Blog : www.rumourmillpr.com

DRIMNAGH WELCOMES NEW FIT4LESS GYM OPENED

DRIMNAGH WELCOMES NEW FIT4LESS GYM OPENED

Local born and bred businessman, Ross Norton from Perrystown opens a new state-of-the-art fit4less gym in Drimnagh this Thursday 27 July; creating seven local jobs in the process and significant investment into the local area.

With years of experience within the fitness arena, highly qualified personal trainer Ross Norton and his team are putting the finishing touches to the Fit4Less complex in Lansdowne Gate Business Centre.

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NTD INSTALL LATEST FACIAL RECOGNITION SYSTEM AT MASH DIRECT

NTD INSTALL LATEST FACIAL RECOGNITION SYSTEM AT MASH DIRECT

North Time & Data Ltd, (NTD) specialist suppliers of state-of-the-art time management systems for workforce monitoring, has installed the latest in their line of biometric facial recognition terminals for one of Northern Ireland’s leading FMCG manufacturers.

NTD was tasked by Mash Direct to implement a workforce management system to effectively monitor employee attendance and track working hours.

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THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET WILDE AT THE MAC

THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET WILDE AT THE MAC

The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde’s most famous farce, is set to take to the MAC stage in Belfast this month. Regarded as one of his finest works, this humorous take on Victorian high society is arguably one of the Irish playwright’s most enduring comedies, with some of the funniest and well-known lines of any of Wilde’s plays.

A new co-production by Bruiser Theatre Company and the MAC, showing exclusively at the MAC this spring, The Importance of Being Earnest will open for a three-week run from 24 March until 15 April 2017.

The recurring themes of marriage, courtship and mundane social obligations ring as true today in this punchy retelling of the classic as when Wilde first put pen to paper.

Boasting some of the funniest lines in the English language, this is Earnest for a 2017 audience interpreted by an all-male cast.

Starring Joseph Derrington as protagonist Algernon Moncrieff and Joseph O’Malley as Jack Worthing, who become entangled in a hilarious plot, forcing each to maintain their fictitious personae ‘Earnest’ to win the hearts of two endearing ‘women’.

Simon Magill, Creative Director at the MAC, said: “The MAC is an organisation that champions new, innovative artistic experiences for audiences and artists alike. We’re delighted to present Wilde’s classic in Bruiser Theatre Company’s vibrant theatrical style.  The Importance of Being Earnest will be a guaranteed night of entertaining fun for those familiar with and new to Oscar Wilde.”

Lisa May, Director, Bruiser Theatre Company said: “Our adaption of The Importance of Being Earnest is a real treat for lovers of classic Wilde, but also for theatre-goers looking for an all-out comedy night at theatre. In our version, we stay true to Wilde’s original words and characters, but deliver in the unique Bruiser style.

“We’ve been working hard to tackle Wilde’s comic masterpiece – bringing to the fore timeless themes of relationships and identity, still as relevant to audiences today as ever.”

For theatre-goers seeking to embrace an added taste of the Victorian era before the show, the MAC’s in-house café and restaurant NATIVE will be offering a delightful afternoon tea spread from just £13 per person before the 25 March matinee.

Tickets for The Importance of Being Earnest and the one-off afternoon tea at NATIVE are now on-sale at themaclive.com.

 

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LOCAL CHILDREN’S WISH TO HELP THE HOMELESS IS GRANTED

LOCAL CHILDREN’S WISH TO HELP THE HOMELESS IS GRANTED

Five lucky children from across Northern Ireland are to have their festive wish, an appeal to help the homeless, granted by Phoenix Natural Gas.

Phoenix Natural Gas having called for children who had recently visited the MAC to cast their wish into its Phoenix Wishing Well, pledged to make one come true. Over 1000 wishes were received; some funny, some imaginative and some especially heartfelt. Having reviewed all the entries, it became evermore clear that the one selfless plea from the youngsters was to help the growing number of homeless people on our streets.

The winning wishes were received from Rosie Graham (10) from Ballyclare, Max Holden (6) from Newtownabbey, Rhiana Graham (11) from Armagh and siblings Abigail (9) and Ryan Love (12) from North Belfast, who were at the MAC along with their brother and sisters to present Phoenix Natural Gas’s donation to the Welcome Organisation.

Cathy Magovern, Marketing & Events Manager at Phoenix Natural Gas said, “We were overwhelmed by the number of wishes cast in aid of the homeless in Northern Ireland. Children visiting the MAC over Christmas had the opportunity to wish for anything they desired, yet many chose to sacrifice their wants in aid of those less fortunate – an entirely altruistic act.

