Marie Louise McConville: Sensational sing-a-long experience proves Hugh Jackman really is The Greatest Showman

A night out at The Greatest Showman Sing-a-Long-a at the Grand Opera House Belfast proved a sensational experience. Picture: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Niko Tavernise
Marie Louise McConville

It's a question that comes up from time to time.

Usually, it's on a first date when people are trying to suss out their would-be partners.

So do you tell the truth and risk being laughed at because it's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe or do you fake it, citing something high brow and much more cultured, something foreign perhaps, with subtitles?

Our favourite movie can say a lot about us.

Up until quite recently, my favourite film of all time was While You Were Sleeping, a rom-com classic, starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman.

I understand it's not to everyone's tastes but I just loved all the feel good romance and the funny oneliners.

Then, last year, I watched a movie which honestly changed my perspective on life (laugh if you will).

Starring the wonderfully talented Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman just swept me off my feet because it had everything I adored - a loveable underdog, numerous villains, plenty of humour, beautiful costumes and above all else, a fantastic soundtrack.

I listen to the soundtrack pretty much every day on my drive to work because I find it uplifting and I'll admit it, I belt it out, unconcerned what other drivers might think.

So you can imagine my answer when I was invited to a Greatest Showman Sing-a-Long-a event at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.

I was just beyond myself, arriving to find some fans dressed up in ringmaster outfits with glitzy top hats.

In a room, surrounded by 999 other Greatest Showman fans, I was in my element.

And it was so much fun because it was interactive.

We were given a gift bag continuing numerous items to be used during various key parts of the movie and we were also taught dance routines and encouraged by the party lights to get up and sing and dance.

And of course, a little red top hat on the screen happily bounced along the lyrics so we could all sing a long - and everyone did, loud and proud.

We all got into the spirit of it and were up dancing, raving with our glow sticks, cheering when Mr Jackman found his way back on to the straight and narrow and using clappers to mark a key moment.

And the confetti cannon during the opening song was just brilliant.

The camaraderie among the like-minded fans really made it a sensational experience.

I'm sure I wasn't the only one feeling a bit hoarse when I came out.

I have to say, it was a fantastic experience which left me feeling happy, hopeful and positive.

Turns out, it really is The Greatest Show.


Halloween maybe over but that hasn't stopped some simply sensational spooktacular news from being released.

Sex and The City Star, Sarah Jessica Parker, has revealed that she, Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy have all signed up for a Hocus Pocus sequel.

While the brilliant movie, which followed the story of a trio of witches, didn't set the box office on fire, it soon became a cult classic, especially around October 31.

And now, Disney Plus is to make a sequel.

And SJP has revealed on her Instagram account that the trio of stars "have all said yes. Now we wait".

Great news.



The wait is almost over.

After what has seemed like a lifetime, the movie event of the year is almost here and I have two family passes to give away.

Frozen II arrives at Movie House Cinemas on November 22 and we cannot wait.

In this new offering, Elsa the Snow Queen and her sister Anna, along with their friends, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, embark on a new adventure.

When Elsa begins to hear a distant cry, the trolls warn her that, in order to save her kingdom, she must go into the Enchanted Forest and find the voice that's calling her.

Once in the forest, Elsa is challenged at every turn and when everything you thought you knew proves to be wrong, relationships will be tested and powers that were once too strong may suddenly not be enough.

Further information about Frozen II and screenings is available at

I have two family passes for Frozen II at Movie House Cinemas to give away.

If you fancy winning a pass, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is 12 noon on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

(Q) Who is the Snow Queen in Frozen II?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply


The winners of the Rewind competition are Helen McVeigh, from Ballynahinch, Bernadette McAleer, from Glengormley, Brenda Fegan, from Burren, Geraldine Morris, from Belfast, and Aine Morgan, from Coalisland.

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