Northern Ireland news

A Christmas Eve treat as film unwrapped on YouTube

Indie pop band Brand New Friend will perform Christmas carol Silent Night
Mairead Holland

A FESTIVE performance starring some of Northern Ireland's finest musicians, actors and poetry is being released this evening at 7pm.

Under a Christmas Sky was filmed live at the Ulster Folk Museum and features a range of traditional and contemporary pieces, all aimed at conveying the magic of Christmas.

The programme includes excerpts from literature ranging from James Joyce's short story The Dead, read by award-winning Belfast actor Abigail McGibbon, to The End of the Play, by William Makepeace Thackeray, read by Ian McElhinney, recognisable to many as Granda Joe in Derry Girls.

Musical compositions include I'll Be Home for Christmas, performed by Bangor duo The Darkling Air, and a rendition of Joni Mitchell's River by Derry singer-songwriter Roe.

Belfast man Michael Longley's poem The Goose is read by Chris Grant while the Christmas Wayfarers by Cathal O'Byrne, who lived in the city's Falls Road, is brought to life by Charlotte McCurry

The film is presented by BBC presenter and writer Joe Lindsay.

It was produced by festival and events firm Snow Water and funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

A spokesperson said: "Snow Water hopes to bring a little joy and a little beauty to this rather unique, strange and unexpected Christmas, and to end the year with some light."

The film can be viewed for free on YouTube at

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Northern Ireland news