Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Celtic the Musical opens in Derry

To say I'm an avid Celtic fan would be a huge lie on my part. But a football (soccer) fan I am. Arsenal all the way. My aunt Bernadette lived in London when I was a young girl and she introduced me to Arsenal before I even started school. I haven't wavered since!

But one cannot grow up in Donegal and not be aware of Celtic. They're almost a local team going by local support and regular bus loads going from my now home village of Muff to Park Head. My brother, who lives in Glasgow, and many of my relations, are all die hard Celtic fans. I never did get, or understand, the sheer passion they all seem to share.
Last night I went along to Celtic the Musical at Derry's Millennium Forum with an open mind. I really didn't know what to expect. Suffering with sciatica at present I wasn't particularly looking forward! I know the game, and most of the rules (though Off-Side does beat me on occasion), and I do enjoy the game. So just what would this show be about?
The title pretty much explains the plot. It is indeed the history of Celtic Football Club. Founded in 1888 by Brother Walfrid, it has seen many ups and downs in its 100 plus years, but it has continually enjoyed the support of fans. Those fans who have seen much history in the country, the world and life in general over this period. The show serves as much as an insight into the social history and that of Glasgow alongside the history of Celtic FC.
Using archive footage and media clippings from newspapers etc Celtic FC historical informaion is continually on screen and we are reading, watching throughout. However, at the same time, I was watching an exceptionally energetic performance on stage. There is so much consistency among the cast that I was beginning to get caught up in the phenomenon that is Celtic. No, this couldn't be happening to me! Could it? I even got a tad excited when Tom Boyd came on stage!
I was singing and clapping along. How did I know these Celtic songs? I've no idea but I did. And I actually wished I'd had that green and white scarf in my son's wardrobe with me.
I can't help but admit to the fact that the history of the football club intrigued me. From it's very onset in 1888, there was a real community spirit and community support for this club. The fans are so dedicated to their team that it forms a very large part of their lives. Something I've never understood before. Until now! Family members gone before have loved the club. Celtic is like an heirloom, passed down from generation to generation. One cannot help but be impressed.
Amidst all the history, the facts and the game, this show is intertwined with comedy. Sammy and Paddy have just got to be the new 'comic' duo of 2016. They are brilliant. In fact everyone on the stage is brilliant. The music excels almost anything I've heard to date. The keyboard, drummer, guitar and fiddle player are among the best I've seen on a West-End stage.
What moment stands out for me from last night? When I learned of the young goal keeper who died on the pitch. John Thomson was just 22 years of age and died as the result of a collision against a Rangers player at Ibrox in 1931. He never regained consciousness and died shortly after. This story hit me. The music on the fiddle was just so poignant and I must admit to wiping a tear. The show portrayed the incident beautifully, yet heartbreakingly.
Would I recommend this show to non-Celtic fans? Most definitely. This show will win you over. If you have even the slightest interest in what it may be about, just go along. It runs at Derry's Millennium Forum until this coming Saturday, 1st October. If you are a Celtic fan, do NOT miss. Wear your Celtic jersey and bring your green and white scarf.
I can honestly say I wasn't particularly looking forward to this show last night: boy was I wrong. It totally blew me away - for all the right reasons. Am I now a fan? No, but I've a whole newfound respect for Celtic FC and their supporters. I left last night knowing that if you're a Celtic fan, you really will 'Never Walk Alone' in life. 
Tickets for the show can be booked here Millennium Forum Derry or call the Box Office on 2871264455.


