Summer is upon us although the sun has decided to give us a rest today in Northern Ireland  by hiding behind the clouds. However, if you need some entertainment I have finally pulled together a listicle of summer entertainment as requested by my social media followers. I hope to update it with gigs and activities as the summer progresses and hopefully Covid restrictions relax and I will continue my weekly run downs over on my social channels. I just thought it would be great to have one place you could use as a point of reference. 

So without further ado let me start on activities, films, gigs and arts events that will keep you occupied this June:

Films

Big film releases this month include: 

In case you missed the news; Disney’s Cruella, A Quiet Place II (highly recommend), Peter Rabbit 2 are already open in cinemas now. 

The Hitman’s wife’s Bodyguard releases Wednesday 14th June starring Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson

Luca the new pixar release will be on Disney+ from Friday 18th June

In the Heights- Lin Manuel Miranda’s highly anticipated musical movie releases on the 18th June

Fast and Furious 9 (F9) will have advanced release on 24th June to selected cinemas and will be on general release 8th July.

Marvel Fan? The new Loki series hit Disney Plus yesterday and will continue every Wednesday until 14th July (oh and Black Widow will also release in this period on the 9th July.

Theatre

16th-18th June

Lucid by Tinderbox Theatre Company

LUCID was created by artists in their own homes using whatever they had; phones taped to lampshades, no Green screens etc. The narrative was continuously built each week with no idea of an ending for the show. We weren’t interested in finding the ending; rather let the ending find itself.  Watch this weekend on the Tinderbox Theatre Company Youtube Channel.

15th-19th June

AN EVENING WITH AN IMMIGRANT-Lyric Theatre Belfast

An evening with an immigrant, written and performed by Inua Ellams, 15th – 19th June 2021.  Born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother in what is now considered by many to be Boko Haram territory, award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams left Nigeria for England in 1996 aged 12, moved to Ireland for three years, before returning to London and starting work as a writer and graphic designer.

Part of this story was documented in his autobiographical Fringe First Award-winning play The 14th Tale, but much of it is untold. Littered with poems, stories and anecdotes, Inua tells his ridiculous, fantastic, poignant immigrant-story of escaping fundamentalist Islam, experiencing prejudice and friendship in Dublin, performing solo at the National Theatre, and drinking wine with the Queen of England, all the while without a country to belong to or place to call home.

As part of the act of sharing stories and experiences of migration and global human movement across borders, An Evening with an Immigrant will coincide with Refugee Week 2021.  Age recommendation: 14+.  For tickets book at www.lyrictheatre.co.uk

15th-18 June

The Shedding of Skin- Kabosh

Previously untold stories of women as a tool of war are the subject of ‘The Shedding of Skin’, the new play from Kabosh which will have four online screenings from Tuesday 15 – Friday 18 June.

Written by Vittoria Cafolla and directed by Paula McFetridge, ‘The Shedding of Skin’ was created in response to the work of Ulster University Drama lecturer Dr Lisa Fitzpatrick, who has been researching sexual violence in conflict for many years.  Dr Fitzpatrick wanted to explore how her research material could be developed into a creative project and shared with a broad range of audiences, humanising victims and redressing the imbalance of stories from conflict being told with a predominantly male perspective. 

Kabosh will provide a list of resources and further information which will enable audience members to take action about the issues raised in ‘The Shedding of Skin’, whether by raising awareness or by supporting one of the charities which works in this field.

The cast of ‘The Shedding of Skin’ features Vicky Allen as Tereza, Louise Mathews as Ruth, Catriona McFeely as Sinéad and Shannen McNeice as Sam.  The play will be filmed at the Brian Friel Studio, Queen’s University, Belfast and screened online over four days from Tuesday 15 – Friday 18 June, supported by a range of themed panel discussions exploring issues raised by the production. *‘The Shedding of Skin’ includes sensitive content and is recommended for people aged 16 years and over.*

Tickets for ‘The Shedding of Skin’ are £5 per person and can be booked now via www.kabosh.net

24th-26th June

Mojo Mickybo by Bruiser Theatre Company

Stream Owen McCafferty’s play Mojo Mickybo by Bruiser Theatre Company. A play about a friendship between two boys growing up in Belfast – a friendship that at first is immune to the sectarian violence taking place around them, but which nonetheless is ultimately destroyed by it. Find out more at brusiertheatrecompany.com

Cahoots NI

25th -27th June

Times: Three performance each day from 4pm – 8pm

Tickets: £10 per car book your ticket in advance, visit curiouscabaret.eventbrite.co.uk phone 028 3834 3350

Details: Cahoots NI & Rushmere Shopping Centre presents a live three-day outdoor family drive-thru theatre bonanza this month to officially mark the start of the summer holidays. The live interactive show will wow audiences with song, games, magic, music, and mayhem – powered by fascinating digital effects to transport families on an unforgettable journey of illusion.

