High Flying Childrens Entertainment at the Market Place Theatre, Armagh

The Market Place Theatre in Armagh is set to entertain little ones this Easter with some stunning children’s performances.

‘Egg and Spoon’, on 27 April, is a perfect gentle introduction to the magic of theatre.  It’s an interactive romp through the seasons where children aged 1-5 come in and out of the magic circle and get to open all the gifts of nature. Percy and April get you settled on our comfortable cushions and introduce you to Birdy, still hiding in his glowing egg. We have to wait til Spring if we want to see him, so it’s time to begin our hands-on journey through the year. We’ll run through the rain and the falling leaves and sleep under the snow till the sun wakes us up for the butterfly party.

Then on Tues 30 April, we meet Blaithin and Uncle Rusty in ‘Hatch’, a unique blend of music, comedy, theatre, contemporary and aerial dance. ‘Hatch’ also weaves Irish language and dancing into this wonderful story, creating a new world for young audiences that is interactive and sensory friendly. It is beautifully crafted and exquisitely delivered, full of unexpected and colourful wonders, which invite children to understand the transformational cycles of life, whilst exploring, interacting and discovering new things about the world of caterpillars, moths and butterflies! There is an arts and craft session as part of the performance where children become part of the story as they are invited on stage to begin their adventure! Suitable for 4-8 year olds.

Tickets are available from the Theatre Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at www.visitarmagh.com/marketplacetheatre. To keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/marketplacearmagh) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mptarmagh) where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.

Festival fun returns with Ballymoney Spring Fair 

There’ll be a festival feel in Ballymoney this weekend with the return of the Spring Fair.

Now in its third year, the event organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council with support from Local Women magazine, promises to be an unmissable experience for all the family.

Visit the Artisan Market at Castlecroft Square, try have-a-go activities at Megaw Park and view the Old Vehicle Club Vintage & Classic Car Show at Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre before the event comes to a colourful conclusion with a town centre cavalcade and parade.

New this year, Fuse FM will be on hand with an afternoon of outdoor entertainment in Castlecroft Square on Friday 12th April with Ulster Scots yarns, artisan stalls traditional music, balloon modellers and walkabout characters from 11am – 4pm, helping to build excitement for the main event.

Throughout the town centre, look out for in-store fashion events and special promotions in many of Ballymoney’s unique shops and boutiques.

On Saturday, the Spring Fair will open with a ‘Quiet Morning’ for children with additional needs at Megaw Park from 10am – 11.30am with a petting farm and craft workshops to enjoy. Book your place by emailing eventscoleraine@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk.

From 12 noon, members of the public can look forward to a host of free attractions including duck herding, petting farm, pony rides with Riding for the Disabled, horse-shoe demonstrations, inflatables, live music and street theatre.

From 11am-4pm, Castlecroft Square will come alive with Naturally North Coast & Glens Artisan Market selling unique local food and drink items along with quality arts and crafts. Throughout the town, browse the many independent and family-run businesses which help to set Ballymoney apart.

The Old Vehicle Club Vintage & Classic Car Show will be on display at Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre from 10am – 3.30pm when the cavalcade will set off following the colourful carnival parade participants.

For more information on what is happening throughout the day go to www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com. Follow Causeway Coast and Glens Events on Facebook and Twitter and look out for our hashtag #SpringItOn for updates.

10 things to do in Northern Ireland (8 – 14 April 2019)