“We reached out to the Welcome Organisation in Belfast to see how a donation on behalf of the children could be best utilised. From speaking with them, it became apparent that homelessness is about more than having a roof over your head. People become and stay homeless for a whole range of complex and coinciding reasons. That is why we are delighted to work with the organisation to provide those that visit their centre with essential lifestyle skills through a £1500 donation to help deliver 100 hours of cookery lessons.”

Kieran Hughes, from The Welcome Organisation, said: “The Welcome Organisation is delighted to be able to help the five winners fulfil their Christmas wish to help the homeless thanks to this wonderful initiative by Phoenix Natural Gas and the MAC.

“The £1500 will allow us to provide essential skills for some of the 1,400 homeless people who use our services every year. It will provide our service users with the chance to learn new skills and rediscover old skills that they may never have had the opportunity to do. These skills will help some of the most vulnerable people in our community to have a brighter future.

“We would like to thank Phoenix Natural Gas, the MAC and all the young people made who made their pledge in the Phoenix Wishing Well.”

Anne McReynolds, Chief Executive of the MAC adds: “We are delighted with the positive response to the Phoenix Wishing Well competition and inspired by the generosity of spirit shown by our young theatre goers.”

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KENNEDY CENTRE INTRODUCES RELAXED SANTA VISITS

KENNEDY CENTRE INTRODUCES RELAXED SANTA VISITS

Kennedy Centre
Pictured with Adam Lockheart is Santa, Angela Lamont from Enchanted Events and John Jones, Centre Manager for Kennedy Centre

West Belfast’s Kennedy Centre – often dubbed ‘Curley’s’ – is leading the way forward on accessibility and inclusivity this Christmas with extended support for children with additional needs when visiting the centre’s magical Christmas dome to meet-and-greet Father Christmas.

Teaming up with Enchanted Events, Kennedy Centre is offering relaxed Santa sessions this holiday season for children with additional needs. Relaxed Santa sessions cater for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), physical disabilities and other additional needs by opening the centre from 9am to 1pm every Sunday until Christmas so that any potential anxiety or mobility issues caused by large crowds of Christmas shoppers is alleviated. Centre retailers also remain closed and no noise or music is emitted from PA systems.

Recent reports show a 67% increase in the incidence rate of school age children diagnosed with ASD rising from 4,570 to 6,046 between 2011/12 and 2014/15 (Department of Health and Social Care, 2015) further cementing the need for such services in public venues.

Commenting this year’s relaxed Santa sessions, John Jones, Centre Manager, said:

“Kennedy Centre has always been a cornerstone of the community here in West Belfast. We are a community-based shopping centre and with that comes the responsibility to ensure we take into consideration the additional needs and support members of the community within the catchment area require.

“We’re delighted to have the Enchanted Events team return to Kennedy Centre again this Christmas to support us as we continue to deliver our services to all members of the local community.”

Now widely adopted in Northern Ireland, Kennedy Centre is largely credited for introducing the concept to fast-paced shopping centres in 2015.

“Visiting Santa should be a magical and memorable experience; one without mobility issues or anxiety. However, not all children are afforded this luxury. Similar relaxed Santa sessions are now a regular feature in the Christmas events calendars of shopping centres throughout Northern Ireland, who open their doors at midday on Sundays. But, Kennedy Centre is leading the way forward by extending these sessions from 9am until centre opening hours of 1pm,” explained Angela Lamont, owner of Enchanted Events.

Should a child become anxious, frightened or if access issues arise during their visit, Santa will greet them at a more convenient point around the Christmas installation for photographs.

Kennedy Centre relaxed Santa sessions take place every Sunday (9am – 1pm) until December 18th.

For more information, contact Kennedy Centre on 028 9030 0734 or visit www.kennedycentre.co.uk.

PINOCCHIO COMES ALIVE AT THE MAC THIS CHRISTMAS

PINOCCHIO COMES ALIVE AT THE MAC THIS CHRISTMAS

pinocchio-comes-alive-this-christmas-at-the-mac-pic-2This Christmas the MAC, Belfast’s multi award-winning arts venue, is thrilled to introduce a new generation of theatre-goers to the magic of Pinocchio. The modern retelling of the classic tale by the hugely successful children’s theatre company Cahoots NI, is proudly sponsored by Phoenix Natural Gas and will take to the stage over the festive period from Tuesday 29 November until Sunday 1st January 2017.

This is the simple story of a puppet who longed to be a real boy. Searching for a family to call his own, Pinocchio’s adventures take him to school, to The Land of Grand Illusions and ultimately back to his father Gepetto in his quest to become a real boy.