Gigs

Women’s Work 2021: 17th-20th June

The Oh Yeah Music Centre has announced the details of its fifth Women’s Work programme. The festival, which is an annual celebration of women in music, will take place online, across four days and nights and includes a range of activities that are open to all genders and include showcases, gigs, special events, panels, talks, and workshops.

One of the highlights will include a collective cover of ‘Running Up That Hill’ by Kate Bush. Following a call out for participants, Women’s Work will showcase the results as an online effort led by Katie Richardson. The video will support efforts to raise funds for Women’s Aid.

Women’s Work is also proud to support the launch of an application process for a new initiative – NI Electronic Workshop led by Hannah Peel. Dani Larkin will launch her highly anticipated debut album ‘Notes for a Maiden Warrior’ and the Oh Yeah Getting To Know series will run two events that will feature an exclusive with Pillow Queens and another session with Dani Larkin.

The festival also involves a performance from Kate Nicholson via the Accidental Theatre. The Lunchbox Sessions will feature daily music from Sara Ryan, Míde Houlihan and Winnie Ama. The Magy’s Farm Sessions will feature five artists from University of Ulster Music: Niamh Murray, Cara Quinn, Rhian Brownlow, Clodagh May and Lara O’Donnell.

Isobel Anderson, host of the highly rated music podcast Girls Twiddling Knobs, will present a special LIVE episode with a sublime panel of special guests. There are workshops with Siobhan Brown, Theodora Byrne, Amanda St John, Brigid O’Neill and many more.

Discussion panels will feature; ‘I Am My Song’ hosted by Beyond Skin & Afghan National Institute of Music. Linda Coogan Byrne and Siobhan McAndrew will discuss the ‘Why Not Her?’ campaign and Lynette Fay and Dr Úna Monaghan will discuss Sexism In Irish Traditional Music.

There’s the Mothers In Music Showcase, as well as access to the brilliant Julie McLarnon documentary The Psychology of Analogue. The list of events goes on and includes presentations, talks and advice sessions from the likes of Safe In Sound, Nadia Khan & Claire Rose (Women in CTRL), Francesca O’Connor (Make Waves Management) and Gemma Bradley (BBC Radio 1).

Charlene Hegarty, Talent Development Manager at Oh Yeah and the festival’s coordinator said – “Women’s Work is a celebration of the multi-genre females at work, both on and off the stage, in Ireland. I am delighted it’s back for a 5th year and burning brighter than ever. The programme is just a snapshot and it brings me incredible joy to work in collaboration with these talented and creative women. I hope you enjoy what we have planned for you.”

The Online Festival runs 17th – 20th June 2021.

A fresh new website goes live on Monday 17th May.

For full details go to www.womensworkni.co.uk

Activities

Say ‘Hello Maritime Mile’ this summer

Maritime Mile, an initiative by Maritime Belfast Trust, the charity responsible for preserving Belfast’s maritime and industrial heritage, has launched ‘Hello Maritime Mile’.   A campaign encouraging everyone to take on a post-lockdown adventure by exploring Belfast’s iconic waterfront experience, an outdoor museum of Titanic proportions, this summer. Discover Belfast’s rich maritime and industrial heritage as well as uncovering many exciting experiences along the way plus download a free Treasure Trail map with exciting prizes to be won. For details visit www.maritime-mile.com, Maritime Mile Facebook and Instagram using #HelloMaritimeMile #MaritimeMile

Reconnect, relax, and reset with the Riverside Theatre Coleraine this June

We’re excited to work with Ulster University Sports Services for Breathe – Mini Festival In A Day taking place on Saturday 19th June 2021. It’s a family friendly, creative and nature oriented mini festival that offers a wide range of activities, celebrating the great outdoors and coming out of lockdown. 

