Simon & Garfunkel are “Homeward Bound”for the Market Place Theatre, Armagh

Critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest tribute shows, ‘Simon & Garfunkel Through The Years’ returns with an all new production. Featuring a full live band, moving video footage and stunning vocal harmonies, this spectacular concert takes audiences on a journey through the songs and history of Simon and Garfunkel.

The show is a celebration of the incredible rise to fame of two boys from Queens, New York who would go on to become the most successful folk-rock duo of the 1960’s, selling 38 million albums in the US alone, winning 10 Grammy Awards and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Hear all of the hits such as ‘The Sound of Silence’, ‘Mrs Robinson’, ‘The Boxer’ and the iconic ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, as well as hits from Paul Simon’s solo career such as ‘Call Me Al’, ‘Kodachrome’ and ‘50 Ways To Leave Your Lover’, in this unmissable show. On The Market Place stage on Saturday 1 June.

Tickets are available from the Theatre Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at 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.

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


Newtownards is preparing for a puppet invasion this month when the Ards Puppet Festival returns to Ards Arts Centre and Conway Square. The popular festival which is taking place on Sunday 26th and Monday 27th May presents a full-programme of puppet mayhem and will be fun for all ages!


Armagh Craft Fair returns for the ninth year to the wonderful surroundings of The Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre on Saturday 25th May.  Bringing high quality craft to the heart of Armagh City this annual event offers something for everyone.


The Country Fair at Florencecourt takes place this Sunday 26th May. Enjoy this annual Country Fair with dog shows, rare breeds, live music, craft stalls and much more. It’s an event not to be missed!


‘Spirit of Folk 2019’ is a unique festival  taking place this Sunday 26th May in The Moy.  This year will showcase the best folk trad in Ireland, combining traditional festival shenanigans that embody inclusiveness for everyone. ‘Spirit of Folk 2019.


This Sunday 26th May explore the great outdoors with a Canoe & Picnic Trip on the River Roe with Carrowmena Activity Centre.  Carrowmena  transport you to an entry point in Limavady where you will paddle back to Swanns bridge, fully immerse yourself in the outdoors, taking in beautiful sights such as Binevenagh Mountain.


RTE Dancing with the Stars contestant and Irish Country Sensation Cliona Hagan makes her debut performance at the Marine Hotel on Sunday 26th May for the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival.  Doors open 9pm. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling the Marine Hotel Ballycastle on 02820762222 or online from Eventbrite,


Shhhh! Visitors on the autism spectrum and those with sensory requirements can enjoy the peace and quiet of Belfast Zoo during Quiet Hour on Monday 27th May.  The zoo will open at 9am, an hour before normal opening times. Visitors can expect reduced crowds and lower levels of noise, helping to create a more relaxed atmosphere.

For more details on these events and to add your events free go to Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at for news, competitions and what’s on near you.  

Jacqueline McGonigle

Discover the magic of Puppets this weekend at Ards Puppet Festival!

This Bank Holiday weekend Ards Arts Centre and Conway Square, Newtownards will be animated with puppets in all shapes and sizes when the annual Ards Puppet Festival returns to the town!

Over the two days, Sunday 26 and Monday 27 May, the jam-packed programme will offer scheduled shows, street theatre, walkabouts and craft workshops.

The Conway Square programme of activities which runs from 12noon to 4pm each day, includes colourful street-theatre, whacky walkabouts and puppet-making workshops. Watch the ‘Billy Goats Gruff’ as they tussle with the grumpy troll, queue up at the ‘Rat Choc Chip’ ice-cream van and get more than you’ve bargained for, enjoy a ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ or traditional ‘Punch and Judy’. More creative visitors can get stuck into puppet-making at the free interactive workshops where children can build their very own puppets, with help from professional artists.

One of the programme highlights will be performances by the Budapest Marionettes. Performing for the first time in Northern Ireland, Bence Sarkadi is a Hungarian marionette artist / puppeteer who travels the globe, entertaining crowds with his award-winning, one-man show. Prepare to be amazed as Bence’s mastery brings his puppets to life. All Conway Square performances are FREE of charge.

