BASH! Triple Bill, Belfast Ensemble


It’s been two years and the ensemble is having a party! In a Lyric Theatre take over, we present the best of our last two years and the best of our future.

For one spectacular weekend this June THE BELFAST ENSEMBLE will be performing three of their ground breaking works PLUS a brand new work ‘Lunaria’ on both Lyric stages.

In one thrilling performance you’ll watch The C*** of Queen Catherine, The House of Usher, The Doppler Effect’ + ‘Lunaria’ ALL FOR THE PRICE OF ONE TICKET.

The Ensemble’s work has become a byword for excellence and European influenced music-theatre in the city. Catch them here before they take their work to London’s Southbank Centre as part of the PRSF New Music Biennial.

THE HOUSE OF USHER (2018) with an electric fusion of orchestra, video and actors this high-octane response to Poe’s horror classic is writ large here for the Lyric stage.

THE C*** OF QUEENE CATHERINE (2017) Written on the cusp of a referendum, this work for solo performer and chamber quintet – two years on – explores what happens when Europe divides in two Tudor-style.

LUNARIA (2019, premiere) A special performance of our new 15 work commissioned by PRSF for the New Music Biennial. Lunaria – a flower that blooms every two years – explores what is possible when artists of many disciplines make work together for two exciting years! See it here before it goes to Southbank Centre, London and Hull as part of the UK’s leading new music festival.

A Night in November, Soda Bread Theatre Company

The 25th anniversary production of A Night in November.

This is the stunning multi-award winning play from Marie Jones, writer of hit shows Stones in his Pockets & Christmas Eve Can Kill You.

‘Can passion change a man?’

A Night in November tells the story of Kenneth McAllister, a clerk in the local welfare office. Kenneth is a Belfast Protestant who has followed all the rules. He loved who he was supposed to love. He lived where he was expected to live. He fought who he was taught to fight. That is, until one night — a night in November — when he did the most exciting, outrageous, crazy, mad thing he’d ever done.

Directed by Matthew McElhinney, this funny, passionate and heartbreaking show sees the actor Matthew Forsythe flex acting skills, seamlessly shifting through dozens of characters.

A post show Q&A with Director Matthew McElhinney and his dad Ian McElhinney on Sunday 16th June entitled ‘Like Father, Like Son’

“The actor, director and producer of this production of Night in November were not even teenagers when this play was first performed. The fact that twenty five years on it still resonates with them is humbling and the passion they bring to restaging it for another generation is incredibly exciting.” – Marie Jones

“I grew up with this play and it grew up with me.” – Matthew McElhinney

Celebrate Art and Craft in Ards and North Down with Creative Peninsula

Tickets are now on sale for Creative Peninsula, Northern Ireland’s largest celebration of Art and Craft. Now in its 18th year, this thriving annual event brings together local artists and makers to demonstrate their skills and showcase their work.

Beginning on Friday 2 August 2019 and running throughout the month, Creative Peninsula, organised by Ards and North Down Borough Council, offers free and bookable opportunities for people of all ages and levels of experience to see, learn about and even ‘try their hand’ at a host of different art and craft forms practiced in the local area. 

Featuring, open studios, creative tours, exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations and more, Creative Peninsula is an ideal way to experience what the local art and craft industries have to offer throughout the beautiful and picturesque Ards and North Down Borough.

The programme kicks-off on Friday 2 August with ‘Creative Peninsula in the Square’ at Conway Square in Newtownards.  For one day only the space will be transformed into a tented arts and crafts village with more than 30 artists and makers displaying and selling their work.  Free demonstrations including glass engraving, wood turning, felting, printing, ceramics and more will run throughout the day.

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery said:

“With over 20,000 attendees each year, Creative Peninsula has become one of the most inspirational, educational and vocational arts festivals attracting people from all corners of Northern Ireland. Ards and North Down is very fortunate to have one of the largest concentrations of artists and makers living and working here and unsurprisingly the area has a thriving creative industry. We are delighted to be able to offer this event again which allows these talented individuals to showcase their knowledge and for members of the public to learn.”

The 2019 Creative Peninsula brochure is available to download at  Tickets for bookable events are also available from this website. 

