Bouncing back for a two-week run at the MAC, John Godber’s unapologetically provocative play can be experienced once again, in the exclusive setting of the Luminaire Club. Running from 21st September until the 5th October, Bouncers is a unique co-production between the MAC and Big Telly – a world famous play, told the Belfast way.

Set over the course of one night in a 1980s nightclub, Bouncers is a darkly funny play about the characters and shenanigans of a Belfast disco, told in Northern Ireland’s distinctive humour by the club’s doormen. This ‘slick, atmospheric production’ (The Stage, ★★★★) runs close to the bone, highlighting some dark references mirrored with 80s nostalgia. High-energy performances are coupled with an amazing era-specific soundtrack that takes the production in an ominously funny direction.

New bouncer, the acclaimed Sean Kearns will join the original trio of NI’s finest comedic actors Ciaran Nolan, Conor Grimes and Chris Robinson, putting a new spin on the quick-witted show. All the familiar characters from a typical night on the tiles make an appearance and, of course – the brilliantly brash bouncers tell each of their stories.

Ticket holders can experience the show within the exclusive Luminaire Club, which transform the MAC’s usual theatre space into an intimate jazz-club experience. For a great night out, customers can enjoy the show from premium cabaret seating complete with at table waiter service.

The MAC’s Creative Director, Simon Magill said:“Bouncers has been described as one of the funniest plays written in the last 40 years, but also promises to be a no-holds barred theatre experience. We were overwhelmed with the response to the show in April, and are delighted to have Bouncers return to our stage this Autumn.  

“We are especially excited to introduce a new twist to the play with the addition of renowned actor Sean Kearns, playing Lucky Eric. We’re sure that he will only add to the magic that was created on stage by the Big Telly creative team and existing cast members Conor Grimes, Ciaran Nolan and Chris Robinson.

“Like the previous run, the immersive 80s soundtrack will take you back in time, especially as we are hosting the play in our intimate Luminaire Club to echo that eclectic vibe.”

Tickets are set to sell out fast, so book now to avoid disappointment! The earlier you book, the cheaper the seat. For this show, the standard price seats start as low at £12.50 and rise over time to a maximum of £25 the closer it gets to the performance. Premium tickets are priced at £27.50.

Cirque du Soleil® presents CRYSTAL The first acrobatic show on ice, in Northern Ireland this spring!

The SSE Arena, Belfast, 25th March to 29th March, 2020

Tickets available exclusively to Cirque Club members today;, General publich on-sale begins Friday 20th September at 9am

Belfast, 16th September – Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to present its coolest arena show yet – CRYSTAL – in Belfast. This one of a kind arena show blends circus arts and the world of ice skating in a stunning new production that will take the audience on a journey into a whimsical frozen playground where ice skating of all kinds mingles with acrobatics and aerial feats. CRYSTAL will perform at The SSE Arena, Belfast from 25th March for sixperformances only.

Tickets for CRYSTAL are now available exclusively to Cirque Club members. Cirque Club membership is free and includes access to advance tickets and special offers – to join please visit : www.cirqueclub.com 

General tickets will be on-sale in Belfast beginning Friday 20th September at 9am.

Tickets are available for purchase online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/crystal

Ticketmaster in person:from 100 Ticketmaster Outlets Nationwide
By Telephone (24 Hour):   0844 847 2455 (ROL: 0818 719300)


  • Wednesday 25th March: Show begins at 8pm
  • Thursday 26th March: Show begins at 8pm
  • Friday 27th March: Show begins at 8pm
  • Saturday 28th March: Show begins at 4pm
  • Saturday 28th March: Show begins at 8pm
  • Sunday 29th March: Show begins at 1pm


Created by Shana Carroll and Sebastien Soldevila, Crystal, our misfit heroine, takes you on an exhilarating tale of self-discovery as she dives into a world of her own imagination. Feel the adrenaline as she soars through this surreal world to become what she was always destined to be: confident, curious, and creative. CRYSTALinvites you to suspend reality and glide into a world that springs to colorful life with astounding visual projections and a soundtrack that seamlessly blends popular music with the signature sound of Cirque du Soleil.CRYSTAL is suitable for all ages.

