to unique mineral complex of volcanic origin found in Borjomi this naturally sparkling mineral water promotes immunity and aids the digestive system. TDS mg – Sodium mg – Magnesium 50mg – Calcium 100mg