Entertainment: Blu Hydrangea To Front New Show, Hit The North Is Back, Osmonds Show For GOH, CQAF returns & more

Northern Ireland’s drag Queen of the World to front BBC show

After winning BBC Three’s Drag Race UK’s versus The World Northern Ireland’s Blu Hydrangea will host Stitch, Please!, a three-part BBC series.

Contestants, under Blu’s watchful gaze will compete to create garments inspired by the hottest looks in pop culture.

In each episode, new stitchers will step into the 17th century Castle Upton in Templepatrick with £100 and 12 hours to create looks inspired by the works of some world-renowned costume and fashion designers.

Blu, 26, AKA Joshua Cargill from Hillsborough, is Northern Ireland’s most prominent drag artist and best known for competing in the first series of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK in 2019.


Ireland’s biggest street art festival returns with a splash

Artists from Belfast’s vibrant street art scene have come together to launch Ireland’s largest street art festival. 

The 2022 ‘Hit the North’ Street Art Festival (HTN) supported by Hennessy, is returning with a splash to its May bank holiday weekend spot following two years of more intimate festivals.

For the first time since 2019, Belfast will play home to international artists travelling to Northern Ireland to take part in a ‘paint jam’ on Kent Street on Sunday 1st May.

More info can be found at seedheadarts.com/street-art/htn22 


More than Crazy Horses as the Osmonds return to the stage

The family that dominated the charts – and the hearts of many youngster in the 70s – will have their songs aired with The Osmonds: A New Musical show playing in the Grand Opera House Belfast.

The hit musical written, by Jay Osmond himself, is currently on its inaugural UK and Ireland tour 

The show features a chart-topping list of anthems including Love Me For A Reason, Crazy Horses, Let Me In, Puppy Love, One Bad Apple, Long Haired Lover From Liverpool, Paper Roses and many more. 

Tickets are available from goh.co.uk


Women’s Work festival set for June

The sixth Women’s Work Festival will take place in June at Belfast’s Oh Year Music Centre, with a four-day programme of events over the bank holiday weekend.

With a mix of live and online events it is said to be a festival that is open and welcoming to all while placing women in music at the heart of each event.

Features include music events focussed on women’s output including celebrating the 30th anniversary of one of Ireland’s best selling albums of all time, A Woman’s Heart.

The annual showcase, now considered the jewel in the Women’s Work crown and always a strong snapshot of the incredible talent coming out of the whole island of Ireland.

Women’s Work will also be launching the Carol Clerk bursary in partnership with Dig With It.

The Festival runs 2nd – 5th June with full details are available at womensworkni.co.uk


Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is back

One of Northern Ireland’s most dynamic festivals – The 22nd Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival – is back, live and unleashed, from 28 April – 8 May. 

Nearly 150 events in a variety of venues across Belfast’s historic quarter and beyond in what will be the first fully live festival in over 2 years. 

More information can be found at cqaf.com 


Festival of Fools takes to the streets

The Festival of Fools returns to Belfast from April 29th to May 2nd, with the usual mix of acrobatics, trapeze, puppetry, music and more. There’s even football juggling.

There’s no pricing for tickets as the performers accept tips in their hats at the end of their production.

For more information go to foolsfestival.com


AVA Festival returns in June

AVA Festival will return on June 3rd and 4th in Belfast with performances from Bicep Live, Mura Masa, Jon Hopkins and many more. This year’s show is set to be their biggest yet with live acts, DJ’s and visual artists.

Residents receive a 20% discount on tickets while a weekend ticket will set you back £99 for a weekend pass.

Tickets are available from avafestival.com/belfast-2022


Lead singer of punk band, Bailey dies aged 64

Chris Bailey, the lead singer for the Australian band The Saints who grew up in Northern Ireland, has died at the age of 65.

Bailey spent seven years of his life growing up in Belfast, before his parents emigrated to Brisbane.

The Saints announced Bailey’s death on their Facebook page.

“It is with great pain in our hearts that we have to inform you about the passing of Chris Bailey, singer, and songwriter of The Saints, on (Saturday) 9 April 2022,” the statement read.

“Chris lived a life of poetry and music and stranded on a Saturday night.”


Neeson Derry Girls cameo caused by dame

The guest appearance of Liam Neeson in Derry Girls ‘ series three opener came about after Dame Helen Mirren persuaded the Hollywood A-Lister to watch the show.

His identity was kept secret during filming, with cast and crew referring to him as ‘The Big Fella’ on and off set.

At a question and answer session after the programme’s premiere in Derry, director Michael Lennox explained Dame Helen urged him to watch the hit Channel 4 show, and became a huge fan.

Appearing as Chief Constable Byers, Neeson set the tone for what writer Lisa McGee promises as being filled with surprises for Derry Girls final hurrah.  


Red Sky for airshow

The world-famous Red Arrows will bring their stunning aerial display to the International Air Show in Portrush and Portstewart which takes place on September 10 to 11 this year.

The air show is organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and is part of its Platinum Jubilee programme with two days of aviation attractions and family fun across the weekend.

It will take place in a new location along the 3-mile coastal stretch between Portrush and Portstewart, offering visitors panoramic views and a chance to get closer to the attractions in the sky.

The Red Arrows will headline the opening day of the show and is their only planned Northern Ireland appearance this year.

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