Lyngo Theatre bring their productions of Tom Thumb and Jack and the Beanstalk to the festival where cBeebies’ Patrick Lynch will work his magic, retelling these classic tales in the magical Lyngo way.  Clydebuilt Theatre will make a welcome return to the festival with their adorable ‘Lost Bear’ production and the much-loved Banyan Theatre will also return with their enchanting show ‘The Hedgehog Prince’. All scheduled shows cost £3 per ticket, advanced booking is required. Please note the 11.30am performance of Jack and the Beanstalk on Sunday is now sold out but there are tickets remaining for the other shows.

Speaking about the festival, Amy McKelvey, Community Arts Development Officer with Ards and North Down Borough Council said*****************************************************

Ards Puppet Festival takes place from 26 – 27 May in Conway Square Newtownards. Copies of the Puppet Festival programme are also available from Ards Arts Centre, North Down Museum or any of the Council’s Visitor Information Centres.

For more information, to book tickets or to download the programme go to:

Belfast Book Festival 2019

Helping to spread the word about this year’s Belfast Book Festival (7-16 June) which launched at rooftop bar Babel are (l-r) writers and festival participants Glenn Patterson and Dawn Watson, Festival Director, Roger Courtney, Sonya Whitefield (Arts Council of Northern Ireland) pictured with actress Louise Parker who plays Molly Bloom in a specially commissioned and adapted for stage performance of  “YES” Molly’s Soliloquy from James Joyce’s Ulysses.

The 9th Belfast Book Festival features over 80 events showcasing high profile writers and personalities from home and further afield. From Bake-Off’s Prue Leith, Irish novelists Roddy Doyle and John Boyne to former hostage Terry Waite. The line-up also includes ex- politicians Lord David Owen and Alan Johnson, television presenter and satirist Will Self, Poet Laureate of the United States Tracy K Smith and renowned journalists Reni Eddo-Lodge and Paul Mason.  

Well-known local talent featured during the festival includes Belfast’s Lucy Caldwell, crime writer Sharon Dempsey, poet Medbh McGuckian, novelist Michael Hughes and famed poet Michael Longley who marks his 80th birthday with readings, conversation and a Duke Special musical performance of Michael’s work.                  

This year’s theme is Where do you like to read? and the public are invited to join in the conversation at #BelfastBook. For more information and to book tickets got to


Acclaimed internationally, renowned pianist David Quigley will perform at Armagh’s Market Place Theatre on Friday 24 May. The concert will include a range of popular and classic piano works.

Picture by Edward Moss All rights reserved. David Quigley musician

His most recent album ‘Piano Nocturnes’ [Avie Records], is described by Classic FM as ‘Just Divine’ and played ‘with assured skill and sensitivity’. 

His programme features music from the album and classics from Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti and Debussy’s exquisite ‘Clair de lune’

This is an evening not to be missed! Tickets are available for £14 and £12 (concession), with a £5 rate for students.

Tickets are available from the Theatre Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at 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.


Northern Ireland boasts an irresistible collection of places to stay including beautiful B&Bs, luxurious spa hotels and great value self-catering properties. Discover NI has selected the best offers of the week to help you plan a short break.

·         Belfast Titanic Experience, Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast from £150 per room

The ideal place to stay when you come to Belfast, this three-star, family run hotel is located in the fashionable Malone Road area. The Wellington Park Hotel offers a personalised service and is famous for a casual and relaxed atmosphere with value for money. The Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens and many great restaurants are just steps away. Offer includes overnight accommodation for two nights with a full Irish breakfast each morning, a complimentary drink on arrival and entry to the infamous Titanic experience, including the SS Nomadic. To book call 028 9038 1111. Offer available until 31 December 2019.

·         Three Night Seasonal Break, Glenavon House Hotel, Co. Tyrone from £120 per person sharing

The three-star Glenavon House Hotel is situated on the outskirts of Cookstown. Overlooking the Ballinderry River and set in nine acres of its own mature grounds, this luxurious hotel offers a wide range of high standard facilities. The hotel’s central location makes it an ideal base to explore Northern Ireland. Offer includes overnight accommodation  for three nights with a full Irish  breakfast each morning. To book call 028 8676 4949. Offer available until 31 December 2019.

