Belfast Telegraph

10 things happening this week in Northern Ireland - from Dubshed to Ards Guitar Festival

Here's our pick of the top events happening this week across Northern Ireland.

1. Ards International Guitar Festival

  • Newtownards, April 3-7
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Back with a bang for 2019, the Festival features a fresh new programme of gigs, fringe events, guitar clinics with industry professionals and the In Your Town exhibition of Rory Gallagher memorabilia. The jam-packed line-up includes Winnipeg-born, Cork-based Ariel Posen, classical virtuoso Gary Ryan and contemporary music from Ali Todd, Mike Dawes and Shane Hennessy, amongst others. You’ll also find a screening of the legendary Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster and George Lowden in conversation with special guests.

2. NI Judo Open

  • Derry/Londonderry, April 6-7

This year the NI Judo Open takes place in the Foyle Arena. With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in gripping distance, exciting showcase entries are likely from all levels of competitors. Entrants are expected from Northern Ireland, GB and across Europe, so if you’re thinking of competing it’s the perfect time to test your skills as recreational and elite competitors share the Tatami together.

3. Rhythm of the Dance

  • Derry/Londonderry, April 3

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Enjoy the 20th anniversary tour of Rhythm of the Dance, which has already thrilled five million fans across fifty countries. The two-hour extravaganza contains a wealth of talent performing an exciting trip through hundreds of years of Irish dance and music, featuring 22 award-winning world and Irish dance champions. Dazzling costume changes, inspiring dances and live vocalists are all complemented by a top traditional band of multi-instrumentalists and a sensational sound and light show.

4. Bouncers

  • Belfast, March 30 - April 20

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Set over the course of one night in a 1980s Belfast nightclub, giving it a distinctive Northern Irish flavour, Bouncers is a darkly funny play about the characters and shenanigans of an 80’s Belfast disco, as seen through the eyes of the club’s doormen. As always with the MAC, you can expect something a little different, as all the action takes place within the exclusive Luminaire Club, transforming the theatre space into an intimate jazz-club experience complete with table service.

 5. Esther

  • Belfast, April 5

George Frideric Handel’s Esther is one of the forgotten gems of the baroque repertoire that brings to life in sensuous arias and stirring choruses the tale of a triumphant heroine Esther, a Jewish orphan who becomes Queen of Persia and saves her people from massacre by the villain Haman. Anna Devin, a most highly regarded soprano, performs the leading role at this concert in St Anne's Cathedral.

6. The Painted Lady

  • Belfast, April 4 -5

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Accidental Theatre presents Rob Holloway’s play depicting a brief encounter between two lost souls. Dan has run away from his life to an Irish nature reserve where he has taken a job researching butterflies. One morning he stumbles across Kimberley who is waking from a hangover in a pair of heels and a cocktail dress after another disastrous night out with her controlling boyfriend. Both characters are close to giving up on life but for some reasons their paths have crossed…

7. Dubshed 2019

  • Lisburn, April 6-7
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Head down to the Eikon Exhibition Centre for one of the largest car shows in Ireland, offering a wide variety of car-based entertainment. This is a perfect family day out with many attractions for all ages such as Show and Shine, Rallycross, Drag Strip, Auto-testing, Scrap-A-Jap, car wash and many more. With show cars from across the UK and Ireland on display, there is free parking and unlimited outdoor space for showing your car so no pre-application is required.

8. Ulster Orchestra – Saint Saens’ Egyptian

  • Derry/Londonderry, April 4

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Saint-Saëns was a habitual traveller with a particular love for North Africa. Performed by the Ulster Orchestra featuring talented soloist, Louis Schwizgebel, the delightful Fifth Piano Concerto earned its nickname not only because it was written on one of the composer’s many holidays in Luxor, but also for its references to exotic musical traditions. The concert also features Elgar’s First Symphony, premiered to a rapturous response in 1908, with a slow movement that is counted amongst his most beautiful writing.

9. Benidorm Live

  • Belfast, April 1-6

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The official world premiere of smash-hit comedy Benidorm brings sunshine and smiles to Belfast in the debut stage production of the popular ITV show. The award-winning comedy has racked up over a decade of all-inclusive hilarity, following the ensemble cast of holidaymakers and staff for ten series since 2007. Laugh along to an all-new set of Alicante escapades as the characters swap sangria for the stage – after a quick spruce up at the Blow ‘n’ Go!

10. Market on the Square

  • Newtownards, April 6

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The bustling market takes over the beautifully restored Market House and spills out onto the square on the first Saturday of the month from April-December. Welcoming both tourists and locals alike, a visit to the indoor/outdoor market is an exhilarating experience. Enjoy top quality hot and cold food produce, original art and unique designer crafts with children’s activities and live music thrown into the mix for a great day out.

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