News Column

Pick of the Week

June 14, 2013


Pick 'n' Mix Festival The MAC, Belfast Today, until Sunday No, it's not a sweety festival, as you might be led to think but, as the name implies, the same principle is in effect in this mini drama programme.

The MAC continues its fine tradition of offering audiences a first glimpse with this pick 'n' mix selection of new writing, in which you can choose what you want to see from a variety of shows on offer.

Among those featured in this weekend of entertainment is a rehearsed reading of The Break, a new Northern Irish rock-pop musical by Drew Dillon which tells the story of a family's struggle of living and loving in modernday Belfast.

Also on offer is David Ireland's Summertime, which centres around Jonathan, the new minister in a working class east Belfast parish, who struggles to establish himself in the face of local suspicion.

And Andrea Montgomery directs Spring Lane's Mixed Messages (right), about a man who served in the North Atlantic convoys during World War II. In 1949, he was unexpectedly invited to set sail again -- this time on a football tour to North America.

For details, visit THEATRE We Will Rock You Odyssey Arena, Belfast Until tomorrow The smash-hit musical from Ben Elton and Queen touches down in Belfast as part of its latest worldwide tour. It's not just any rock opera, though, as this one has been filling stadia and arenas across the land thanks to its spine-tingling selection of Queen's classic hits. Get your ticket before it leaves town, as who knows when it'll be back? And you might even fancy a little sing-along as well!

For details, visit Mojo Mickybo Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick Tonight, 8pm Belfast playwright Owen McCafferty's hit show has played countless venues here and abroad, as well as being adapted into a critically-acclaimed film. So it's always a welcome return to the stage here.

The vibrant and fast-paced tale tells the story of two boys growing up during the summer of 1970, blissfully unaware of the sectarian violence brewing around them.

For details, visit Can't Forget About You Lyric Theatre, Belfast Until Sunday Things have been getting rather steamy of late in the Lyric with this play which follows 25-year- old east Belfast man Stevie, who meets 49-year-old Glaswegian widow Martha following a painful break-up.

Although their relationship is based entirely upon sexual attraction, they find themselves falling in love -- much to the chagrin of Stevie's conservative family, including his ultra- unionist sister, who work hard to break the pair up.

Stevie and Martha must decide if their relationship has a real future and if they can both overcome the pain of their heartbroken pasts. For further details and booking info, visit COMEDY Neil Delamere Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry Tonight, 8pm Lol Comedy Club, Newcastle Tomorrow, 8pm He's well-known to audiences here as one of the regular panellists on BBC show The Blame Game, and now the Irish funnyman is back on the road for his latest tour.

Delamere Mortal, as it's called, would seem to adequately fit in with his stage style, described as "sweet, faux-naive". So expect plenty of witty anecdotes wrapped up in a self-deprecating cocoon. See respective venues for details.

Christian Talbot: Funeral Addict Black Box, Belfast Tuesday, June 18, 8pm He's billed as "Ireland's neediest man", who cares too much about things. His latest show will see him opining about the best way to deal with racist co-workers, the daily afternoon cry-break, choosing box-sets over sex and how to find emotional intimacy through the obituaries. Come to his show, Christian needs your reassurance and hugs!

For details, visit FAMILY Planes, Trains and Automobiles National Trust Mount Stewart, Newtownards Sunday, 11am-5pm No, it's not the Eighties road movie with Steve Martin and John Candy, but there'll doubtless be plenty of fun nonetheless in this Father's Day event. The gorgeous grounds will be playing host to a superb display of classic vehicles, from old to new, plus the usual stalls and music in the gardens. What more could a dad want? For further details, visit A Horrible Histories Life Swap Navan Centre & Fort, Armagh Tomorrow & Sunday, 10am-6pm Ever wondered what life would be like in the distant past? Well, you can enjoy an archaeology day with a difference at Navan this weekend when you get to see what might happen if the Georgians and the Celts swapped lives.

See how the Georgians are getting on cooking on an open fire, wearing traditional garb and coping with bartering and self- sufficiency.

For details, visit FILM Diaz: Don't Clean Up This Blood Ulster Museum, Belfast Sunday, 2pm If the forthcoming G8 events have pricked your social conscience, then this hard-hitting film might well be up your street.

Diaz: Don't Clean Up This Blood is a drama directed by Daniele Vicari recounting the violent end to the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, which left one anti-globalisation protester dead.

It focuses on the final days of the summit, when police stormed Armando Diaz, a school in Genoa being used as a protest headquarters. In the nighttime raid, more than 300 police officers attacked activists and journalists, seriously injuring 93 and putting another three in a coma.

The screening will be followed by a talk and discussion with Amnesty International Northern Ireland Director Patrick Corrigan and journalist Mark Covell, who was present at that year's G8.

For tickets and further information, visit http:// MATTHEW McCREARY

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