The international cast of CRYSTAL features 43 artists, plus more than 40 crew members from 24 different countries.

Follow #CRYSTAL and #CirqueduSoleil on social media:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube


We gratefully acknowledge our official partners ŠKODA and Panasonic Batteries.

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


Cycle in the Park for Knockevin is an all ability cycling event in Castlewellan Forest Park, hosted by Kilmegan VC this Sunday 22nd September.  There are cycling adventures for everyone from the novice to the seasoned lycra-clad warrior.


From Thursday 19th to Sunday 22th September, Armagh Food & Cider Festival visitors to the iconic city of Armagh and its surrounding fruit-laden orchards can expect to raise more than a glass to an incredible spread of mouth-watering events.  An international extravaganza featuring multiple can’t-miss events in venues right across Ireland’s Orchard County, the Armagh Food & Cider Festival is this autumn’s hottest ticket.


Festival Lough Erne takes place for the fifth year on 21st & 22nd September.  Ireland’s only island town, Enniskillen, will host Festival Lough Erne, a celebration of the very best of local food and the Fermanagh Lakelands. The weekend will see a host of activity on and off the water with cookery demonstrations by celebrity and local chefs, local artisan food and drink producers and live entertainment all taking place at Enniskillen Castle. 


The Showman is coming to the Strule Arts Centre Omagh this Friday, starring Peter Corry!  Combining the passion of Moulin Rouge, the spectacle of Barnum and the magic of The Greatest Showman, this new show brings an eclectic mix of iconic songs from ‘Somebody to Love’, ‘Your Song’, ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’, ‘The Show Must Go On’, ”Spanish Train’ to ‘This is the Greatest Show’.


Different Drums of Ireland come thundering onto the Playhouse stage this Saturday with a show not to be missed!  Feel the power of indigenous Lambeg and Bodhran drums, paired with Uileann pipes and whistles, guitar, world percussion and more.


Larne Museum & Arts Centre will be open on Saturday 21st September.  See the permanent exhibition gallery which explores the agricultural, industrial, military and maritime history of the area. You will also have the ‘not to be missed’ chance to explore Discworld and the Charmed Realm in the temporary exhibition ‘Paul Kidby, Discworld and Beyond’. 


With 53 producers in attendance, the Tesco Taste Festival 20th – 22nd September will be showcasing the very best local food and drink Tesco has to offer, all under one roof. Custom House Square, admission free.

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


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.

·         1 x Night B&B, Bushmills Inn Hotel, Co. Antrim from £120 per room per night

The four-star Bushmills Inn Hotel is conveniently located on the Causeway Coastal route, providing the perfect base to explore the area and visit key tourist attractions such as The Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Dunluce Castle. Originally a Coaching Inn in the 1600s for saddle sore travellers, this Hotel is steeped in history with a myriad of places to explore. From inglenook turf fires to hayloft snugs, there’s something to find behind every door. Offer includes overnight accommodation and a full Irish breakfast the following morning. To book call 028 2073 3000. Offer available until 15 November 2019.

·         1 x Night B&B, Seagoe Hotel, Co. Armagh from £119 per room per night

The four-star Seagoe Hotel is situated just outside of Portadown. This modern, yet homely hotel has maintained a high standard of service and attention to detail over its many years of business. The hotel is conveniently located close by to local shopping areas and parks, while Lough Neagh is only a short drive away. Offer includes one night’s bed and breakfast accommodation. To book call 028 3833 3076. Offer available until 15 November 2019. 