  1. Game Of Thrones – The Touring Exhibition, Belfast, 11 April –1 September. Fans around the world will have the opportunity to step inside Westeros and the lands beyond at Game of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition. This all-new exhibition drops fans into the centre of the Seven Kingdoms with an up-close look at authentic props, costumes and decorations from the hit series. Visitors to the exhibition will experience the mystical lands of Westeros and Essos and re-live the struggles faced by the show’s characters.
  2. Belfast Film Festival 2019, Belfast, 11-20 April.  Presenting a huge range of films from across the globe, the festival’s tantalising line-up includes new international cinema and documentaries, critically acclaimed television, features and shorts from local filmmakers, and plenty of post-screening discussions in venues throughout the city.
  3. Hidden Gems Tour, Dungannon, 13-14 April. Explore the ancient roads and lanes with local tour guide, James Walshe, to undercover tales of Vikings, healing sites and holy wells where St Patrick walked, battle sites, castles and fortresses, incorporated with the scenic views along the way. Join the Hidden Gems Tour for an adventure into the secrets of our wild and beautiful landscape.
  4. Troubles Art, Derry-Londonderry, 8-28 April. This powerful exhibition provides a broad representation of responses to the Troubles by a range of artists from Northern Ireland and beyond. The subjects, themes and meanings of the works are diverse, offering the artists’ individual perspectives. Together they evoke a variety of experiences and emotions that reflect the complexity and impacts of this period of history.
  5. Kids Surf Camp, Limavady, 13-14 April. Visitors to the Causeway Coast and Glens region can bring the kids along to surf camp and ride the waves. This is a fantastic opportunity for children between the ages of 6 and 12 years to learn an exciting new sport in a safe environment, with a qualified surf coach and lifeguards.  A great experience for children who want to get out into nature and appreciate the quality of beach life in Northern Ireland.
  6. Spring into Rowallane this Easter Ballynahinch, 13-28 April. This Easter hop along for some fun and spend a wonderful day out exploring one of the most beautiful gardens in Northern Ireland.  Discover the many hidden gems within Rowallane Gardens, make egg box creatures, learn natural crafts or produce your own Easter card. Test your balancing skills with classic egg and spoon races and skip to victory.  Don’t get too competitive; it’s all just good family fun!
  7. Ballymoney Spring Fair 2019, Ballymoney, 12–13 April. Enjoy a fantastic day of festival fun as Ballymoney transforms into a cascade of colours, live music and artisan markets! This year Fuse FM brings an afternoon of outdoor entertainment featuring Ulster-Scots yarns, traditional music, balloon modellers and plenty of photo opportunities with themed characters.
  8. Causeway Coast Foodie Tours – Coast and Country Coleraine, 13 April. Relax and savour the flavours that make the Causeway Coast so unique. The five stops along the beautiful Causeway Coastal route each offer a delicious and surprising taste.  These include sample tasting at the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery, ‘meeting the makers’ at a local farmers’ market and a farm stop to meet award-winning producers and hear the unique stories behind their produce. Eat, discover and take home foodie goodies and see for yourself why this area is food heaven.
  9. Midweek Magic Belfast, 10 April. Feast your eyes on some modern day magic from four local magicians with all sorts of tricks up their sleeve. Enjoy a night of spectacle in the intimate surrounds of the Black Box’s Green Room, with performers showing off their tricks in close up surroundings.  Witness some true local talents with favourites like Caolan McBride alongside ambitious newcomers who will showcase new and innovative material. Be prepared for an interactive and fun filled night.
  10. Titanic Menu, Holywood, 13 April.  Prepare for a unique dining experience, served in a period dining room with views of Belfast Lough from where Titanic first set sail.  Rayanne House’s award-winning Chef Conor meticulously re-creates the first class dining menu which was served on the iconic ship to renowned passengers such as Benjamin Guggenheim and the ‘unsinkable’ Molly Brown.  The sumptuous menu boasts nine lavish courses of gourmet delights from the Edwardian era.

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

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


Los Dramáticos (Chile, Spain, Ireland) invite you to accompany them on a musical journey through the cultures of the Latin world at the Chamber, Bangor Castle, Friday 12th April.  Enjoy the stunning arrangements of well-known songs played with soul and bravura from around Latin America and Spain on 10-string charango (Victor Henríquez), flamenco guitar (Paddy Anderson) and percussion (Steve Davis and Marty McCloskey) are interspersed with surprising and humorous stories from their personal encounters with Latin music and culture.


