Thursday, 26 November 2015


MAGICAL MUSICAL MOMENTS is a musical extravaganza which will be staged at The Plaza Ballroom in Buncrana on Friday night 11th December. This 'Night at the Musical's' is being produced by Jessica from Jessica's Academy of Performing Arts. Jessica is a young girl from Buncrana who not only acts and dances herself but is now teaching children her own skills and has recently opened her own Academy in Buncrana.
This night is set to raise funds for a young Buncrana boy, Jack Donaghey. Jack is just 5 years old and suffering from childhood cancer. Like many others, Jack has to travel to Dublin for his treatment. Jessica is staging this production to help Jack and his family with their ongoing care and treatment.
A night to remember is definitely in store. Not only because Jessica herself is an amazingly talented young lady, but she has instilled her own talent and ability in her young students.
Also on the night will be a host of surprise guests who will provide some exceptional music and song.
Tickets for this event can be purchased at: Card N'Candies, Lunch Box and Macs Bookshop in Buncrana. Tickets are priced at just €10 for adults and €5 for children.
Added to the lineup is 'Miss Donegal' who will host the evening.
This North West Culture Gal is certainly looking forward to the evening that is in store.


'Frostbit' teenager for Derry Panto!


Book your tickets now, cos the craic will be fierce!

Just when you thought that panto season couldn’t get any more fun, the Millennium Forum has now revealed its latest cast member who will grant all your Christmas wishes this holiday season.   Ruairi McSorley, aka ‘Frosbit’, will make a ‘special’ appearance as the voice of the ever powerful, Genie, in the biggest show of the season, Aladdin, which opens at the North West’s premier venue on Friday 4th Dec.

Co Derry teenager, Ruairi, became an overnight sensation following a TV interview on wintry weather conditions.   His accent catapulted him to worldwide fame, with clips of his interview hitting 3.5million views in three days!  The hastag ‘Frosbit’ soon began trending and a media star was born. 
Earlier this year, Ruairi became the face of BT’s Superfast Broadband in Northern Ireland for an extensive ad campaign.   The Frosbit Boy also has his own YouTube channel which features hilarious impressions on well-known characters from Coronation Street, Mrs Brown’s Boys and Father Ted.  This is his first panto experience.

Ruairi joins William Caulfield who returns to celebrate his tenth year as the Forum’s favourite Dame in this all singing, all dancing festive show that’s sponsored once again by Dunnes Stores. 

This magical adventure story will be brought to life in a spectacular production complete with stunning sets, beautiful costumes and lots of comedy.

With an all local and Northern Irish cast including Mikey -Jay Heath as Aladdin, children’s favourite, Gerard McCabe as Wishee Washee and Keith Lynch as the evil, Abanazar, this sparkling festive treat is guaranteed fun for all the family.  Book your seats now for the carpet ride of a lifetime!

Aladdin performs at the Millennium Forum from Friday 4th December until Sunday 3rd January.  Tickets are now available from the Box Office.  Telephone 71 264455 or visit for bookings. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Give the gift of 'theatre' this Christmas!

Chirstmas is very nearly upon us once more. December 2015 is just around the corner and it's all systems go at present seeking that all important gift for our loved ones. The pressure mounts each year as everyone tries to outdo the previous year with gifts. 
The perfect gift is sitting waiting to be bought and can be enjoyed and appreciated by all. There's 'something for everyone' when it comes to the theatre! And here in the North West we are privilidged to have one of Ireland's finest theatres, The Millennium Forum Derry, right on our doorstop. With lots of upcoming events over the coming season and more, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Gifts for Her

With concerts from The Priests (21st Dec), Tommy Fleming (19th Feb) and Moya Brennan (18th March) to West End musicals, Footloose (31st May to 4th June) and Annie (23rd to 27th Feb) and comedy from Sarah Millican (8th June), the Forum has the perfect present for sisters, aunties, grannies, mums and best friends.