·         Autumn Stays, Belle Isle Estate, Co. Fermanagh from £250 per room per night

Stay at the four-star Belle Isle Estate in the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands.  Belle Isle Estate is a designated Special Area of Conservation and the castle itself is a fantastic 17th century country house. Explore the walled gardens and relax in idyllic accommodation in this beautiful area of Northern Ireland. Offer includes two nights’ accommodation with breakfast each morning plus complimentary tickets to Enniskillen Castle and 2 for 1 admission to Belleek Pottery. To book call 0286 638 7231. Offer available until 15 November 2019.

Food Focus: 10 things to do in Northern Ireland

As part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative for the next 12 weeks DiscoverNorthernIreland.com will have the top three food experiences and events in their weekly  10 things to do listing. DiscoverNorthernIreland.com 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 including three food experiences and events (16-22 September)

1.       Armagh Food and Cider Festival, Armagh, 19-22 September. An international extravaganza featuring a huge spread of unmissable events in venues across the county. Festival visitors to the iconic city of Armagh and its surrounding fruit-laden orchards can expect to raise more than a glass to an incredible range of mouth-watering events.

2.       Wee Buns – Preserve the Season , Dungannon, 20 September. Capture the essence of Autumn in this preserving class using foraged damsons, rose hips and blackberries from the local hedges and locally grown fruit.  Learn about the fundamental techniques and skills of home preserving, make your own soda bread and take home a jar each of jam and pickles.

3.        Gins and Poitins of the Mournes, Newry, 19 September. Brendan Carty of Killowen Distillery will host an evening dedicated at traditional bar, Crawfords, to the top quality craft gin and poitín he produces in the heart of the Mournes. Several sample drinks will be served, including cocktails and mixers. The final sample will be a Poitín Irish Coffee. Food will also be paired with each drink.

4.       Art in the Orchard with Deborah Malcomson, Portadown, 21 September. Suitable for the complete beginner, budding or seasoned artists, this workshop will provide the opportunity for participants to apply their creative response to the surroundings – trees, apples and landscape. Deborah Malcomson, a professional visual artist will guide and support each participant through the process of exploring line, colour and form through a range of media.

5.       Festival Lough Erne, Enniskillen, 21-22 September.  The tranquil setting of Enniskillen Castle will see a hustle of families and foodie lovers sampling local produce and enjoying the tranquil setting of the River Erne. From live cookery demos with chefs and experts to entertainment on the bandstand, it’s set to be a fun weekend for all the family.

6.       Mourne Mountain Marathon, Newcastle, 21-22 September. Ireland’s only two-day endurance and navigation event for teams of two. Enter one of four categories, covering between 35km and 55km over two days. Camp overnight and be self-sufficient. The Marathon is open to everyone from walkers to elite runners.

7.       Culture Night and Day Belfast 2019, Belfast, 20-21 September. Over 200 free, family-friendly events across the city centre including gigs, talks, tours, walks, activities, screenings, workshops, children’s events and more.

8.       Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon, Belfast, 22 September. Over 5,000 participants are expected to take part in the largest half marathon event in Northern Ireland.  Entrants will take on the popular flat and fast 13.1 mile route, which weaves its way throughout the four corners of Belfast city.

9.       Montalto Foraging Experience, Ballynahinch, 21 September. Take a walk with NI Survival School and be introduced to some of the most common plants and trees that inhabit our island and discover some of their secrets that make them useful to us in edible or medicinal ways. After the return to the woodland camp and enjoy making tea and a light lunch from the foraged species.

10.   Kilkeel Walking Food Tour, Newry, 19 September. Enjoy a three-hour walking tour of Kilkeel, led by an enthusiastic and experienced local tour guide. The vast history of Kilkeel’s fishing and farming town is served up through fascinating facts and insightful stories whilst you enjoy some local delicacies.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com. For additional Taste the Island events, please visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/tastetheisland

Everything You Need To Know About Pasta

When you think of Italian cuisine, pasta in one of its glorious forms is probably what springs to mind.

Pasta is the staple food of Italians and has found a place as the ultimate comfort food for many more people. Made simply using flour, eggs, and salt it comes to life when accompanied by the wonderful sauces from the region.

