It’s all happening at the Riverside!

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COLERAINE’S Riverside Theatre has it all during the next fortnight: classic drama, a major Irish recording artist and her backing band, plus, the most successful comedy to have come out of Northern Ireland during the last ten years.

And beginning with that successful comedy, The History of The Troubles, Accordin’ To My Da will play in Riverside nightly at 8pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 3-5.

The show is guaranteed to keep you chortling from start to finish and is a frenetic, hilarious laugh-a-minute comedy covering the Northern Irish Troubles. The play takes us through Gerry Courtney’s struggle to retain his sanity against the chaos created by such epic events as Internment, Bloody Sunday, no-go barricades, The Loyalist Workers Strike, sectarian tensions, the Hunger Strikes, Bill Clinton’s visit and various ceasefires. Along the way we meet some of the maddest, baddest, funniest characters Belfast has ever known! It stars three of the best known faces on UTV – Ivan Little, veteran reporter and actor and the comedy duo Conor Grimes and Alan McKee, who seem to be on our screens nightly advertizing for a local insurance company. As the poster for the show maintains, “only an eejit would miss it!”

This is followed by Belfast-based Centre Stage Company’s production of the Joseph Tomelty classic, All Souls’ Night – on Monday and Tuesday, November 7-8 at 8pm.

Centre Stage Theatre Company will premiere this production – the first since the play was staged to celebrate Tomelty’s 80th birthday, twenty years ago, - in The Playhouse, Derry/Londonderry, prior to touring the Province.

Universally regarded as an Irish classic, All Souls Night is set on the shores of Strangford Lough in the home of John Quinn, an illiterate fisherman, Kathrine, his miserly wife and Michael his ambitious son.

The dramatic events take place on All Souls Night when traditionally the dead return to their home hearths - and the Quinns lost their youngest son, a year ago to the sea.

Poverty and superstition dominate this isolated fishing community but it is Kathrine’s greed that will - ’get the upper hand’ – driving out the finer things.

With its heightened language and images drawn from things familiar to everyone, All Souls Night has some of the author’s finest writing – muscular but lyrical, the tragedy tempered by his unfailing compassion. It has been staged and broadcast across the world and it is the play that inspired J.B.Keane (Sive, The Field etc) to take up his pen and write.

And on Wednesday, November 9, Riverside extends a big warm welcome to international performer and recording artist Cara Dillon, playing her first Riverside gig in two years.

Hailing from Dungiven, Cara Dillon’s rare talent, gentle charm and natural personality combine with a mesmerising gift to relate a great story through song, and have helped establish her as one of the world’s leading exponents of traditional Irish music.

Tickets for all Riverside events through until February 2012 can be purchased online, 24/7, by logging onto: www.riversidetheatre.org.uk Alternatively, you can call the staffed box office (daily opening hours are listed on Riverside’s website) on Coleraine (02870) 123 123.