This family musical is perfect for six years plus, but younger audiences will enjoy the live music and the dazzling magic that local company Cahoots NI is renowned for. Directed by Paul Bosco McEneaney, expect thrilling acts of illusion that will leave you bewildered.

Paul explains: “The story starts with us meeting Gepetto, who like every parent, doesn’t always get it right. In his wood cabin one magical day, he begins to work on his latest carving and can’t believe it when that piece of wood begins to talk back. Young audiences will love seeing Pinocchio come to life, literally, on stage.

He then gets into all sorts of mis-adventures and antics but you’ll be willing him to do the right thing along the way. In the end, it’s not about Pinocchio being naughty or telling the odd white lie, but about the age-old truth that children need to discover the world for themselves. We’ve worked hard to create a magical, but realistic world for Pinocchio on stage – we recommend that you keep your eyes peeled as there will be things going on that you just won’t quite believe.”

Speaking about this year’s family show, Simon Magill, Creative Director at the MAC said:

“I’m so pleased that we’re working with Cahoots NI again in this all-new coproduction. We have promised to bring the magic of Pinocchio to local audiences this Christmas at the MAC. It’s a classic tale that many of us are familiar with, but Cahoots NI have done an incredible job in making it their own; this is sure to unlike anything you’ll have seen before.

“As a creative hub for everyone, the MAC works hard to ignite the imaginations of all our visitors from young to old. That’s why we have put lots in place to surround the Christmas show so that from the moment you step into the building, the whole experience is magical. From Gepetto’s log cabin, recreated in our front window to the amazing Phoenix Wishing Wood created by artists on the ground floor where families can place their Christmas wish, there’s lots happening for all ages – much of it free.

So, if you’ve never been before, I’d highly recommend a visit to the MAC over the Christmas period – even just to pop in to check out our free family room and huge Christmas tree, everyone is welcome.”

Cathy Magovern, Marketing Manager at Phoenix Natural Gas, said:

“After 20 years in Northern Ireland, Phoenix Natural Gas is at the heart of many homes and we are delighted to continue to support growing families through sponsoring the MAC’s Christmas production of Pinocchio. It’s an exciting production and a world-class creative venue which we are proud to sponsor this holiday season.

We’re particularly looking forward to opening the very special Phoenix Wishing Wood in the heart of the MAC, as a free experience for families when they visit. Simply make a wish at the Phoenix Wishing Well and Phoenix will be making that wish come true for one lucky child this festive season. Soak up the magic of the MAC as it sparks the imagination to inspire your wishes, and it could be your family having a dream come true this Christmas.”

Tickets for Pinocchio at the MAC are now available, priced at £10 for children and £16-25 for adults. For more information about the show or to book a ticket, visit themaclive.com or call the MAC on (028) 9023 5053.

 

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SPOON STREET SERVES UP A THIRD STORE

SPOON STREET SERVES UP A THIRD STORE

(L-R) Harry Wang and Katie Waddell celebrating their third Spoon Street store on Lisburn Road Pic 1
Harry Wang and Katie Waddell celebrating their third Spoon Street store on Lisburn Road

Spoon Street, the brand largely credited for introducing the recent frozen yogurt craze to Northern Ireland, opened the doors to its third store on the Lisburn Road in South Belfast. The opening of this new Lisburn Road self-serve ‘froyo’ branch, which is creating 13 local jobs, marks yet another milestone in the brand’s short history here – three thriving stores in just over two years.

First experiencing self-serve frozen yogurt while working in New Jersey, entrepreneurial couple Katie Waddell (24) and fiancé Harry Wang (31) soon adopted the US-inspired concept and began the process of transporting it to Northern Ireland in 2014.

A relatively new phenomenon to Northern Irish taste buds, ‘froyo’ – a popular acronym used to describe the treat – is a frozen dessert most commonly made from yogurt and is a popular treat of choice among young consumers.

Growth in the frozen yogurt market has been significant in the UK. Frozen yogurt is a healthier alternative to ice cream by as many as two in five ice cream and frozen yogurt users* which highlights the potential for the segment to grow further.

Spoon Street has garnered endless awards and built up a strong, loyal customer base in a relatively short period. Speaking on the opening of the Lisburn Road store, co-owner of Spoon Street, Katie Waddell, said:

“This new store marks our commitment to expanding our business offering in Northern Ireland and is reflective of our success. This is our biggest opening to date and we have introduced new state-of-the-art technology to elevate our service delivery and ensure our customer experience is first-class. We are trying to create a multi-media experience and customers can now expect to find tablet flavour screens, iPad POS systems with customer display units, feature lighting and an area dedicated to screening family-friendly films.