Marco Polo is often credited with introducing pasta to Italy from China in the 13th Century, however pasta was already gaining popularity in the region before that. Others believe the nomadic Arabs brought it westwards, but wherever it originated, it found its place in Italy as an affordable, versatile food.

Chef Luigi, head Italian chef at Belfast’s newest Indian/Italian fusion restaurant Mumbai Milano said: “Pasta dishes vary depending on the region of Italy they come from with stronger flavoured dishes containing lots of garlic and chilli being popular in the south, fish-based sauces from the coastal areas, and more delicate, creamy sauces with filled pasta such as ravioli and tortellini in the north.

“Pasta comes in a range of shapes and in authentic Italian cuisine long pastas such as spaghetti and linguine are used in quick-cook, light sauces while short shapes such as penne are paired with more robust sauces.”

What varieties of pasta shapes are there?


Long strands of pasta often serves in Italy with a fresh tomato sauce or just drizzled in olive oil with garlic and chillies, or with cheese and pepper. You will never find Spaghetti Bolognese on an authentic Italian menu


Long like spaghetti, but thicker and flatter which makes it a good pairing with creamier sauces, giving them a larger surface area to coat.


Short, hollow tubes of pasta cut at an angle often served with thicker tomato and vegetable sauces.


Little corkscrew twists of pasta which are perfect for sauces containing meat, or for use in pasta bakes.


Shell shaped pasta, their cup like shape perfect is perfect for catching heavier sauces or for using in baked pasta dishes.


Twists of pasta with crinkly edges hold sauces on their wing like shape. They are also great to use in pasta salads.


Tiny tubes most commonly found baked in a luscious cheese sauce in what has become one of the world’s favourite dishes.


These sheets of pasta give the name to one of the most famous dishes when layered with meat or vegetable sauce, topped with white sauce and cheese. 

Mumbai Milano, 11 Wellington Place, Belfast is open 7 days a week. Lunchtime is an all-you-can eat buffet every day and their a la carte menu is available from 5pm. Book your table by calling 028 9031 1101 or log onto mumbaimilano.co.uk for more information.

Enchanted Winter Garden will Light up your Christmas

Power NI ‘Light Up’ Enchanted Winter Garden as official sponsors of this year’s Spectacular Christmas Event. Mayor Alderman John Smyth is joined by Stephen McCullly Managing Director (Power NI) and Sarah McIlmoyle at the official launch at Antrim Castle Gardens.

Power NI ‘Light Up’ Enchanted Winter Garden as official sponsors of this year’s Spectacular Christmas Event. Sarah McIlmoyle and her fire pictured at the official launch at Antrim Castle Gardens. Northern Ireland’s Premier Christmas Event will run from Friday 6 – Sunday 22 December. Tickets go on sale Friday 13 September at 10am from www.enchantedwintergarden.com or in person from Clotworthy House, Antrim, The Old Courthouse or Theatre at the Mill or T: 028 9448 1338. Picture John Murphy Aurora PA

Northern Ireland’s Premier Christmas Event, Enchanted Winter Garden returns to the award-winning Antrim Castle Gardens from Friday 6 to Sunday 22 December from 4.30-9.30pm, where the gardens are transformed into a magical world of enchantment, bigger and brighter than before with an array of dazzling attractions to brighten up your Christmas.

Our star attraction ‘The Big Wheel’ will keep on turning offering breath taking views over Antrim Town and beyond. Other attractions such as the Victorian Helter Skelter, Victorian Wave Swinger and Wonderland Wood, The Enchanted Express and Mallow pit will all make a welcome return spreading warmth during the festive season.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth commented, “Each year Enchanted Winter Garden exceeds all expectations, attracting thousands of visitors to our Borough. I am thrilled to have Power NI as the headline sponsor and with their support we will collaboratively light up lives across Northern Ireland in the magical run up to Christmas”.