We have outdoor Hatha yoga with teacher Heather Wright and beautiful views of the river Bann and Donegal in the distance, modern dance classes for families, eco friendly craft workshops from Anann’s Arch outdoor litter picks with Live Here Love Here lantern making workshops with artist Lorna Gough and a delicious barbecue with Truva accompanied by Peter Thorogood Music

For more info and to book https://www.riversidetheatre.org.uk/participate/breathe

Seamus Heaney Homeplaces new Open Ground Walkways

A newly constructed boardwalk leads to a woodland pathway which gently opens out into a clearing with uninterrupted views across Lough Beg to ‘Church Island and its soft outline of yew’.

A riverside walk along the Moyola River, where Seamus Heaney walked, fished and thought, is now also more accessible to visitors who can meander alongside those same river banks, retracing the steps of the poet who was ‘at home on the water in all sorts of ways’.

Sculpture is at the heart of the remaining three locations, with a tall, steel structure at the Eelworks in Toome, symbolising the twists and turns of eels as they swim, and reflecting the poet’s fascination with both the life cycle of eels and the fishermen who trapped them.

An alleyway in Magherafelt is now home to the sculpted silhouettes of people walking towards the town’s bus station which featured in Heaney’s poetry, with the ‘agitated rooks’ from ‘Route 110’, the poem which takes its title from the number of a local bus, flying just above their heads.

The existing Turfman sculpture in Bellaghy has benefited from an extended and freshly landscaped seating area, creating a new space for visitors to contemplate both the art piece and lines from ‘Digging’, one of Seamus Heaney’s most well-known poems.

For further information visit www.seamusheaneyhome.com and to download the Open Ground App, visit the Apple or Google stores.

Belfast Photo Festival presents a bold vision of the future

Festival returns from 3 – 30 June 2021

Belfast Photo Festival, Northern Ireland’s premier visual arts festival, will take over art galleries and public spaces throughout Belfast this June with a host of timely exhibitions exploring the role of photography in imagining new visions of the future.

Presenting a vibrant online and offline programme of immersive exhibitions, large scale outdoor art works, talks and events, the festival runs from 3 – 30 June 2021.

For more information on this year’s festival, visit belfastphotofestival.com and keep up to date on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Belfast Book Festival: makes a welcome return from 10 – 13 June with an online programme of live events for book lovers, covering everything from love and politics to Cinderella as a zombie!

Presented by the Crescent Arts Centre, highlights of the festival include Annie Macmanus (BBC Radio 1) unveiling her debut novel ‘Mother, Mother’ which is set in Belfast; Ian McElhinney (‘Derry Girls’) and literary biographer Roy Foster exploring the work of Seamus Heaney; Glenn Patterson (‘The Northern Bank Job’) in conversation with author Conor O’Callaghan; Colm Tóibín (‘Brooklyn’), reading from ‘Queer Love: An Anthology of Irish Fiction’ and a special recorded performance from the official poet of the 2012 London Olympics, Lemn Sissay. 

For up and coming writers and poets, there will be discussions with industry professionals from the worlds of poetry, prose and publishing about how to get your work seen and heard, and the lucky winners of the Mairtín Crawford Awards for Poetry and Short Story 2021 will also be announced.

Multi-award winning author and Belfast Book Festival patron Lucy Caldwell returns with short stories of love, loss and exile in her new collection, ‘Intimacies’, in the company of fellow author Louise Kennedy (‘The End of the World is a Cul de Sac’) and actor and journalist Mira Sethi (‘Are You Enjoying’). 

In Northern Ireland’s centenary year and in a turbulent time for unionism, two of our most respected political journalists – Susan McKay and Amanda Ferguson – come together to discuss Susan’s new book, ‘Northern Protestants: On Shifting Ground’.  Featuring over 100 new interviews with people including Toni Ogle, Dawn Purvis and Sammy Wilson, the book covers a range of social justice issues and campaigns, particularly the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

There are events for younger audiences too, with children’s author and poet Joseph Coelho reading from his deliciously creepy take on Cinderella – ‘Zombierella’ – while the team from Young Adult literary journal ‘Paper Lanterns’ will discuss ‘Writing the Teen Voice’.