“It was only last month that we celebrated the two-year anniversary since the opening of our Ballyhackamore store in East Belfast. We had always set out to create a chain, one that embraced creativity in a fun setting and the Lisburn Road was the next logical step in that process, bringing the Spoon Street brand to an entire new audience.”

Talking on the job creation, Katie adds:
“As we continue to expand the Spoon Street brand, we are also continuing to grow the Spoon Street family. We’re delighted that the anticipation and expected customer-base around opening of our newest store has allowed us to create an additional 13 jobs.”

Built upon a motto of cool creativity, Spoon Street affords consumers complete freedom in creating their preferred frozen yogurt treat; from self-serving the yogurt itself, to the broad choice of toppings which include, but are not limited to, mixed fruit, berries and nuts, as well as more indulgent options such as jellies, biscuits and all manner of chocolatey treats.

Spoon Street prides itself on the ability to source weird and wonderful toppings from around the world, such as Japanese Mochi, Taiwanese juice balls and coconut jelly. It also offers a wide range of dietary requirements including dairy free options, gluten free options, lactose free options, sugar free options and vegan friendly options.

For more information, visit www.spoonstreet.com or connect via Facebook and Twitter.

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LCCC HELPING SCHOOLS HARVEST THE NEXT GENERATION

LCCC HELPING SCHOOLS HARVEST THE NEXT GENERATION

To mark Harvest month this October and as part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is giving local schools the opportunity to win all they need to grow their own produce.

With some of the best producers and growers based in the Lisburn & Castlereagh area, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is keen to encourage the next generation of talented growers and is calling on green-fingered local pupils to submit a poem about the importance of Harvest.

This initiative is intended to broaden children’s understanding of agriculture and to promote healthy eating options with a balanced fruit and vegetable-filled. Growing fruit and vegetables in the garden at your school is a fantastic way to demonstrate the link between the food we eat, the seasons and the land.

Participating schools will have the chance to win a set of allotments, enabling pupils to fully immerse themselves in the harvest season. The prize includes two wooden allotment frames, soil, seeds, guides and a visit from an experienced gardener who will host an educational lesson on planting and tending.

Cllr. Uel Mackin, Chair of Lisburn & Castlereagh’s Economic Development Committee, explained the benefits of instilling this interest at a young age.

“I would encourage all local schools to reach out and get involved in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Harvest Competition. The aim is to encourage the younger generation to get involved in, and fully appreciate, the process of growing, harvesting and eating fruit and vegetables.”

“Those involved will reap the benefits of seeing first-hand how their hard work and care can produce an array of fruit and vegetables. It will be exciting process to chart the progress of each allotment and see local school children’s hard work come to fruition,” added Cllr. Uel Mackin.

To be in with the chance of winning this fantastic prize for their school, pupils are requested to submit a poem around the theme of Harvest to a select panel of judges.

To enter, simply submit your harvest-themed poem by Friday, October 21st to LCCC Harvest Competition, C/O Rumour Mill PR, First Floor Cranmore House, 611A Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7GT or email kathryn@rumourmillpr.com

MICHAEL COLLINS BROUGHT TO LIFE AT THE MAC

MICHAEL COLLINS BROUGHT TO LIFE AT THE MAC

actor-dominic-mchale-as-michael-collins-on-stage-in-the-great-arrangement-pic-2From the 22-24 September, the MAC will transport audiences to pre-treaty Ireland as the forging of a nation is retold from the perspective of Michael Collins, as his romance blossoms with the woman who became his fiancé, Kitty Kiernan.

In a post-Brexit Northern Ireland, where the question of borders is ever-more prevalent, this is certainly a play for today.  The action takes place in a country in turmoil, as Collins and the Irish delegation negotiate what would become the Anglo Ireland Treaty of 1921, a treaty that would shape the future of 20th century Ireland.

Patrick Talbot’s play, A Great Arrangement, which he also directs, opened this week in Dublin, and comes to the MAC in Belfast for just three nights.  The show has been celebrated for its historical accuracy, while drawing on the illuminating love letters between Collins and Kiernan, alongside Collins’ inspirational speeches, and newspaper reports from the time. It is packed full of drama and judging by the audience response so far, Belfast audiences will not be disappointed.

Actor Dominic McHale rises to the challenge of reprising the formidable Michael Collins, bringing to the stage an impassioned performance with intensity, vigour and power. While Irene Kelleher portrays the love of his life, Kitty, in a show full of drama, rich history and emotion.