You can pick up a programme or find out more information on all the events on offer from Ards Arts Centre, North Down Museum, at any of the local visitor information centres (Ards, Bangor and Portaferry) or by contacting the Council directly on 0300 013 3333. 

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


The 4th annual Portaferry Sails & Sounds festival takes place from 20th to 23rd June.   This is an action packed weekend of sailing, rowing, racing & trips on Strangford Lough, with lots of free events on offer across the weekend.


Celebrate the the longest day of the year with the Celts as they prepare for Mid-Summer at Navan Centre and Fort this Friday.  Join the Celtic camp, mingle and help set up for the evening’s festivities, dine at 9.00pm on something quite wild then sing, dance and listen to stories of the years gone by while watching the sunset.


Share Discovery Village are hosting a celebration the Summer Solstice on Trannish Island  on Upper Lough Erne this Friday. Paddle out for a tasty BBQ and a variety of fun activities and watch the breath-taking sunset on Upper Lough Erne on the longest day of the year!


An Creagán are holding their annual mid-summer 5K on Wednesday 19th June at 7.30pm. This is a chipped event suitable for all runners, expert or beginners. If you would like to be part of An Creagán Mid-Summer run, and enjoy the beautiful scenic track, please contact An Creagán on 02880761112 or email to register, £5 per person.


Join The Playhouse on Saturday 22nd June for the heartening tale of Pamplemousse’s identity crisis, set against evocative and playful music by local composer Greg Caffrey. The opera will be performed by the young talents of the NI Opera Studio and the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble.  Suitable for children 7+ Duration: 30 minutes.


Join Mr Hullabaloo, the magical storyteller and his colourful puppet friends at the Courtyard Theatre Newtownabbey this Saturday 22nd June.  In this brand new show, Jingles the Jester and Bobbin the Bear visit the seaside to hear tales of Pirates and Mermaids. Then pay a visit to Fairy Twinkles summer garden in fairy glen but watch out for the naughty little rascal trampling on all the summer flowers!


On Friday 21st June  The Priests will present a concert in St. Bernadette’s Church, Rosetta Road, Belfast. This iconic 1960s fan-shaped building, with its huge wall of stained glass and clear view of the performers for everyone in the audience, promises to be an ideal venue for this concert on the longest evening of the year.

For further 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

School’s Out For Summer at V36

Come along and celebrate School’s Out for Summer at V36 at the Valley, on Friday 28 June from 6pm-9pm.

Join us for Free Family Fun including Fairground Attractions such as Cups & Saucers, Bungee Trampolines, Bumper Cars, Inflatables, Face Painting, Balloon Modelling and Street Theatre to keep the little ones entertained.

Tempt your taste buds with some of the great food stalls available and enjoy the live music and performers throughout the evening. 

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth commented “It is great to see this Free Family Fun Event at V36, this is a fantastic opportunity for children to celebrate the end of the school year whilst bringing communities together at this shared space”.

This event is supported by the EU’s PEACE IV programme managed by the special EU programme body (SEUPB).

Offers of the week!

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.

·         Spa Experience, Roe Park Resort, Co. Londonderry from £114.50 per person sharing

The four-star Roe Park Resort is one of Northern Ireland’s premiere golf and spa resorts. Set amidst the gorgeous surroundings of the Roe Valley Country Park it overlooks its own stunning 18-hole golf course and is the perfect place to unwind. Offer includes an overnight stay with full Irish breakfast the following morning, plus a traditional Swedish back massage followed by an Elemis taster facial. To book call 028 7772 2222. Offer available until 31 December 2019.

·         Freddie Mercury Tribute Package, Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast  from £69.50 per person sharing

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. Billy West, who is regarded as one of Europe’s top Freddie Mercury tributes, will be preforming his unmissable show at the Wellington Park Hotel. This offer includes overnight accommodation with a full Irish breakfast the next morning and tickets to the incredible Freddie Mercury tribute show. To book call 028 9038 1111. Offer available on 27 July 2019.  

·         Dinner, Bed and Breakfast Special, Glenavon House Hotel, Co. Tyrone from £80 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, a four-course dinner in the Cellar Restaurant and a full Irish breakfast the following morning. To book call 028 8676 4949. Offer available until 31 December 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 (24-30 June)

1.       Enniskillen Road Race, Enniskillen, 28-29 June. Quiet country roads will once again come alive to the sounds of motorcycle racing on closed public roads.