For all of this plus much more, view the full Belfast Book Festival programme details and book tickets – priced either £3 or free at www.belfastbookfestival.com

Press Eye – Belfast – Northern Ireland – Monday 14th June 2021 Photo by Stephen Hamiltonn / Press Eye JESUS, MARY & JOSEPH & THE WEE DONKEY, A LINE OF DUTY EXPERIENCE IS LAUNCHED… Caroline McComb from McCombs Coach Travel is joined by Cáelán McVeigh from the Grand Central Hotel to launch the new Line of Duty Experience. Fans of the hit TV show might be missing the action from Superintendent Hastings, Detective Inspector Arnott and DI Fleming, but now we’re sucking diesel, as Hastings Hotels and McComb’s Coach Travel have created the very first tour of filming locations. The Line of Duty Experience begins with lunch in the Grand Café in the Grand Central Hotel, before an action packed guided tour onboard a luxurious coach, taking in some of the most recognisable filming locations and finishing the afternoon with an AC12 cocktail or Wee Donkey mocktail in the Observatory, Ireland’s tallest cocktail bar. Guests will also receive the Hastings’ Line of Duty duck which has been designed with some of Northern Ireland’s best-known sayings. The Line of Duty Experience takes place 3rd, 17th & 31st July; 14th & 28th August and 11th & 25th September and is £49pp. To book go to http://www.mccombscoaches.com or call 028 9086 6162. — Fiona Brown Fiona Brown Communications (t) +44 (0) 7887 864641 (e) fiona@fionabrowncommunications.com (w) fionabrowncommunications.com

JESUS, MARY & JOSEPH & THE WEE DONKEY, A LINE OF DUTY EXPERIENCE IS LAUNCHED

FANS of Line of Duty might be missing the action from Superintendent Hastings, Detective Inspector Arnott and DI Fleming, but now we’re sucking diesel, as Hastings Hotels and McComb’s Coach Travel have created the very first tour of filming locations from the hit TV series.

The Line of Duty Experience, begins with lunch in the Grand Café in the Grand Central Hotel, before an action packed guided tour onboard a luxurious coach, taking in some of the most recognisable filming locations and finishing the afternoon with an AC12 cocktail or Wee Donkey mocktail in the Observatory, Ireland’s tallest cocktail bar. Guests will also receive the Hastings’ Line of Duty duck which has been designed with some of Northern Ireland’s best-known sayings.  

Julie Hastings, like the battle, Marketing Director of Hastings Hotels said: “Given our namesake with everyone’s favourite Superintendent, we had to be the first to launch a Line of Duty Experience. We are delighted to team up with McComb’s Coach Travel to create this unique tour which takes in some of the most exciting filming locations across Belfast City Centre, a light lunch and finishing off with Line of Duty inspired cocktails in the Observatory. And while you may not float up the Lagan in a bubble, you will certainly enjoy the best views of Belfast and beyond.”

The tour starts at Belfast’s Grand Central Hotel in Bedford Street which is located beside the Invest NI building – the setting for AC-12 HQ. There will be various stops across the City Centre including ‘Pelbury House’ the headquarters of the Central Police force which provided the backdrop of Ted Hastings famous peaked-cap adjustments; ‘Kingsgate Printing Services’, the building used as a front for members of the OCG (Organised Crime Gang); the Lorry Park where Kate shot Ryan Pilkington before doing a runner with Jo Davidson in Series 6 and of course the iconic Subway location, the favourite meeting point for Steve and Kate to have their secret rendezvous, and perhaps the most striking spot to get that LOD selfie! 

There’ll be the chance to visit the sites of some of the most memorable car chases including the crash from Series 6 when DC Chloe and DI Arnott had been transporting Jimmy Lakewell from prison to AC-12 HQ to interrogate him when the police convoy was attacked by the OCG as well as the bridge where DI Fleming dramatically fired an assault riffle at a fleeing four-wheel drive, killing her dodgy partner and crime gang mole, Dot Cotton.

Other filming locations on the tour include Brentiss Prison which viewers watched prisoners being escorted to, including Detective Superintendent Jo Davidson after her arrest; Tresco Storage, the company used in Series 3 by Danny Waldron to store the decapitated head of Linus Murphy which was later discovered by Steve; and who could forget the incident in the opening episode of Series 6 that first made viewers suspect that DCI Davidson was a bent copper, when enroute to raid the address of a suspect in the murder of Gail Vella Hickies, she redirected the convoy to Hickey’s Bookmakers for what she ‘suspected’ was an armed robbery.