Writer and Director Patrick Talbot says: “I was interested in presenting a fresh perspective on Collins. Traditionally he is presented as the soldier and the man of action but in this play I focus on Collins the political leader and budding statesman, but also the young man falling very much in love and imagining what it might be like to have a somewhat normal settled existence, something that eluded him for all of his short adult life.’   

In preparation for bringing these characters to life on the stage, the cast visited Béal na Bláth, the site of the ambush where Michael Collins was killed by anti-Treaty forces.

“That was an incredibly powerful and poignant visit. It really helped us both to establish a connection with the lives of both Michael (Collins) and Kitty (Kiernan),” explained Dominic McHale who plays the lead role.

“What I find particularly moving about the Kiernan-Collins relationship is that amid incredible pressure, essentially carrying the weight of a nation, both found the time to write these endearing and revealing letters to one another providing comfort and support to the other.

“While obviously it was a very testing time, there are moments of humour and light too, like Kitty reminding Collins to go to Mass.  They could perhaps be described as Ireland’s first power couple,” added Kelleher.

Witness Collins as you’ve never seen him portrayed before – with words of uncertainty, fear for the future and talk of daily life and love.

A Great Arrangement is playing the MAC in Belfast from 22-24 September, the only dates in Northern Ireland. For more information or to book your tickets, visit themaclive.com or call the MAC on (028) 9023 5053.

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Notes to Editors:

  • Writer/Director – Patrick Talbot: Patrick Talbot is the adaptor / director of the critically acclaimed ‘God Bless the Child”, based on stories by Frank O’Connor, which toured Ireland in 2015 and 2016, including visits to the Gaiety Theatre Dublin, the Cork Opera House and the Lyric Theatre Belfast. He was Artistic Director/CEO of The Everyman Cork between 2001 and 2011.
BALLYMALOE FOODS RELISHES A NEW MARKET AS IT LAUNCHES INTO NORTHERN IRELAND

BALLYMALOE FOODS RELISHES A NEW MARKET AS IT LAUNCHES INTO NORTHERN IRELAND

BM2Relishing the chance to explore new markets, Irish family food company Ballymaloe Foods, producer of the award winning Ballymaloe Original Relish, has launched into Northern Ireland. Through securing a partnership with Valeo Foods as its province-wide distributor the company has since secured supply to participating SPAR, EUROSPAR, VIVO & VIVOEXTRA, SUPERVALU, CENTRA & MACE, Dunnes and Independents.

Speaking on the transition into Northern Ireland, Maxine Hyde, Sales & Marketing Manager for Ballymaloe Foods, says:

“Now, more than ever, seemed the most fitting time to expand the Ballymaloe Foods range into Northern Ireland. As a family business through and through – developed and grown over three generations – we are ecstatic to be working alongside Valeo Foods, and look forward to showcasing our products to the Northern Irish market over the coming months.”

“In recent years, while the popularity of Ballymaloe products has grown, availability has always been an issue. But, through our new supplier partnerships, Ballymaloe Foods has the opportunity to match the supply with demand.” Maxine added.

Joanne Beattie, Brand Manager at Valeo Foods adds: “We are delighted to be working with the team at Ballymaloe Foods and looking forward to introducing this fantastic product to the NI market. With its strong heritage and track record for producing great tasting products, we have no doubt it will be a great hit with consumers.”

Ballymaloe Original Relish, has been the recipient of numerous industry awards over recent years including the McKennas’ Guides Award (2015), gold in the Great Taste Awards (2015) and numerous Georgina Campbell Awards, the longest running hospitality awards in Ireland.

Ballymaloe Foods will be introducing an initial five products from its growing range into the Northern Ireland market. The retail range includes Ballymaloe Original Relish (210g) and Ballymaloe Jalapeno Pepper Relish (195g).

Ballymaloe Foods’ offering in Northern Ireland will also include wholesale catering sizes suitable for a diverse range of cuisines; Ballymaloe Original Relish (3kg and 5kg) and Ballymaloe Jalapeno Relish (2.75kg).

Established in 1990 by Yasmin Hyde, daughter of Myrtle and Ivan Allen of Ballymaloe House, the recipe for Ballymaloe Original Relish that proudly stocks supermarket shelves throughout the Republic of Ireland has remained unchanged since the 1930s when Myrtle Allen was left with a plethora of tomatoes following husband Ivan’s struggles to sell them to merchants at local markets.

The official launch, organised by Rumour Mill PR, for Ballymaloe Foods took place on Friday 5th August at the James Street South Cookery School where celebrity chef and graduate of the Ballymaloe Cookery School Rachel Allen hosted a cookery masterclass.

For more information on the Ballymaloe range, visit www.ballymaloefoods.ie

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