The Market Place Theatre in Armagh is the place to be this summer as it launches its June to August programme crammed full of light-hearted comedy and drama, chilled out musical performances, loads of entertainment for the little ones including the massively popular Showstoppers musical, and not to mention the now annual John Hewitt Summer School. Here’s just an outline of what’s available to enjoy during those long summer evenings.
A host of local talent will take to the stage in June with performances from the children of The Jennifer Marshall School Of Dance with their spectacular production ‘Gotta Dance’. The students of Drama For Kids offer an amusingly different take on everyone’s favourite fairytales in ‘Into The Woods’. Spotlight Studio are back with the much-loved tale of ‘Chara And The Beast’, and Stage Stars Youth Theatre present ‘Musical Mayhem 3’.
June will also see a host of creative opportunities with three superb workshops in Pastel Painting, Silver Jewellery and Pin Hole Photography, all led by expert tutors, allowing you to learn a superb new skill in a relaxed and fun environment.
For the kids, the ever-popular Family Super Saturday will take place on 29 July, this time featuring the Dinosaur Detectives. Follow a fascinating journey of discovery, fun and conflict surrounding the first fossil finds of Mary Anning, William Buckland and Gideon Mantell. A show with puppetry combined with projection and shadow theatre create their fascinating world. Boys and girls who are into Dinosaurs will love this show! A fossil table will be available at the end of the show for everyone to study fossils – including Dinosaur Vertebrae and Dinosaur Poo!
Families will also be delighted with the return of ‘Showstoppers’, our annual Musical Theatre workshop. Why not make good use of the holidays to learn or perfect your skills in acting, singing and dancing. Over the course of five days a professional director, musical director & choreographer will work with you on scenes, songs and dances from some of the most popular musicals around, before you perform ‘Showstoppers’ on The Market Place’s Main Stage in front of your own live audience. Believe us, it’s the best fun the summer can be!
There’ll be laughs aplenty with some fantastic stand-up comedy and comedy drama. Micky Bartlett's hit 30 and he's unapologetically taking on the big issues in his new show ‘Typical’: racism, sexism, his doctor telling him to avoid dairy. Don't miss Northern Ireland's favourite stand-up from BBC's ‘Bad Language’, ‘Monumental’ and Radio 4's ‘State Of The Nations’ with his funniest hour yet. Or so he hopes... bloody typical!
The craic continues with ‘Stop It Nurse’. Belvoir Players proudly presents this hilarious Ulster comedy by Sam Cree. Set in a Belfast hospital during the 1960’s, the Ward Sister rules the roost! We follow the fortunes and misfortunes of the patients in the male surgical ward. When Sammy, a Linfield supporter is admitted, followed by Felix who supports Glentoran, we can be sure mayhem follows! Add to the mix a giddy nurse, a domineering wife, a femme fatale and an all-in wrestler, then we have all the ingredients for a typical evening of pure Cree manic magic!
August will see the return of The 7 Hills Blues Festival with performances by Dana Masters and The Henry Girls. Originally from the Deep South in the United States, Dana Masters grew up with sound of soul, rhythm and blues and gospel music all around her. From live work with BBC radio 4 and ‘Proms In The Park’ to singing regularly with Van Morrison, Dana’s reputation as one of Ireland’s top vocalists continues to gain momentum.
‘The Henry Girls’ are an Irish folk and roots music group consisting of three sisters, Karen, Lorna and Joleen McLaughlin. You’ll often see The Henry Girls on stage with a fiddle, ukulele, banjo, guitar, harp, mandolin, piano and accordion. Their new album ‘Far Beyond the Stars’ was named are RTE Radio’s Album of the Week in March 2017, an incredible achievement.
For details of all events can be found online at www.marketplacearmagh.com, and tickets for can be booked by contacting the Box Office on  3752 1821.