Build your Easter Bunny with Bear Essentials at the Market Place Theatre this Saturday. Join the Bear Essentials team for this fun interactive workshop where you will choose, stuff and sew your very own top quality Easter bunny and tailor him/her the way you like it. Your new furry companion will receive their very own birth certificate completed by you so you’ll have a chance to name your new Easter bunny ready for taking home just in time for the Easter Holidays. Before you leave you and your new bunny will take part in a very special Easter egg hunt for some yummy goodies!


Join Bernie Jones on her crazy ‘Dirty Dancing’ themed hen party and get ready to meet her madcap family and friends while you have ‘The Time Of Your Life’. Nobody Puts Bernie in the Corner comes to the Ardhowen Theatre this Saturday 13th April. Suitable for 16+.


Don’t miss the Ultimate Ladies Night this Saturday 13th April at the Kinturk Cultural Centre, Moortown.  There will  live demonstrations by Make up by Julie, Mairead Quinn, Aesthetic 53 and The Klean Kitchen. Spot prizes on the night, drinks reception and a fork supper.  Tickets are £25 available from Boutique 68, online at boutique-68.myshopify.com/ and local shops. 


Enjoy unique adventure activities at budget prices at the Jungle NI, Moneymore this Sunday!  Similar to a fun-fair, The Jungle’s Family Fun Day  is an open-park day and offers a range of outdoor activities by token. Simply buy as many tokens you wish, exchange your tokens for the activity, or activities, of your preference and enjoy a fun family experience day unlike any other!  Suitable for all ages and abilities – book online today!


Explore the Easter trail at Monkstown Wood Newtownabbey, enjoy a chocolate treat and make a crafty animal mask this Saturday 13 April from 11.00am – 3.00pm. £6 per child, £2 per accompanying adult.  Booking is essential – online booking only. Book your place at woodlandtrusttickets.cloudvenue.co.uk/eastermonk. Parking is limited, dogs are allowed on lead. Please note paths are unsurfaced and can become muddy or slippery during wet weather.


Join Amanda St John and some of Northern Irelands finest songwriters for a night of music, banter and friendship in aid of The Macmillan Cancer Unit in Antrim hospital this Saturday at the Crescent Arts Centre. Amanda and her band will be joined on the night by some of her great friends; Anthony Toner, Gareth Dunlop, Brigid O’Neill, Matt McGinn and Ciara O’Neill for a night of music and connection with solo sets, collaborations and unique performances of some of your favourite soul songs.

For more 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.com for news, competitions and what’s on near you.  

The greatest showcase this Easter

As the song says, “ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for!”

Performer and Producer, Peter Corry, launches the 2019 Rhythm of the Bann Festival with Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Brenda Chivers. The Festival runs 26th and 27th in various venues throughout Coleraine town and more information can be found on www.rhythmofthebann.com
Performer and Producer, Peter Corry, launches the 2019 Rhythm of the Bann Festival with Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Brenda Chivers. The Festival runs 26th and 27th in various venues throughout Coleraine town and more information can be found on www.rhythmofthebann.com

Details for The Rhythm of the Bann festival in Coleraine have been launched.  The two-day programme of musical extravaganza will take place this April on the 26th and 27th in various venues throughout Coleraine town.

The perfect weekend to round off the Easter holidays, will see a number of specifically themed, choral, musical and theatre style performances and shows for all the family. All brought to you under the artful direction of our very own greatest showman, Peter Corry on behalf of the Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Brenda Chivers said: “Rhythm of the Bann is set to fill Coleraine with song, dance and theatre for what is set to be an unforgettable weekend of unique entertainment. Whether you are a performer or a music fan, the programme will showcase the very best in the sector paving the way for the exciting return of a choral celebration to Coleraine next year. The town has a rich history in this field and we are looking forward to building on this and developing what is set to be a very exciting annual event.”

Peter Corry of Peter Corry Production added, “Rhythm of the Bann 2019 will offer international performance and workshops that will not only be engaging but educational and of a very high standard, with high quality international coaches and performers involved in the festival.”