2.       Cycling Ireland National Road Championships, Derry~Londonderry,  27-30 June. Hosted by Foyle Cycling Club, this three day festival of racing will gives visitors to the city an opportunity to see the best of Irish racers, while taking in the sights of the historic city.

3.       Pirates Off Portrush, Portrush, 29-30 June.  A full programme of events will take place throughout the town starting with the Treasure Hunt, Pirate Dress and Dance Competitions. Through drama and entertainment, performed in the Amphitheatre and Antrim Gardens, the battle between the Leprechauns and Tavish’s Pirates is played out. Movement between locations is staged as a journey or pursuit with costumed characters, street entertainers, floats and musicians all taking part in a grand street parade.

4.       Belfast City Blues Festival 2019, Belfast, 28-30 June. This year’s programme has something for everyone. With over 60 free live gigs, ’Blues On The Boat ‘ music cruises and the festival’s new attraction ‘Blues At The River, Music And Food Fest‘ live from Donegal Quay at the Big Blue Fish, this year’s Belfast City Blues Festival is not to be missed.

5.       The Irish Game Fair & Fine Food Festival, Antrim, 29-30 June.  The Irish Game Fair at Shanes Castle is in its 41st year, a serious county sports competition and as a fun-filled family day. There is action right across the fairgrounds and an all-day arena entertainment programme.

6.       Mourne International Walking Festival 2019, Newcastle, 28-30 June. The long-standing and perennially popular walking event returns to the Mourne Mountains. It provides a range of walks suitable for all ages and abilities, from lowland routes to traversing the highest peaks.

7.       The Magic Flute, Belfast, 27-29 June. A handsome prince, a damsel in distress, sorcerers, priests and a bumbling bird catcher – all are given life in Mozart’s sublime blend of lyrical love duets, folk-like ditties and the explosive coloratura of the Queen of the Night arias at the Grand Opera House.

8.       Causeway Coast Foodie Tours – Heart of Portrush Tasting Tour, Portrush, 28 June. Join your friends and embark on a 4.5 hour walking tour of Portrush’s only craft beer brewery and finest gastronomic establishments, visiting four venues to sample award-winning local produce. This tour is about getting together and sharing food, drink, experiences and stories.

9.       Comber Earlies Food Festival, Comber, 29 June. Expect interactive cookery demonstrations, an artisan food market, potato themed children’s craft, a vintage tractor display, Jump, Jiggle and Jive children’s dancing, Ark farm animal roadshow, a hay bale picnic and music from Cleland Memorial Band, the Lily of the Valley Accordion Band and the Comber Silver Band.

10.   Omagh Food Festival, Omagh, 29-30 June. The event is aimed at bringing together local producers and people with a love for food. There is something for all the family at Omagh Food Festival. In addition to the wide range of exhibitors & live cooking demos there is music, face painting and cupcake decoration for kids, all part of the line-up to the free event.

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


Thousands of art fans are expected to attend Ireland’s largest sculpture exhibition, including the biggest collection of Salvador Dali works ever seen here, when Art in the Garden opens at the Culloden Estate & Spa on Saturday (June 15).

In conjunction with Gormleys Fine Art, 14 pieces from the Dali Universe in Switzerland will lead the exhibition which contains more than 120 sculptures, some of which are valued up to £500,000, and will be exhibited both in the grounds of the 12-acre estate and in the hotel until Sunday June 30.

Inside the hotel there will be rooms devoted to Warhol and street artist Banksy as well as a Modern Masters Collection in the Ailsa Suite featuring Picasso, Miro and Lucien Freud.

Less well known than his painting, Dali’s sculpture is equally mind boggling, and includes three dimensional versions of his famous melting clocks.

The outdoor sculptures will include Dance of Time III and Lady Godiva by the legendary surrealist, Salvador Dali.

Both pieces measure almost two metres tall and will be displayed outdoors in the hotel’s landscaped grounds. Twelve further works by Dali will be displayed within the hotel.

Ireland’s own surrealist sculptor, F.E. McWilliam (1909-1992) was a native of Banbridge, Country Down and fittingly, his work is also included in the exhibition.

