Entertainment

Weekend Plans? Avatar, Bob Marley, New Ireland and feel good festivals

Got any plans this weekend? From trips to the theatre and feel-good festivals to comedy specials and the new Bob Marley biopic we have you covered whether you’re going out or staying in (with no fake chocolate factories in sight)...

Netflix have released the first trailer for the live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, out in February 2024 (Netflix/PA)
Netflix have released the first trailer for the live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, out in February 2024 (Netflix/PA)
GO OUT
Grimes and McKee’s New Ireland, Mandela Hall, Belfast – March 1 at 7pm

Comedy duo Grimes and McKee are returning to Queen’s University, and they fully intend to spend most of their time in the Students’ Union… Performing their new comic manifesto New Ireland, that is.

Conor Grimes and Alan McKee bring The History of the Troubles (Accordin' to my Da) back to the Grand Opera House in February
Conor Grimes and Alan McKee

Covering not just the burning constitutional questions but the really important stuff too such a the new national flag, or the new national dog. Together the pair will plot a new way forward for all in a show that will not only make you think but also giggle and guffaw.

The Portico of Ards Feel Good Festival, Portaferry – March 1 – 10

Offering a range of feel-good activities from candlelit concerts to laser lit gigs the Feel-Good Festival aims to uplift and encourage people to embrace the start of a new season through fun events, concerts and workshops.

Portico of Ards
Portico of Ards

Visitors may also enjoy taking time out in the picturesque town of Portaferry, located along the shore of Strangford Lough as well as immersing themselves in the beaty of the restored Portico church with grade A listed Greek inspired architecture. There is also excellent local food on offer from the nearby restaurant The Bull & Claw, accommodation at The School House and drinks at Dumigan’s Bar.

Féile an Earraigh 2024, Belfast – March 1 – 17

Celebrating and showcasing local Irish culture the Féile an Phobail’s Spring Festival will offer an eclectic mix of vibrant and inclusive activities for local people and visitors to the city in the lead up to and including St Patrick’s Day. The festival gives people the opportunity to get involved with traditional music, workshops, concerts, tours, walks, literary events, youth and sporting events as well as family-based activities.

Lord Mayor Ryan Murphy is pictured with school children, Aaron Ferran, Lauren Cunningham, Liam Hannaway, Arts Council, Seosamh Mac Seoin, Presenter - Cúla4/TG4, Brónagh Fusco, Conradh na Gaeilge, Grainne Holland Draíocht an Dúlra and Kevin Gamble, Director at Féile an Phobail at the Launch of  Féile an Phobail Spring Festival on Tuesday.

Fresh from the massive success of Féile 35 in August last year, the dynamic team at Féile an Phobail have put together a fantastic programme of events for Féile an Earraigh, the annual Spring Festival, which will take place from 1st to 17th March this year.

Féile an Earraigh 2024 was launched today, Tuesday 27th February in Raidio Fáilte, the Irish language radio station on Divis Street in West Belfast.

Speakers included Belfast Mayor Ryan Murphy, Arts Council Chairperson Liam Hannaway, and Seachtain na Gaeilge Coordinator Bronagh Fusco from Conradh na Gaeilge.

Féile an Phobail Director Kevin Gamble spoke at the launch event and gave a taste of what Féile an Earraigh 2024 has to offer;

“Each year our Spring Festival, Féile an Earraigh, continues to grow, with over 300 events taking place this March.

“This year's Féile an Earraigh is running in partnership with Seachtain na Gaeilge, providing audiences with an opportunity to immerse themselves in Irish music, culture and language.

“We are delighted that the Mayor of Belfast, Ryan Murphy, and Arts Council Chairperson Liam Hannaway joined us today to speak at the launch. 

"Féile an Earraigh is programmed to coincide with the celebration of our patron saint, St Patrick. This year’s Féile an Earraigh delivers a wonderful mix of traditional music, Irish language events, and St Patrick’s Day related arts and cultural events. 

“At Féile an Earraigh, it’s not just about the tunes, it’s also about the warm and welcoming atmosphere that awaits locals and visitors alike.

“Some of the highlights of this March’s Spring festival include the Féile Trad Trail with over 150 free live Irish traditional music sessions at venues across every part of Belfast and in the city centre from 1st March through to St Patrick’s Day. As well as the very best of Irish Trad musicians from Belfast, musicians from across Ireland will be taking part, including from Tyrone, Cork, Galway and Donegal.