On Friday evening St Malachy’s Church will be home to three wonderful choirs.  Adoro, Cantemus and Dalriada Chamber Choir.  Adoro has performed at many prestigious events in Northern Ireland including services of thanksgiving for HM The Queen for the Diamond Jubilee and 90th Birthday.  Local Choir Cantemus sing a mixture of ancient & modern repertoire, from Bach to Stopford; Wesley to Parry – and the Dalriada Chamber Choir voices blend beautifully to deliver chilling harmonies, rousing emotions and tapping toes. Local violinist Jasmine Morris, a member of the Ulster Youth Orchestra and former winner of the Robert Lewin Scholarship, will also add to this musical evening.

On Saturday evening, The Showman Is Coming! THE Northern Ireland born but internationally renowned Peter Corry will lead a cast of dynamic dancers, singers and talented performers.  The Showman Is Coming combines the passion of Moulin Rouge, the spectacle of Barnum and the energy of The Greatest Showman, all under one roof at the Lodge Hotel. 

Peter Corry Productions strongly recommends this event is also the perfect opportunity for young people of all ages to get involved with the offer of world class workshops aimed at enhancing their artistic side. These events are of world class standard and not to be missed on Fri 26th and Sat 27thApril. This is also a great way to prepare to take part in next years’ Festival.

“Thank You For The Music” is a workshop in the Town Hall, led by Ashley Fulton who is originally from Magherafelt and one of the top vocal coaches in the UK. Three sessions for a mix of ages and abilities are available.

The Saturday workshop will take place in the Methodist Church Hall and is aptly entitled, “On Broadway”.  Coleraine is proud to welcome Ian Weinberger who is currently the Associate Music Director of the smash hit musical Hamilton on Broadway.  His other Broadway conducting credits include Kinky Boots and Titanic (Lincoln Center). 

The international hit, Hamilton: An American Musical, is about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, and is a multiple Tony, Grammy, Olivier and Pulitzer Award winning show. In the words of a former American President “where rap is the language of revolution and hip hop it’s urgent soundtrack”.

Details of all shows, tickets and how to get involved in the workshops, can be found on www.rhythmofthebann.com

The Rhythm of the Bann Festival will enthuse, engage and stir passion in everyone with a love of music, song and dance. Music to suit all tastes from musical theatre, gospel, jazz and choral to blues, swing, anthems and hymns, and hip hop! Just like the river itself, the Rhythm of the Bann is a blend of movement, music, patterns and flows.

This April, “Let’s be glorious.”

Only in Coleraine, this April, does Hamilton meet the greatest showman.

“So tell me, do you wanna go?”

50 Shades of Fun at the Market Place Theatre, Armagh

Following phenomenal, sell-out success across the land, ’50 Shades Of Red, White & Blue’ returns to Armagh’s Market Place Theatre on 12 and 13 April. Maggie Muff, Big Sally Ann, Sinead The Greener and Mr Red White & Blue himself promise to have audiences rolling in the aisles with their own brand of muffalicious fun, as we follow Maggie’s laugh-out-loud search for love. 

It all started as a joke when Leesa Harker wrote a Belfast-based spoof of Fifty Shades of Grey. Very soon it went viral and had 29,000 followers! Her Facebook postings had Northern Ireland in fits of laughter.

If we were to say this is a laugh-a-minute evening we would be telling lies – its literally non-stop laughter!

Tickets are available from the Theatre Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at www.visitarmagh.com/marketplacetheatre. To keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/marketplacearmagh) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mptarmagh) where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.

Los Dramáticos to bring Latino flair to Bangor Castle

Latino four-piece Los Dramáticos will bring their ‘Fire In The Blood’ show to Bangor Castle on Friday 12 April for the next Music In The Chamber series of events.

Los Dramáticos formed in 2012 in Teatro Cabaret restaurant on Botanic Avenue in Belfast. Victor Henríquez (Valparaíso, Chile) a charango player and Paddy Anderson a flamenco guitarist (Killinchy, Co. Down) who had long running solo residencies at the venue discovered that their music and the sonorities of their instruments blended well and started to perform weekly concerts there.