·         One Night Wine and Dine, Westville Hotel, Co. Fermanagh  from £148 per night

Perfectly located in the heart of Enniskillen’s waterside, the four-star Westville Hotel is a sophisticated, yet understated, boutique destination with comfortable rooms. Offer includes overnight accommodation, a three-course dinner in the evening with a bottle of house wine and a full Irish breakfast the following morning. To book call 028 6632 0333. Offer available until 30 June 2019.

10 things to do in Northern Ireland has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week (20-26 May)

1.       Brainiac Live, Belfast, 24-25 May. Strap on your safety goggles boys and girls, due to popular demand Science’s greatest and most volatile live show is returning with a vengeance to the IIC Belfast. Expect exploding dustbins, combusting microwaves and loads of live daredevil stunts.

2.       Armagh Craft Fair 2019, Armagh, 25 May. Armagh Craft Fair 2019 returns for the ninth year to the wonderful surroundings of The Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre. Bringing high quality craft to the heart of Armagh City this annual event offers something for everyone.

3.       Altikeeragh Blanket Bog Walk, Limavady, 25 May. Join the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust to explore Altikeeragh Blanket Bog nestled high up in the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and learn about the special wildlife and habitats.

4.       Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, Ballycastle, 24 May-2 June.  The festival celebrates the culture, cuisine and coastal treasures with an exciting sea-focused programme of nautical themed events in Ballycastle and Rathlin Island.

5.       Armagh County Fleadh, Armagh, 24-26 May. The Armagh Fleadh is set to take place in Forkhill and presents excellent opportunities for musicians of all ages to participate and showcase their unique musical talent.

6.       The Spring Beer Festival, Belfast, 24-25 May. Clink Steins and sing songs at The Doyen with old friends (and probably some new ones)  on traditional long style tables with the room dressed in true German Beer Fest style, whilst the Heidi girls keep the Bavarian Beer flowing at your tables.

7.       Ards Puppet Festival 2019, Newtownards, 26-27 May. Classic tales will be brought to life with fascinating and magical performances to entertain the whole family. Festival line-up includes Lyngo Theatre  performing ‘Tom Thumb’ and ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’,  Clydebuilt Theatre performing  ‘Lost Bear’ and Banyan Theatre performing  ‘The Hedgehog Prince.’

8.       Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival 2019, Belfast, 25-27 May. The magnificent masts of the Tall Ships return to Belfast’s quaysides, signalling the start of one of the city’s most popular family events, the Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival.

9.       Hands Craft Festival, Omagh, 24-27 May. Rediscover Ireland’s rich heritage and lost traditional skills as An Creagán hosts this festival, aimed at teaching skills including foraging in the wild, lace making, firing pottery, straw craft, cordage, fermentation, frame loom weaving and herbalism.

10.   County Derry Fleadh 2019, Derry~Londonderry, 23-27 May. All of the competitions will be in St Brigid’s College and showcases unique musical talent within the area.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit

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


Join Montalto Estate this Sunday 19th May  for La Dirindina’s adventurous journey to La Scala with a scandalous libretto by Girolamo Gigli, set to music by 18th century composers Domenico Scarlatti and Giovanni Battista Martini.  Performed by the NI Opera Studio and an instrumental ensemble.


Get in the groove this Saturday at the Market Place’s swinging Jazz Club. Topping the bill for this gig is Michael Barkley, a rising jazz star, a trumpeter who, along with his young rhythm section, has been receiving great reviews.


Join the RSPBNI this Saturday morning from 10.00 am aboard the Lady of the Lake double-deck cruiser for a guided boat tour of the stunning Lough Erne for a Curlew Cruise.  Hear all about the year-round work that goes on across the RSPB-managed islands on Lough Erne for the benefit of breeding waders. And if you’re lucky there’s also the possibility of sighting skylarks, a kingfisher, a peregrine falcon or even an Irish hare.


Kevin McAleer has recently been voted ‘Most Humble Guru in the Universe’ for the eighteenth year running. To celebrate this modest achievement, Guru McAleer has announced a majestic schedule which includes the Square Box in Dungannon on Saturday 18th May.   An evening of divine light entertainment not to be missed!


