Sean Hollywood Arts Centre in Newry is beginning the new year with a festival celebrating women. The International Herstory Light Festival, which is an annual global event, will kick off on Friday 31 January with ‘Growing Old Disgracefully’. This one woman show by Lua McIlraith is a cabaret style musical extravaganza, celebrating the joys and woes of growing older with songs such as ‘Dieting Woes’ and ‘The Libido Blues’.

Libby Smyth as Ruby Murray (RUBY!).
Libby Smyth as Ruby Murray (RUBY!)

The festival continues with showing of the documentary ‘He Named me Malala’ about young Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Malala Yousafzai. This inspirational film shows how Malala overcame an attempt on her life and her determination to champion equality and education for young women.

Running alongside the festival, from now till 3 February, is ‘Sometimes She…’, an exhibition and talk by Kevin Dwan, featuring 13 statues celebrating the female goddess. 

February continues to be a bumper month for theatre at Sean Hollywood, with a showing of Sean O’Casey’s ‘Joxer Daly Esq’ on Friday 7 February. Set against the backdrop of Dublin in the period between the 1913 Lock Out and the 1916 Rising, the play charts Joxer’s journey from member of the Foresters Association to vagabond.

Finally, Sean Hollywood is pleased to welcome back Willow Productions with RUBY!, a play about Ruby Murray, one of the most popular singing stars in the world during the 1950s. Written by Northern Ireland writer Michael Cameron, the play centres on the darker story of Ruby’s life.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey said, “The new year is bringing an exciting variety of shows, exhibitions and events to Newry, as well as a festival to celebrate women and equality. There is definitely something for everyone to brighten up the long winter days and nights.”

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