This weekend the annual Newcastle Summer Season programme brings some of the best live entertainment in Ireland to the seaside town. On Friday 25 July at 8pm, Celtic Soul: A Tribute to Van the Man and his Music will pay homage to Van Morrison, and on Saturday 26 July at 8pm, Brassneck Theatre Company (A Night with George) will present their new sell-out show, Man in the Moon.
As one of the truly great singer/songwriters of all time, we can be proud that Van Morrison is ‘one of us’. The singer has shown a great affinity with County Down, having written the song ‘Deep in the Heart of Down’ and recorded ‘The Star of the County Down’, as well as playing several concerts in the county in recent years.
Celtic Soul, a 7-piece ensemble, will pay homage to the music of Van Morrison on Friday 25 July with their sensitive and knowledgeable renditions of his classic hits and deeper album tracks.
Receiving critical acclaim from devout Van fans wherever they perform, things really took off for the band after a live ‘unplugged’ performance on Gerry Kelly’s show on BBC Radio Ulster. BBC’s Ralph McLean, a massive Van Morrison fan himself, describes Celtic Soul as ‘a great band’ and ‘a very fine tribute’.
Expect to hear the big hits like Jackie Wilson Said, Bright Side of the Road, Have I told you Lately, Days Like This, Gloria and of course Brown Eyed Girl, as well as Van classics including Ballerina, Cyprus Avenue, In the Garden and The Healing Game in a packed show that will take you on a journey through the songbook of a musical legend.
On Saturday 26 July the producers of smash-hit plays A Night with George and The Sweety Bottle, Brassneck Theatre Company, bring their new show, Man in the Moon by Pearse Elliott, fresh from a sell-out run at the Waterfront Hall, to Newcastle.
Set in the unlikely location of a natural lagoon at the heart of the Lenadoon housing estate in West Belfast, Man in the Moon sees the show’s main character, Sean Doran, expertly played by actor Ciaran Nolan, return to the scene of many of his childhood exploits. Alone by the Half Moon Lake, Sean tries to fashion sense from his terrible day, taking the audience on a soul-searching journey through life, love and death, via his past, present and future. Suitable for age 16+ (very strong language throughout)
Formed in 2007, Brassneck Theatre Company was created in order to address the lack of professional theatre in West Belfast. The name came from experience the founders had in setting up the company to produce their first play. Without funding, they were forced to beg, borrow and steal (well not quite), with a fair amount of ‘Brassneck’, in order to see this venture through. Since then they have created a number of highly successful shows, and the company play an integral part in everyday West Belfast life.
To purchase tickets (£12 / £10) and for further information on any Down Arts Centre events, please contact the box office on 028 4461 0747. The complete Down Arts Centre Season Programme is available to download at www.downartscentre.com.