Paddy’s flamenco journey began with his apprenticeship (2001-2005) under flamenco guitar masters in Granada, Andalucía where he lived and worked for 4 years and where he returns every year to work on his playing. Victor brings along his expertise on the Andean charango, a ten-string instrument historically connected to Renaissance guitars taken to the South American highlands by Spanish colonisers in the 1700s.

Their ‘Fire In The Blood’ show performed in the beautiful setting of Bangor Castle’s Chamber Room is sure to be an unmissable event.

Tickets cost £12 and are on sale now at: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/ardsandnorthdown.

Tickets can also be purchased from North Down Museum or any of Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Visitor Information Centres.

New exhibition featuring Irish artists coming to Limavady

Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre will welcome a new exhibition featuring the works of renowned Irish artists from Friday 12th April.

The ‘UNTITLED (landscape)’ exhibition is the latest in a series of joint art demonstrations organised by the Department of Finance (DoF) and the Office of Public Works (OPW).

This year the exhibition focuses on the theme of landscape and the 30 artworks from artists including Mark Shields, Mickey Donnelly, Jennifer Trouton and Richard Mosse reflect the variety of this chosen topic. 

The artists were also invited to provide information about their selected art technique for the catalogue which includes painting, printmaking and photography.

Artist and curator Marianne O’Kane Boal will also facilitate an informal talk on the pieces within the exhibition on Thursday 2nd May from 12pm – 1pm. Admission is free.

The exhibition will continue in Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre until Saturday 1st June.

World Superbike stars Jonathan Rea and Eugene Laverty to star in fonaCAB International NW200 in association with Nichols Oils Chat Show

Four time world Superbike champion, Jonathan Rea enjoyed his time so much at last year’s fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils, he will make a return visit to the event this year.

The Kawasaki rider will take part in a special chat show in the paddock marquee on Wednesday, May 15 at 8pm.

Twelve months ago Rea rode a special lap of honour around the famous 8.9 mile Triangle circuit as the television cameras captured memorable images of the Ballyclare man brushing hands with hundreds of race fans along the coast road. This year his hordes of local supporters will have a chance to hear Jonathan describe how he became the first man in history to win four consecutive WSB titles and his attempt to make it a five timer in 2019.

Jonathan will be joined on stage in the marquee chat show by fellow Northern Ireland WSB racer, Eugene Laverty. The Toomebridge rider has switched to Ducati power with the Team Go Eleven squad for this season after several years with SMR Aprilia. Eugene has also been a regular visitor to the NW200 over the years. The man asking the questions on the night will be BBC NI’s Stephen Watson.

With two big stars on board, seats for this unique chat show will be in huge demand, so don’t miss out on your chance to be there by clicking on the official website  https://www.northwest200.org/

and ordering your ticket today. 

The Long Now By Sam Burnside

As part of Antrim Live Festival, Ulster Theatre Company present The Long Now by County Antrim born poet Sam Burnside at The Old Courthouse on Saturday 6 April.

Featuring two actors, projections, live music underscore and a soundscaped chorus, The Long Now explores one man’s memories.

Memory is general to all, while memories are unique to each of us.  Memory is shared, but my memories are mine, warmed or cooled, sweetened or embittered with time’s passing.

“I remember as a child being a passenger in a big black car on one dark evening.  I remember sitting low in the front passenger seat, looking up and out through the windscreen, the passing world of tree tops and cloud-filled sky being cut like scenes in a film with that mesmeric rhythm of the windscreen wipers. Do I remember, or do I imagine the sound of the wipers, the warmth of the car and the smell of the smoke of my mother’s cigarette?  I do not know but I imagine I remember the truth of that experience.”

“This entertainment may or may not be true.  Who can say?  Co Antrim in the 1950s is a far-off place.  Yet, this is the honest product of a writer closing his eyes and thrusting his hand into the bran tub of time and memory and hoping.”(Sam Burnside)

Featuring Sam Burnside’s poetic language, The Long Now is an evocative exploration of memory, childhood and hope.

Tickets from Box Office T: 028 9442 8331 or online theoldcourthousetheatre.com