Comedy, music and drama at the Riverside in 2016

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Coleraine’s Riverside Theatre really does have a well-mixed bill of fare between now and summer 2016 - and here are just a few of the highlights.

The Riverside has more professional drama in its current season than any other regional theatre in Northern Ireland.

There are classic plays by Samuel Beckett, Jane Austen, John B Keane (The Matchmaker) and Martin McDonough (The Cripple of Inishmaan).

There are contemporary dramas about the vexed subject of fracking and the University Drama Society, CASS, will be airing Jerusalem – which won the Best New Play of 2009. The highlight of the season will be the first return visit to Riverside by Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, with a new production of the Frank McGuinness play, Observe the Sons of Ulster.

And from home-turf, the brilliant sequel to History of the Troubles by Martin Lynch will be staged as well.

Ballywillan Drama Group’s latest blockbuster musical, Legally Blonde, opens shortly and Portrush Music Society will be back in the spring with Lionel Bart’s musical, Oliver!

There’s a range of music to suit just about every taste, from classicalthrough to country and western. A range of names such as Charlie Landsborough, Frances Black, Kieran Goss, Derek Ryan, Clubsound and the brilliant Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra are all in the line-up.

And there’s plenty of comendy on the bill at the Riverside, as they welcome back the following artistes: May McFettridge,William Caulfield, Gene Fitzpatrick, Jimmy Cricket, Conal Gallen and the entire cast of BBC TV’s Give My Head Peace.

Mentalist David Meade (pictured right) is back, along with a special event for young children (3 to 8 years) about swashbuckling pirates.

Full details of the line-up, through until July of this year, can be seen online via: www.riversidetheatre.org.uk or in a copy of Riverside’s new spring booklet, available by post free by calling the Theatre’s Box Office Manager, Louise Geddis, on 02870 123 123.