The Thomas School of Jewellery in Derry are offering an opportunity to design and create your own piece of jewellery this Saturday morning.  This fun and informative class is the perfect introduction to jewellery making.  No previous experience necessary. Materials included.


Cheerleading try outs will take place this Sunday  at the Sixmile Leisure Centre in Larne from 1.00pm to 5.00pm.  Try it out & have fun. Limited spaces are available. Open to anyone in the Ballymena/Larne area.


Balmoral Show is Northern Ireland’s largest agri-food event, promising a fun-filled day out for all the family 15th-18th May.  There really is something for everyone to enjoy!  Come along and see for yourself; sample fantastic local food, browse amongst over 650 trade stands, visit the fun fair and be entertained by top names on the Downtown Show Stage.

For more details on these events and to add your events free go to Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at for news, competitions and what’s on near you.  

Jacqueline McGonigle

Armagh Tigers Charitable Trust presents An Extraordinary BBQ, Festival & Auction

Armagh City Hotel, 29th June, 2019, in aid of Stroke & Heart Research, Craigavon Area Hospital

If there is one date you need to mark in your diary this year make it Saturday 29th June.  The venue Armagh City Hotel and the event ‘An Extraordinary BBQ Festival and Auction’.  This event will prove to be an occasion like no other, with music and dancing, food and drink, laughter and the feel good factor of raising funds for two exceptional charities – ‘Stroke & Heart Research – Craigavon Area Hospital’ and proceeds of a raffle to ‘Daisy Lodge Cancer Fund for Children’.

This event has been a project close to the heart of local businessman Kieran McAnallan.  Kieran took a stroke in 2016, followed by a quadruple bypass in Easter 2018.  As a result of his experiences and as Chairman of Armagh Tigers he is in the perfect position to organise this fund raising event to acknowledge the work done by  Dr. David McEneaney and the great team at Craigavon Area Hospital and Mr. Alastair Graham at The Royal Victoria, Belfast.  Most of his time was spent in Craigavon and this event has been planned in support of the great work done by the stroke and heart team.

The Armagh Tigers Charitable Trust are delighted to announce the musical line-up for their BBQ Festival.  The evening of entertainment will get underway from 7pm compered by Country Music’s Sean Wallace who will introduce a first class line-up of artists such as Patrick and Conor O’Sullivan, Hugo Duncan, Farmer Dan and his Band, Olivia Douglas, Boxcar Brian and Gary Gamble and more.  Taking to the stage at 11pm and headlining the show will be father and son entertainers Dominic and Barry Kirwan and their Band.  

As for the menu, visitors will be treated to a veritable feast.  The barbecue will be cooked by Armagh City Hotel chefs and include steak, beef burgers, sausages, chicken fillets, loin chops, mixed kebabs, cajun salmon, sweet potatoes with a wide selection of salads.  Followed by a choice desert and glass of red or white wine.

All this in the beautiful surroundings of The Fisher Suite at Armagh City Hotel, 2 Friary Road,Armagh, BT60 4FR.  Tables will be seated for ten people.  Full stage and dance floor.  Tickets are £40 each.  Individual tickets can be purchased or in tables of ten and are available from Armagh Tigers Charitable Trust members or 

Armagh City Hotel Reception Tel: 0283751 8888 

Kieran: 07771 654700, 

Colm: 07851 648270, Kevin: 07711 527777, 

Dean: 07802 672 598, Fergus: 07714 218477.  

Book Early This Will Be a Sell Out Event.

Elvis Spectacular show at the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre

The Elvis spectacular show will grace the stage at Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in Limavady on Thursday 6th June at 8.30pm.

Featuring European Elvis Champion Ciaran Houlihan, the TCB band and the beautiful harmonies of the Sweet Sensations it is a night not to be missed.

Ciaran will perform in costumes designed by Elvis’ own costume designer Gene Douchette and cover hits ranging from the Hillbilly Cat Days to his final number one ‘Way Down.’

This tribute act is a brilliant representation of Elvis’ greatest hits, filled with electric energy, emotion and showmanship symbolising the greatest rock and roll artist of all time.

Tickets priced at £20 are available from or by calling the Box Office on 028 7776 0650. This event will be licensed.