The Line of Duty Experience takes place 3rd, 17th & 31st July; 14th & 28th August and 11th & 25th September and is £49pp. To book go to www.mccombscoaches.com or call 028 9086 6162.  

MINI LAND ROVER EXPERIENCE GEARS UP TO OPEN AT GLENARM CASTLE IN JULY A brand new Mini Land Rover Experience, which lets kids take control of the driving seat, is gearing up to open at Glenarm Castle on 1st July. Supported by Charles Hurst Land Rover as the headline sponsor, complementing its current national “Outspiration” campaign, with additional support from NFU Mutual, the adventure will provide families with a safe, fun drive on the first off-road Mini Land Rover adventure course in Northern Ireland.Kids from 3-11yrs can take over the wheel of one of 5 Mini Land Rover cars; featuring steering wheel, a starter key, accelerator, lights, a direction switch with accompanying adults having access to a hand held fob which will remotely switch off the car.Reaching a top speed of potentially 5mph, kids will drive on a specifically designed outdoor course with a range of ‘challenges’ along the way. The experience lasts 45 minutes which includes a 15 minute safety briefing. The Mini Land Rover Experience is part of a £500k investment, announced earlier this year, to significantly enhance the Glenarm Castle visitor experience. This includes sea view holiday pods, a Heritage Centre, Museum, Woodland Walk, E-Bike Hire, a Castle Shop and The Milk Parlour featuring ice cream using milk from N.Ireland’s only remaining Shorthorn dairy herd. The investment has also helped to create up to 20 full and part time jobs.Looking forward to welcoming families to Glenarm Castle’s Mini Land Rover Experience, Adrian Morrow, Glenarm Castle Managing Director, said:“ We are very excited to offer the Mini Land Rover Experience as part of our visitor experience investment, sponsored by Charles Hurst Land Rover and supported by NFU Mutual, at Glenarm Castle. We have taken great care to ensure that families have a fantastic, safe and enjoyable adventure. Kids will enjoy taking control of the wheel of the mini Land Rover cars and tackling the ‘challenges’ on our specifically designed outdoor course. With many people choosing to holiday at home this summer, we are expecting the experience to be in high demand. We would encourage anyone hoping to bring their family to enjoy the Mini Land Rover Experience to book in advance to avoid disappointment.”Alan Thompson, Head of Business at Charles Hurst Land Rover, said:“It’s been a really difficult time for children, parents and families across Northern Ireland over the last year, so Charles Hurst Land Rover is delighted to be the headline sponsor for Glenarm Castle’s Mini Land Rover Experience to provide this fun, exciting and unique outdoor adventure experience for all the family this summer. At Land Rover Belfast, we are passionate about the great outdoors and all the adventure that comes with it, so this partnership is a fantastic way to bring our ‘Outspiration’ campaign to life for families across Northern Ireland at a time when we have all spent so much time indoors. If you’re looking for the ultimate family-friendly outdoors experience this summer, look no further than Glenarm Castle’s Mini Land Rover experience.”Ian Kernohan from NFU Mutual East Antrim Agency said:“ It’s great to see such a fun, exciting and dynamic attraction coming to Northern Ireland and there is no better setting for it than at Glenarm Estate. NFU Mutual is delighted to support this unique attraction and no doubt it will be a huge success, bringing much needed enjoyment to local kids as we come out of lockdown and back to normality.” Booking for Glenarm Castle’s Mini Land Rover Experience is now open. The experience costs £20 for 45 mins. Pre booking is advised. For further information and for booking details visit wwww.glenarmcastle.com. Follow Glenarm Castle @GlenarmCastle on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Dates for you Diary:

David Walliams’ Mr. Stink Ardhowen Theatre Sunday 18th July

The John Hewitt International Summer School 26th-30th July

Tours of the new Grand Opera House Belfast 6 July- 14 August find out more at goh.co.uk

The Burial at Thebes’ by Seamus Heaney 4th August, Bright Umbrella Theatre Company

Open House Festival 12-30th August find out more at openhousefestival.com

Everybodies talking about Jamie in cinemas 17th September 2021 on the Grand Opera House stage 8-12 March 2022

Dear Evan Hansen in cinemas 22 October 2021

Live music can return to NI from the 21st June so watch this space!!

Emer D xx