Gifts for Him

If the man in your life enjoys local music, drama or the best in stand-up comedy, then tickets to Homegrown (15th Jan), The High Kings (2nd Jan), Transatlantic Sessions (5th Feb), Jake O’Kane (23rd Jan), Ed Byrne (22ndMay), Paul Heaton/Jacqui  Abbott (13th April) and The Cripple of Inishmaan (3rd March) are guaranteed to delight this Christmas.

Gifts for all the Family

Treat the family to a magical experience at the theatre with our must-see festive show, Aladdin (4th Dec to 3rd Jan) or the smash hit West End musical, Annie (23rd to 27th Feb).  Making happy memories is the perfect way to spend Christmas for the young and the young at heart!

Tickets for all shows are now available from the Millennium Forum Box Office.  Telephone 71 264455 or visit Millennium Forum for bookings.

There really is 'something for everyone' this year at Derry's Millenium Forum

Saturday, 21 November 2015

FOOTLOOSE: The Musical comes to Derry

If like myself you were a teenager in the 1980's then FOOTLOOSE can only mean one thing:  great music and great soundtrack. When one is now in a nightclub (or more realistically at an '80's disco) and 'Footloose' comes on, it's all legs to the floor and some crazy dance moves are had. And if like me you're now in those dreaded 40's, those crazy moves are still done! Footloose is surely one of the greatest soundtracks of our era.
And now we are getting the opportunity to see the real live musical that is FOOTLOOSE right here in Derry next summer. FOOTLOOSE will be staged at Millennium Forum, Derry, from May 31st to June 4th 2016.  That's certainly a production I'm looking forward to seeing.
The cast consists of a great line up. Maureen Nolan will play Vi Moore and Luke Baker will be playing Ren McCormac (the role immortalised on screen by Kevin Bacon). The cast also features Hannah Price as Ariel Moore, Nigel Lister as Reverend Shaw Moore, Nicky Swift as Ethel McCormack, Joanna Sawyer as Rusty, Matthew Tomlinson as Chuck, Natasha Brownas Wendy-Jo, Miracle Chance as Urleen and Scott Haining as Bickie. The cast also includes Lauren Storer, Natalie Morton-Graham, Luke Thornton and Alex Marshall.
Based on the 1984 screen sensation starring Kevin Bacon, Footloose: The Musical tells the story of city boy Ren, who has to move to a rural backwater in America where dancing is banned. All hell breaks out as Ren breaks loose and soon has the whole town up on its feet. Featuring classic 80s hits includingHolding Out for a HeroAlmost ParadiseLet's Hear it for the Boy and the unforgettable title track,Footloose: The Musical is set to take the world by storm once again in this brand new production, bursting with youthful spirit, dazzling dance and electrifying music.

When the film was released in 1984, it became the highest-grossing February release in US film history.  The soundtrack album ended the year-long reign of Michael Jackson’s Thriller at number one and went on to top album charts all over the world, eventually selling in excess of 17 million copies. Footloose was nominated for a Golden Globe, and both the title song and Let’s Hear It for the Boyreceived Academy Award nominations. Footloose: The Musical first opened on Broadway in 1998 where it ran for 709 performances, with a London production following in 2006, opening at the Novello Theatre following a UK Tour.

Footloose: The Musical has music by Tom Snow and lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and is adapted for the stage by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. It is based on the original screenplay by Dean Pitchford. It is directed by Racky Plews (American Idiot, West End) with choreography by Matthew Cole, design by Sara Perks and musical supervision by Mark Crossland. It is produced by David Hutchinson and Phillip Rowntree for Sell A Door Theatre Company and Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment. It is presented by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe.

Footloose the Musical performs at the Millennium Forum from Tues 31st May until Sat 4th June.  Tickets are now available from the Millennium Forum Box Office.  Telephone 028 71 264455 or visit Millennium Forum for bookings.