Stephen McCullly Managing Director (Power NI) commented “I am delighted with the opportunity given to Power NI to be associated with this Fantastic Christmas Event in the heart of Antrim.  Antrim Town is particularly special to our Company given that we are a proud local employer with over 100 employees located here”.

An Evening of Inclusive Enchantment will return on Wednesday 18 December with reduced numbers, lighting and sound levels, Sensory & Quiet room, ideal for children and adults with additional needs.

Tickets for Enchanted Winter Garden go on sale on Friday 13 September (lucky for some) from 10am from enchantedwintergarden.com or in person from Clotworthy House, The Old Courthouse Theatre or Theatre at The Mill, or by telephone 028 9448 1338.

This year we are offering a discounted rate for all advance bookings; £4 per adult, £2 per child and £10 for a family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) or alternatively £6 per adult, £3 per child and £15 for a family ticket (if purchased at the gate). So be a bright spark and secure your tickets in advance for this Christmas extravaganza.

We are also offering a special discount for advance token sales (required for the main attractions) which are also available from enchantedwintergarden.com.

Session times for this year’s event will run every 30 minutes from 4.30pm finishing at 7pm however you can arrive up to a maximum of 45 minutes after your session time with last admission 7.45pm.

Get your Christmas off to an energetic start with a visit to Enchanted Winter Garden where memories are made, lighting up lives across Northern Ireland and beyond. It’s going to be ‘Powerful’.

No Parking on site. Free Parking in Town Centre Car Parks, including accessible parking.

Please note Tokens are required for some of the main attractions including the Big Wheel.

Biggest Q-Con Ever Attracts More Than 7,000 Visitors

The UK and Ireland’s premier gaming and anime convention, Q-Con, celebrated its 26th year with a record number of visitors to the Queen’s campus, including loads of successful events for all ages.

More than 7,000 people attended over the August Bank Holiday weekend, an increase of 10% on the 2018 event.

Hosted by QUB Dragonslayers, Q-Con included a host of events, including an appearance from the creator of the classic game ‘Doom’, John Romero, who challenged people “to beat him at his own game”.

“Since we began in a few rooms at Queen’s and 150 people, Q-Con has exploded in popularity and excitement…” said Ben Harrison. “We are delighted to see so many enjoy the weekend.

“After this year’s success we promise we’re working hard to make sure that 2020 will be even better!”

Among the many successes for 2019 were the family events.

“The family tickets proved really popular,” said Ben. “We worked hard to make sure that families and people of all ages interested in anime and gaming had events they could enjoy and take part in.”

Designed by gaming and anime fans Q-Con attracts people from across the UK and Ireland and further afield, with last year seeing a five percent increase in attendees from other countries. People from all ages are present throughout the weekend, with Sunday having extra events for families.

With BBC airing a special on cosplay as part of its True North Series (10th September), Q-Con also saw several events showcasing the talent of fans and designer making and wearing the costumes of their favourite games, anime, TV and film characters.

“We saw so many people around the university district coming in on trains, buses and in cars dressed up as their favourite characters showing just how popular gaming and anime has become, and how Q-Con caters for a demographic so often missed by the mainstream media,” added Ben.

Taking place across the Queen’s campus, including the Whitla Hall, Elmwood Hall, Queen’s Film Theatre, the Computer Science Building and many other venues, planning for 2020 is already underway

Fashion with Patience: 5 Things To Consider When Choosing An Outfit For An Event

When choosing an outfit for an event, it is important to consider a number of factors. Will what you are wearing be suitable for the conditions and season. What type of look you want to go for. Here’s some factors to consider when choosing your outfit your an event:


Usually when planning my outfit for an event I lay out around 5-6 options of what I might wear and that I should consider. In my wardrobe I usually have around 5 or 6 outfits that I’ve never worn in my wardrobe anyway, so these will be some of the first things I’ll look at.

