Archive: February 2014

The Dirty Onion & Jameson Whiskey Honour the Barrel-Man

25 February 2014

Visitors to popular pub and live music venue The Dirty Onion, in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, may not be aware that the relatively new pub (which opened last November) stands on the site of an original 1800s warehouse with a unique place in the history of Irish whiskey, and Jameson whiskey in particular. That historic relationship has now been marked by the commissioning of a very distinctive bright red sculpture, the Jameson Barrel-Man, in the heart of The Dirty Onion’s front yard.

By the early 1920s the original warehouse on the site, known as 'Stack N', was operated by Edward Dillon Bonders - a name that continues today as Dillon Bass, the company that distributes Jameson in Northern Ireland and who commissioned the sculpture this year.  Interestingly, ‘Stack N’ was the home of all Jameson in Northern Ireland at one time, so over the years, thousands of barrels’ worth of John Jameson's finest passed through its doors, most of which were probably carried on the back of barrel-men.

To celebrate this history and heritage, the team at Dillon Bass worked with design and marketing consultancy Drinksology to provide a lasting testament to a mostly unsung figure, while also creating something modern and quirky that wouldn’t look out of place in The Dirty Onion’s yard.

Jameson Brand Manager Karen Anderson said: “John Jameson himself would have approved. He respected the physical labour involved in the journey from grain to glass, which is why he put two barrel-men on the label of every single bottle of the world's most famous Irish whiskey.

“The figure of a barrel-man was a clear and fitting choice for the space. After that, it was a matter of commissioning and designing the piece to reflect the venue and then managing the installation. Dillon Bass have a good relationship with Beannchor and it’s wonderful being able to create something unique in such a fabulous location.

“Already we’ve had great feedback so far and he seems to have been made very welcome by Cathedral Quarter visitors, so we hope he continues to settle in well at his new home.”

Commenting on the unique partnership, Sorcha Wolsey, operations director, Beannchor said: “Our vision for The Dirty Onion was to create a unique new hospitality experience within one of Belfast’s oldest buildings. In the planning and development of the new venue, we made great efforts to ensure we honoured its history and heritage; our partnership with Jameson has brought a further dimension to our efforts to pay homage to the past. We hope the barrel-man statue will become an iconic installation, which will help visitors to The Dirty Onion understand the rich history of this unique architectural treasure.”


12 February 2014

Irish writer, actor and comedian Suzanna Geraghty is coming to Derry/Londonderry with her award winning show “Auditions Zoe Auditions” after huge success in the US.  In America this uplifting solo comedy sold out, received standing ovations, and was chosen as the Audience Favorite out of 77 shows from 11 countries in New York at the biggest solo theatre festival in the world - the United Solo. Winning the Audience Award in 2011, Suzanna was selected to return to New York to feature in the Encore Group of Most Outstanding Shows at the United Solo in 2012.


In 2013, playing to a sold out house at the Market Place Theatre Armagh, “Auditions Zoe’s Auditions” returns to Northern Ireland to The Playhouse Theatre in Derry/Londonderry on Saturday 22nd February at 8pm.

“Auditions Zoe’s Auditions” features a lovable underdog Zoe, a backstage worker who dreams of landing an acting job. Her daft, over-the-hill agent sends her on an assortment of wacky auditions ranging from “Riverdance” to “Spiderman” to being shot out of a cannon for a touring circus.  As she gets further and further from her dream job, Zoe might just be getting closer to herself … A heart-warming, comically uplifting tale of self-realization.  “Be yourself, everyone else is taken,” quote Oscar Wilde, and the Ghost of Zoe’s Past. The play is also suitable for children 9 yrs and up.

Suzanna recounts how the show came to be. “It all began the day I leaned too heavily on a bookshelf in a New York Library.  A hardcover book fell down and hit me on the nose. It was SO sore; I went to kick the book but missed and instead kicked the bookshelf and broke my toe!! While rolling around the library floor in agony, muttering curses at the book, I finally opened it … and it changed my life.”


For years Suzanna had longed to write her own show but is dyslexic. The book, by Jacques Lecoq, described ways for actors to create theatre, taught at his school in Paris.  Suzanna continued “With new found hope, I hobbled home, sold the refrigerator and bought a ticket for Paris.” Suzanna attended the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris Master-Class Series for professionals. It was here where she started developing her inner clown called Zoe. “Auditions Zoe’s Auditions,” inspired by the Lecoq teachings and her love of Stan Laurel, Giulietta Masina in “La Strada,” Chaplin and Beckett, combines elements of farce, pathos, physical comedy and breaks the fourth wall.


To book tickets call the box office on 028 71 268027 or book online at  Tickets are £11/ £8.00.  Booking fees may apply. 



“Hilarious…Powerful... A serious investigation, told through comedy, of, well, the meaning of life” - Irish Examiner USA


“A real treat…An Irish Lucille Ball” - Women About Town


“Exemplary… Exquisite dramatic talents”- Backstage


           “Charming… a gifted physical comedienne - New York Times




03 February 2014

Monumental, the studio comedy panel show celebrating everything that is brilliant and bizarre about Northern Ireland is back with a new host; award winning Kiwi comic Jarred Christmas, and the return of team captains Jimeoin and Andrew Maxwell, alongside regulars Michael Smiley and Micky Bartlett.


Throughout the seven part series the host and comics are joined by a very special guest from the world of comedy, sport and entertainment who get honoured in the form of a light-hearted “monumental” tribute at the end of the show.  The “monumental” guests appearing on series two are: TV star, Christine Bleakley, who reveals where she took fiancee Frank Lampard on his first visit to her home town of Newtownards; Northern Ireland International football legend, Gerry Armstrong; BBC Radio Ulster’s very own country and western star, Hugo Duncan; Veteran local sports broadcaster and raconteur, Jackie Fullerton and Northern Ireland’s only ever Eurovision Song Contest Winner, Dana.


Emerging and exciting entertainment talent from Northern Ireland complete the line-up on each programme, including: actress Bronagh Waugh (“The Fall”), Peter Dickson (“X-Factor” VoiceOver), Kathy Clugston (BBC Radio 4 Newsreader), new comedians Shane Todd (“Sketchy”), Niamh Marron (“Britain’s Got Talent”) and popular writer and comedy performer Nuala McKeever (“Micky’s Ma”).


The teams compete over a series of rounds based on funny and fascinating facts about Northern Ireland, like: identifying the world beating achievement of a “monumental mystery guest and offering comical opinions on things from our past that they regard as “monumental and missed”.


Before revealing the winning team, each show ends with one of the guests getting a humorous tribute from our host and the comedians – this feel-good finale features amusing archive and anecdotes to celebrate the star guest’s career. They also receive a coveted “Monumental” blue plaque in recognition of what they’ve done over the years to spread joy about Northern Ireland.


Across the series, there are also surprise appearances from other popular personalities, including: Louis Walsh, Philip Schofield, Eamonn Holmes and Lawrie Sanchez. 


Monumental is a Green Inc Film and Television Production for BBC One Northern Ireland.


Monumental will air on 07 February on BBC ONE NI at 10.35pm


Latest News
News Archive