Among the 40 artists featured at Art in the Garden are Patrick O’Reilly, Anthony Scott, Ian Pollock, Eamonn Ceannt, Michael Quane, Orla De Brí, Paddy Campbell, Sandra Bell, Bob Quinn, and Eamon Higgins.

Paintings by Damien Hirst, Robert Indiana, Grayson Perry, Tom Wesselmann, Keith Haring and Julian Opie will be on show in the hotel along with work by Irish artists such as Peter Monaghan, Stephen Johnston, Stephen Forbes and Kenneth Webb.

Howard Hastings, Managing Director of Hastings Hotels said: “Art in the Garden promises a unique opportunity to view these incredible pieces of work in the charming surroundings of the Culloden Estate & Spa. With its landscaped gardens and carefully manicured lawns, each location within the estate will act as a perfect backdrop to the biggest collection of sculptures to be displayed in Ireland.  We have created a delightful range of dining options to complement the exhibition including private dining and Afternoon Teas and there will also be private tours available.”

“We are delighted to be showing so many Dali’s for the first time in Northern Ireland alongside works by our leading Irish artists and all enhanced by the beautiful surrounding of the Culloden Estate,” said Oliver Gormley.

Art in the Garden promises an entertaining spectacle for both day trippers and serious collectors and, with prices to suit all budgets, is a good introduction for people wanting to begin a collection.

The exhibition runs from June 15-30, 11am to 7pm, with guided tours around the installations daily at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm.

To book an Art in the Garden Afternoon Tea, private dining or overnight stay call the Culloden Estate & Spa on 028 9042 1066 or go to

Global Stars set to shine at Air Waves Portrush

One of the world’s most prolific air show performers has given Air Waves Portrush a first class endorsement.

Mark Jeffries, winner of multiple titles for his aerobatic prowess, made his comments as he prepares to take part in the event with both individual and team performances to look forward to during the annual aviation extravaganza. It returns to the resort for two days of top class entertainment on August 31st and September 1st.

Organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, the weekend draws huge visitor numbers to the seaside town with its unrivalled mix of air and land attractions.

While the Red Arrows won’t be on the bill this year as they embark on a landmark tour of America, the flying schedule still guarantees to thrill and delight, with Mark and his Global Stars teammates leading the way.

Looking ahead to their appearance, Mark said: “The unique display setting at Portrush could not be more spectacular and is a favourite amongst pilots in their UK display calendar. So please come and join the Global Stars for an exciting weekend of display flying among the best the UK has to offer.”

Mark will take to the skies with the Global Stars four-ship formation showcasing the best of freestyle flying and gravity defying manoeuvres. Having recently returned from the Bahrain International Air Show in India, get ready for mirror formation flying, Mark’s incredible solo performance and an unmissable finale featuring a distinct ‘love themed’ smoke trail.

On the ground, visitors can look forward to an extensive range of exhibits headlined by the STEM Village where the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics come alive in an interactive and engaging way. There’ll also be a showcase of the Destination’s artisan sector at the local food and craft market along with themed areas including a fascinating look back in time with the Ulster Aviation Society.

A not-to-be-missed dusk display will take place in Portstewart on Saturday evening (August 31st).  Introduced a number of years ago, it has proved to be a popular addition to the event and the 2019 display will be the biggest so far. The Global Stars, headed up by Mark and featuring three other former British champions, will light up the skies with an exciting mix of close formation air displays and pyrotechnic magic with their trademark WiFi controlled smoke.

Planning is well under way and you can keep up to date with the very latest news including upcoming announcements on hospitality packages by following our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter or go to

We look forward to welcoming you to Portrush for one of the area’s most anticipated annual events. Air Waves Portrush is brought to you by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council with support from Tourism NI.

Roof-Raising band at the Market Place Armagh

Hunkpapa have taken the Northern Ireland music scene by storm. Describing themselves as ‘four eccentrics, with a loose grip on social norms and reality’, not only are their sets incredibly fun and energetic, but they also ensure their live shows are all varied and keep the crowd coming back for more.

Hunkpapa take their audiences somewhere enthralling, liberating and truly wild.  Although relatively new, the band have been selling out some of the biggest venues in the country. Hunkpapa will perform at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh on Saturday 29 June. Entry is by wristband and costs £10. Catch them before they embark on a UK wide tour – simply not to be missed!

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.