Belfast Telegraph

Belfast playwright Marie Jones honoured at Ulster Tatler Awards

Belfast playwright Marie Jones has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement accolade at this year's Ulster Tatler Awards.

A prominent figure in the Northern Ireland theatre scene, Marie's career is recognised across the world from Ireland to London and New York City.

She was a founding member of the Charabanc Theatre Company and is known for her hit plays Stones in His Pockets, A Night in November and Fly Me To The Moon.

Marie was also awarded an OBE in 2002.

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Marie Jones pictured with her husband, Game of Thrones actor Ian McElhinney (Stephen Davison)

Ulster Tater editor Chris Sherry said Marie was an extremely worthy winner of the award, adding: “I have followed her work for years and not only admire her writing but believe she is a marvellous representative for Northern Ireland and is the epitome of what the Lifetime Achievement award represents.

Northern Ireland actor and playwright Dan Gordon presented the award in front of more than 400 guests at Belfast City Hall on Thursday.

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Golfer Darren Clarke and wife Alison pictured at Ulster Tatler Awards in Belfast City Hall. (Stephen Davison)

“She is one of the most prolific and successful artists ever to emerge from Northern Ireland,” said Mr Gordon.  “She writes sell-out plays that go to straight to the public’s heart.

“When she was in her early 30s, frustrated by the nature and scarcity of work for women in theatre she and four other actresses founded their own company Charabanc. It was whilst at Charabanc that she first felt the urge to write. She said “As soon as I started to write, I could hear the voices; they were there within me.””

“To this day she continues to produce work that goes to the very heart of what makes our society tick – warts, laughs and all.”

Previous winners of the Ulster Tatler Lifetime Achievement award include Dame Mary Peters, James Galway, Brian Friel, Phil Coulter, Gloria Hunniford, Michael Longley, Gerry Armstrong, Barry McGuigan and Terri Hooley.

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Host Pamela Ballentine presents Ulster Tatler Awards at Belfast City Hall. (Stephen Davison)

The glamorous awards evening was hosted by Pamela Ballantine.

Mr Sherry said the event was a huge success, with the standard of local talent "so high and every category was jam-packed with worthy nominees".

He added: “I want to extend huge congratulations to the winners from each category and all those shortlisted, who should all be extremely proud of what they have achieved within their businesses throughout the last year.

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Rebecca McKinney, Cool FM presenter, pictured with Ireland and Ulster rugby stars Ian Henderson and Craig Gilroy at Ulster Tatler Awards in Belfast City Hall. (Stephen Davison)

Ulster Tatler Awards: Category Shortlist Winners

Fashion Boutique of the Year

Sarah Alexandra Boutique (Newtownards)

Interiors Showroom of the Year

Atelier Design (Belfast)

Hairdressing Salon of the Year

Bridgeen King Hair (Castlewellan)

Beauty Salon of the Year

Galgorm Resort and Spa (Ballymena)

Restaurant of the Year

Coppi (Belfast)

Hotel of the Year

Galgorm Resort and Spa (Ballymena)

Charity of the Year

Lagan Dragons (Belfast)

Independent Travel Agent of the Year

Oasis (Belfast)

Website of the Year

Kukoon.com (Belfast)

Business Woman of the Year

Alison Clarke – ACA Models (Belfast)

Business Man of the Year

Jack Hamilton – Mash Direct (Comber)

Public House of the Year

The Speckled Hen (Lisburn)

Celebrity of the Year

Adrian Dunbar

Sports Person of the Year

Rory Best

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