Match to Partner

Often for more formal events I like to match what I’m wearing with Ivor. I pick out his clothes for him to make sure that what we are wearing matches. If you are not comfortable completely matching your looks, even consider getting your husband or partner a pocket square that matches your dress.


When planning my outfit for any occasion it’s always important to take the weather into account. This will definitely impact what type of outfit you choose to wear. If it’s going to be raining you don’t want to wear a material that will simply get ruined in the weather. Or if it’s going to be sunny you don’t want to wear a heavy material that will only make you too warm.

Temperature of the Venue

As well as the weather, it’s important to consider hot warm the venue will be. If you are unsure if can be a good idea to wear layers so you can easily remove your jacket, scarf etc. if you are too warm or keep it on if you are cold. 

Walking Distance

Another thing I like to consider is how far I will have to walk to get to the venue from the car or how I will be getting there. This will definitely impact on what shoes you’ll want to wear, if you have a long distance to walk it might be better to wear a pair of flats or trainers, whilst if you are only walking a short distance say in the evening time you could wear a heel.

Belfast Gets Ready To Make Purple Flag Bid

Belfast’s bid for Purple Flag accreditation kicked off recently as a number of stakeholders in the city completed an initial self assessment.

A delegation from the City’s Business Improvement Districts Linen Quarter, Cathedral Quarter and Belfast One were joined by representatives from Hospitality Ulster, Belfast Chamber, Translink and the PSNI took part in the exercise to health check the City Centre in the self-assessment.

Similar to the Blue Flag scheme for beaches and the Green Flag scheme for parks the Purple Flag accreditation displays that a town or city is a safe and pleasant place to visit, night and day, for residents and visitors.

The self assessment involved examining the post 5pm Belfast experience including retail, hotels, licensed venues and cultural spaces.

It also considers elements around safety, accessibility and place which all contribute to the City being a welcoming and vibrant space.

The group heard the regular weekend briefing sessions that happen between PSNI and a vast array of volunteer organisations including a briefing around missing and vulnerable persons which has helped dozens of individuals this year alone.

Chris McCracken, Managing Director at Linen Quarter BID, and Chair of Belfast’s Purple Flag steering committee, said:  “Purple Flag status for the city would recognise Belfast as a truly international destination to live, work and shop. Belfast has a safe and vibrant night time economy with brand new destinations, such as the Linen Quarter, starting to emerge. However our self assessment indicates we need further investment in transport, signage, cleansing and promotion, as well as additional initiatives to support the evening offer for families, culture and arts, and non-alcoholic alternatives.”

Gareth Neill, CQ BID manager said: “It was with great reward to meet the fantastic organisations SOS BUS, Street Pastors, and Community Rescue Service who give up 1000 of volunteer hours to ensure the night-time economy is a welcoming and safe space for residents and visitors. The City Centre has significant growth ambitions for residential, commercial and tourism markets. With a significant increase in city living through the private residential market over the next 12-18 months and the ever expanding hotel sector there is a requirement to ensure that Belfast meets the aspirations of new residents, employers, and tourists, along with what is expected from an international city.”

A multi-stakeholder steering group, led by the Linen Quarter BID, is managing the business-funded project with the aim of applying in October 2019 to the governing body, the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) to secure Purple Flag status in February 2020.

Belfast has a significantly younger population so part of the task force’s outcome will be ensuring there is a vibrant, mixed use and quality City Centre which is vital to catalysing additional economic rejuvenation.

Clare Maguire, Managing Director at Belfast One said: “Providing a quality and unique offering will also be of huge benefit to some of the 250,000 business visitors to Belfast annually or for the national conference market which currently stands at 60,000 attendees (£45m p/annum) who all want a vibrant and enriched experience of the City.

“Currently the City Centre does not have one managed approach to its evening economy strategy. There are a vast array of stakeholders and partnerships in play and Purple Flag allows a coordinated and programmed opportunity.”

For more information go to cathedralquarterbelfast.com