Sunday, 25 September 2016

Lyn Paul and Blood Brothers

She's been voted the 'undisputed Mrs Johnstone'. She's been in the public eye since the 1970's. She is currently playing this lead role (yet again) in what has been described as 'One of the best musical's ever written.' And now we are going to witness this legendary Mrs Johnstone on stage right here in Derry in just over one week's time.
The international smash hit musical Blood Brothers is set to visit the Millennium Forum for a week long run from Tuesday 4th October as part of an extensive UK tour this autumn. Blood Brothers played its debut performance in Liverpool in 1983 and has gone on to be a West End and Broadway smash hit show.
Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited in a twist of fate and a mother's haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It's Not True.
No stranger to Blood Brothers, Lyn Paul returns to the iconic role, Mrs Johnstone, one she first played in 1997. Lyn played Mrs Johnstone in the final West End permormances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012. She has also starred in the UK tour of Cabaret in 2013, in Boy George's musical Taboo and in Footloose - the Musical.
I was delighted to catch up with Lyn just last week and have a chat about her forthcoming visit to Derry. Which also turns out to be her first ever Derry visit!
Just how does it feel being described as the 'undisputed Mrs Johnstone'? Lyn warmly tells me, "It makes me very proud and its very flattering. I'm simply doing my best." Lyn went on to tell me that although she was with the show from 1997 to 2012, now in 2016, she says it haven't changed and works so well. "The show is exactly the same as it was 30 years ago and it just works as it is. There have been cast changes but the show remains firmly the same."
She goes on to tell me, "It's a very grounded show and people can relate to all of it or at least to parts of it. It's about working class people and folk can just get it."
Lyn Paul has been a singer, actress (screen and stage) and now musical theatre actress. Just how does Blood Brothers feature in her life's work. "It's right at the top", she told me, "Mrs Johntone is the best role for me at this age. She's right at the top of my life's work. This show has changed my life."
Paul stands very firm in just how important Blood Brothers has been in her life. She's clearly very passionate about this role. So much so that she still cries on each performance of the last song, Tell Me It's Not True. Just how can she be so consistent with this emotion. "I just think of my son every time. He is now 27 and has travelled with me since he was about 8. I just have to think on him and the tears flow." I don't doubt that there will be more than Lyn Paul shedding tears on each night of the show's performance in Derry!
So is Lyn Paul looking forward to her first visit to Derry. "It's my first trip there, and yes, I'm really excited and looking forward to it. I hope the Derry audience enjoy our performance."

Blood Brothers performs at the Millennium Forum from Tuesday 4th October until Saturday 8th October. Tickets are now available from the Box Office, Telephone 71 264455 or visit Millennium Forum.


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

CELTIC Musical at Millennium Forum, Derry


A brand new stage show, Celtic - The Musical has been created by Alterean Media with the official backing and support of Celtic Football Club.   It opens at the Millennium Forum on Tues 27th Sept for a week-long run following its World Premier in Glasgow.  Tickets are now available from the Box Office.  Get on the ball to the Forum Box Office now!

Featuring the songs that have rung round Celtic Park over the years, the show tells the amazing story of this legendary club.

It takes audiences on an emotion-charged journey from the foundation of the football club by
Brother Walfrid and its charitable origins through Willie Maley's legendary successes as manager and the scoring feats of Jimmy McGrory. From the wing wizardry of Jimmy Johnstone to the triumphs of the immortal Jock Stein and the lasting legacy left by icons such as Billy McNeill, Tommy Burns and Henrik Larsson.

Celtic Chief Executive, Peter Lawwell commented: “Celtic is a Club like no other, with the richest history and tradition and a wonderful story which deserves to be told in this way”.

“The Musical will be a celebration of Celtic, one of the world’s true great football clubs and will take the audience on a fantastic journey through almost 130 years of history. We are sure this production will be extremely popular with all our supporters.”
Alterean Media previously enjoyed successes with the hit stage plays The Official History of Liverpool FCand One Night in Istanbul. Writer, Nicky Allt said:

“Celtic is a story about people, about immigration, and about a football club born of purpose. Growing up in Liverpool my family were always aware of Brother Walfrid, Celtic and its charitable foundations. Since then it has always been a story that resonated with me, fascinated me, and a story I always wanted to tell."

Celtic – The Musical performs at the Millennium Forum from Tues 27th Sept until Sat 1st Oct.  Tickets are now available from the Box Office.  Telephone 71 264455 or visit


Creative Energy - Classes

Creative Energy - Creativity, Emotional, Mental, Physical and Spiritual Well-being

Creative Energy offers a range of art workshops to explore your creativity through various art forms such as kids workshops, life drawing, painting and one off specialist workshops.

Creative Energy offers classes, a healing service and workshops in Subtle Energy Medicine. SEM is a combination of Energy, Crystals, Bachflower Remedies, Colour and Sound. 

Classes and workshops give individuals the tools to maintain balance and well-being in everyday life. This can take the form of taster workshops or longer courses for self development.

The healing Service offers individuals the opportunity to avail of a treatment to experience the benefits of a healing or to regain their balance during a time of change or transition.

