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Marie McAteer and Corwyn Rogers from Newry Library join Emily O’ Hare, aged 6, from Mayobridge to help launch the MAC’s ‘Lucky Feather’ competition, which is offering families across the Newry & Mourne region the chance to win tickets to the MAC in Belfast’s brand new Christmas show - ‘HATCH! Adventures of the Ugly Duck’.Newry Library is part of an exciting initiative to encourage children across Northern Ireland to read more books and be in with a chance of winning tickets to see the MAC’s brand new Christmas show, ‘HATCH! Adventures of the Ugly Duck’, proudly sponsored by Lidl Northern Ireland.

The MAC, Belfast’s newest arts venue, has teamed up with Libraries NI for a competition offering children the opportunity to win a family ticket (two adults and two children) to the eagerly-awaited Christmas family show, as well as other great prizes, simply by visiting their local library and finding a Lucky Feather in their favourite books. The MAC has placed 500 Lucky Feathers in children’s books in 53 public libraries throughout Northern Ireland including Newry Library. 

Anyone who finds the feather should then answer a question related to HATCH! Adventures of the Ugly Duck and return the feather either to the library, or drop it into the MAC Belfast, to be in with a chance of winning. The winners will be chosen at random and announced ahead of the opening of the show on 4th December.  

A MAC production directed by Patrick J. O’Reilly, HATCH! Adventures of the Ugly Duck is a hilarious and entertaining adaption of the well-known story of the Ugly Duckling. A laugh-out-loud sing-along for all the family to enjoy, the show debuts at the MAC Belfast on 4th December and runs until 5th January. 

Launching the Lucky Feather competition, Gillian Mitchell, Director of Programmes at the MAC, said “After the huge success of our first Christmas show last year, a lot of effort has gone into this production and we can’t wait to see the audience’s reaction to HATCH! Adventures of the Ugly Duck. We never lose sight of our main goal at the MAC – to deliver world-class entertainment for all ages - and are extremely proud to have our own MAC production making its debut as our Christmas show.

“Everyone is familiar with the story of the Ugly Duckling – but I can guarantee nobody will have seen or heard it performed quite like it is in HATCH! The cast have been rehearsing in the MAC since the end of October and are ready to deliver a memorable show which will provide the ideal night out for the whole family over Christmas or the New Year. We are delighted to once again work in partnership with Libraries NI on the Lucky Feather competition and are sure children across Northern Ireland will enjoy finding their feathers and coming with their families to start a new tradition at the MAC.”

Irene Knox, Chief Executive of Libraries NI, said “This partnership with the MAC is a great initiative for encouraging more children to come along to their local libraries and enjoy the books on offer. Whether it’s regular visitors or a child coming to the library for the first time, the opportunity to win tickets to see HATCH! at the MAC simply by opening a book is a fantastic one and we look forward to entering all lucky recipients of the feathers into the prize draw. The story of the Ugly Duckling is a classic children’s tale and I’m sure it will be a real fun experience – for children, parents and grandparents - to see how it is brought to life on stage at the MAC and then enjoy reading the story at home with a copy from the library.” 

There are three categories of prizes up for grabs in the Lucky Feather competition - a family ticket to the show for up to four people, a pair of tickets to the show and a range of HATCH! merchandise. 

HATCH! Adventures of the Ugly Duck runs at the MAC from 4th December until 5th January, with special showings and discounts for schools and groups. The Lucky Feathers will be placed in children’s books throughout the 53 participating libraries over a three-week period between 8th and 29th November.

For more information about the show or to book a ticket, visit www.themaclive.com

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