“We are very excited that on Saturday 2nd March, Blath na hÓige will be live in concert at the fantastic St Comgalls, supported by Lonesome George, with tickets priced at only £15 and available now from Ticketmaster. 

“Don’t wait about, and get your tickets quickly. The setting and the sound in St Comgalls will make it an evening to remember.

“On Saturday 9th March Spraoi Cois Lao will take place at Custom House Square. This is a family friendly celebration of Irish culture, music and language, with Irish language group Seo Linn playing live, and also bouncy castles, characters, climbing walls, Ceili dancing, and fun for all the family.

“On St Patrick’s Day the Craic 10k will take place from Belfast City Hall. Up to five thousand people will take part in this huge event which is celebrating its 10th year, and you should get registered now and get yourself ready for this great event.

"And to cap it all off the St Patrick's Day carnival parade will take place in Belfast city centre with enormous crowds expected as Belfast celebrates our Patron Saint.

“The full event listings are now available to view on feilebelfast.com.

“Féile is a powerful advertisement for the incredible, talented and creative community that is west Belfast and this year’s Féile an Earraigh is going to be the biggest yet. Our partnership with Conradh na Gaeilge has added an extra dimension to our programming again this year, and we can’t wait to get up and running.
PICTURE COLM LENAGHAN
Lord Mayor Ryan Murphy is pictured with school children, Aaron Ferran, Lauren Cunningham, Liam Hannaway, Arts Council, Seosamh Mac Seoin, Presenter - Cúla4/TG4, Brónagh Fusco, Conradh na Gaeilge, Grainne Holland Draíocht an Dúlra and Kevin Gamble, Director at Féile an Phobail at the Launch of Féile an Phobail Spring Festival (Colm Lenaghan)

Kicking off proceedings is the Féile Trad Trail on March 1. The trail will animate venues throughout the city, particularly the Gaeltacht Quarter, with the very best of Trad music from local musicians. Catch them at the James Connolly Visitor Centre, Kelly’s Cellars, The Rock Bar and many more.

The Mousetrap, The Grand Opera House, Belfast - February 27 – March 2

Based on the best-selling murder mystery by author Agatha Christie The Mousetrap is the world’s longest running play.

Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap comes to the grand opera house
Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap comes to the grand opera house

As news spreads of a murder in London, a group of seven strangers find themselves snowed in at a remote countryside guesthouse. When a police sergeant arrives the guests discover – to their horror that a killer is in their midst. This is a performance that will keep you on your toes from start to finish. So why not go and see it this weekend? It’s a pretty open-and-shut case.

Fashion Forever Festival, 2 Royal Avenue Belfast, March 2, 10am–3pm

This one-day event aims to promote the idea of reusing, repairing and reimagining clothes and textiles.

There will be a communal sew-along, preloved clothing stalls, workshops demonstrating how to reimagine old items of clothing, a series of short talks and demonstrations all aimed at making sustainable textiles accessible and relatable to all.

WATCH
Avatar: The Last Airbender, Netflix, all episodes available now

Despite being out for just one week this live action adaptation of the much-loved animation has already hit the top spot on Netflix.

Following the same story as the 2005 series the show tells the tale of free spirited young airbender Aang (Gordon Cormier) who embarks on a quest to end a dangerous war. The show boasts stunning visual effects and solid performances whilst staying true to the essence of the original.

Constellation, Apple TV, all episodes available now

Nasa astronaut Jo (Noomi Rapace) survives a catastrophic incident in outer space and makes it back to Earth. However, when she returns, she learns that pieces of her life are missing, causing her to question whether she landed in a different world.

Jenny Slate: Seasoned Professional, Amazon Prime – available now

It’s been nearly five years since Slate’s last special Stage Fright, but she is back and determined to prove that when it comes to love you need to be brave.

Addressing topics such as unplanned pregnancy, getting too attached to your therapist and trusting your partner it may not sound like a great choice for something to watch during date night but I promise you it is.

Bob Marley: One Love – In cinemas now

Made in partnership with Bob Marley’s family this biographical drama chronicles the legendary reggae singer’s rise to stardom during the 70′s and explores his impact on the music world. Kingsley Ben-Adir shines as the famous musician and Lashana Lynch stars as his wife, Rita.

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