This is one week in 2016 that I'm certainly looking forward to being that teenager again and footloose and fancy free. All that remains is for me to get Kevin Bacon to dance alongside me!


Thursday, 19 November 2015

Aladdin at Millinnium Forum Derry

Part of the annual Christmas tradition here in the North West of Ireland is the staging of the Milennium Forum pantomime. This year is certain not to disappoint with Aladdin, in association with Dunnes Stores, commencing on Friday December 4th.
"The Forum's fine tradition of staging pantomimes continues to provide the very best in festive entertainment." (Derry Journal)
When street urchin Aladdin frees a genie from a lamp, he finds his wishes granted. However, he soon finds the evil Jafar has other plans for the lamp - and for Princess Jasmine. But can Aladdin save the Princess and his love for her after she sees that he isn't quite what he appears to be?
This year 2015 in Derry sees William Caulfield, the panto Dame, celebrate his 10th year as the star of the Forum's panto. He never fails in delivering a fun-filled, lively entertaining show and I don't doubt this year will be no exception.
Young and old alike will desend on Derry's Millennium Forum and kickstart Christmas with a bang. Others will wait until after the big day and unwind with this fabulous show.
Tickets for the said show which will run from December 4th until January 3rd can be purchased online at Millennium Forum Box Office now.
An avid fan of panto from my youth I can certainly recommend this as an absolutely amazing family experience for all ages. This is one show you don't want to miss this Christmas.


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Millennium Forum issue statement

The following statement has been issued from the Millennium Forum in Derry:

“It has come to our attention that an organisation, Theatres Online, is approaching local businesses with a view to selling advertising using the Millennium Forum’s name.  If your business is approached by a person claiming to be from this company we wish to clarify that the Millennium Forum has no connection with Theatres Online and they are not authorised to sell any form of advertising on our behalf.  We are disappointed at their approach to local businesses without prior consultation with us.”

David McLaughlin, Chief Executive Millennium Forum, Derry  

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Halloween in Derry 2015

For almost 20 years now I have been venturing into Derry City on Halloween night. All those years ago it was a family outing; the kids, Mum and Dad and usually Grandad. But as the years go on, the kids want to do their own thing (not kids anymore), and Grandad doesn't like the fireworks now in later life. However, Mum and Dad never miss! Yes, I still look forward to that couple of hours with himself on Halloween night.
I've never been a huge fan of dressing up or even Halloween in general, but the explosion that erupts in Derry on this night each year, is one I just have to be a part of.
Living in the border village of Muff has so many advantages as a whole, not least that one can just pop into this amazing city at times like this.
Derry was recently voted the best city in the world to spend Halloween in. This is long overdue. People come from far and wide to spend the occasion amongst the Derry folk. Last night surpassed all other Halloween nights.
Although there have been an amazing array of events in the city over the past week, last night was as always the culmination of the great Halloween spectacle. Crowds filled the Derry streets, ghosts and ghouls were everywhere. Witches flew in on their broomsticks, and monsters came alive. The streets of this amazing city were awash with colour and character. At approximately 7pm the 'Rise of the River Gods' Street carnival got underway. To say it was spectacular would be an understatment. Young and old alike lined the city streets to watch the amazing carnival as it travelled the city centre roads. It showcased all that a carnival should be and more.
It was then time to pop for a quick coffee to Café Soul and then to the banks of the Foyle for yet another fireworks extravaganza.
Fireworks can just be the same year in, year out. Once you've seen one great display, you've seen them all. But in Derry, that's not so! This was fireworks that even Sydney Harbour would be proud of. The show just went on.
Derry, you surpassed yourself once again. The title of 'Best City in the World to spend Halloween' is so very well deserved. This is a city which comes alive for Halloween. A city which is alive with culture at all times, and a city which I'm so very proud to be a part of.
(check out North West Culture Gal on fb for more photos from last night)