Up and coming courses

Painting Course
Six week Painting Course.
Over the duration of the course participants will have the
opportunity to complete a canvas, learning techniques on successful composition, painting mediums, light and shadow and colour mixing. 
Venue: CVA  Cost: £60.00

Life Drawing Course
Six week Life Drawing course.
Over the duration of the course participants will have the
opportunity to complete drawings and painting using a variety of mediums. Learning techniques on successful body proportion, light, shadow as well as depth. Towards the end of the course explore the body through painting medium. Please note the model for this course is male 
Venue: CVA  Cost: £60.00

Meditation Course
Six Week Meditation Class.
During the duration of the Meditation participants will have the opportunity to experience SEM through Bach Flowers, Colour, Crystals, Energy and Sound where appropriate.
Through the course of the classes participants will learn techniques to maintain their own health and well-being.
Venue: Killea community Hall Cost: £30.00

Kids Art Works 
Five week Kids art course.
During the duration of the kids art course children will have the opportunity to engage in creative play using various arts, craft, painting, sculpting sessions each week coming away with a finished piece.
Venue: Killea community Hall Cost: £25.00

Emmajane Logue Founder Creative Energy MVHF MFSEM SEMS
Artist & Subtle Energy Medicine Specialist


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Together In Pieces - Graffiti Film to screen in Derry on Culture Night

Graffiti Film to Screen on Culture Night

Local audiences will have the chance to see the documentary film Together in Pieces, which has been receiving rave reviews at major international film festivals, at a special Culture Night screening in Derry this coming Friday evening at the Nerve Centre.
The film, shot in Derry by local film makers, Eileen Walsh and David Dryden of Foxwall Films, was commissioned by the Community Relations Council. John Peto, Director of Education at the Nerve Centre, was Executive Producer. 
Together in Pieces documents the changing political landscape of Northern Ireland. The film examines how political murals and sectarian slogans are prolonging the healing process in Northern Ireland and how they sit cheek by jowl with a new wave of street art and graffiti.
The film makers are just back from the USA where the film screened at the first ever Hip Hop Film Festival in New York, which took place at the National Black Theatre in Harlem.
Producer Eileen Walsh said: "We're really looking forward to showing our film in our home city. We've had a great response to the film internationally. Earlier this year in March, the film was selected for a primetime screening at the biggest Irish film festival in the US, the Capital Irish Film Festival in Washington DC. Myself and David went over for the premiere and were overwhelmend by the repsonse the film got. Audiences over there loved it.
"The Hip Hop Film Festival was simply amazing. We hadn't realised what a big deal it was until we arrived in the US. Everyone was talking about it. The festival was listed in Time Out magaazine as one of the top ten things to do in New York. And the fact that the film was selected for the first ever Hip Hop film festival in New York, which is the birthplace of hip hop and graffiti, was amazing. We felt so honoured as white people from Northern Ireland to have the film at a festival for black film and music, especially in light of the political situation in the US at the moment."
Co-Director of the film, David Dryden said: "We have screened the film lots of times on the island of Ireland and it has done really well internationally. But we originally made it for a local audience, so
we are really looking forward to our Culture Night screening this Friday at the Nerve Centre.
"The documentary has been successful as a springboard for creating debate around the use of sectarian symbolism in public spaces. The original concept of the film involved showing the film and having a panel discussion and audience Q & A afterwards. This format has worked so well that discussions have lasted for up to 2 hours, even though the film is only about 25 minutes, signifying a strong desire both locally and internationally to share and understand the issues expressed in the film. At one venue the staff actually asked us to leave as they wanted to lock up the premises and go home.
"There will be a similar format this Friday at the Nerve Centre. Myself and Eileen will present the film and join the panel afterwards, which will be chaired by Catriona Mullan, Chair of the International Centre for Local and Regional Development and will also feature Michael Doherty of Mediate NI and Linda Watson of the Caw Nelson Drive Action Group.
"Michael and Linda are both in the film, and have very interesting stories to tell. The film features international graffiti artists and local street artist Donal O'Doherty of UV Arts, as well as young people from youth clubs and community centres in the area. We also managed to film former US President Bill Clinton on his last visit to Derry. And he had a very powerful message for the city. We're hoping for a good crowd on Friday and a very interesting audience discussion afterwards. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. We'll have a reception beforehand with refreshments from 7-7.30pm.
This will be followed by the screening and Q&A panel discussion which runs until 9.30pm. And if it's like previous screenings, we may have to continue discussions afterwards at another venue."

Culture Night Screening of Together in Pieces         Nerve Centre            Friday 16 September 2016 
Screening starts at 7:30pm     Admission free     All welcome
Refreshments served from 7:00-7:30pm
For more information see our new website
Contact Eileen Walsh (075) 963 151 63