Friday, 11 December 2015

Comedy Nights in Belfast. From: Culture HUB Magazine, Issue Six.

Comedy Nights in Belfast

From: Culture HUB Magazine, Issue Six.


Your twelve year old daughter wants Miley Cyrus concert tickets, your twenty year old son is back from university with a new tattoo, that uncle has drank too much whiskey again and if your mother in law doesn’t stop criticizing your cooking it’s her who is going in the oven.  Christmas is supposed to be the season to be jolly but in reality it’s the season for arguing. Tinderbox have depicted this atmosphere in “All Through the House” which gives an alternative perspective of a typical family Christmas doing.  The production is written by Judith King and directed by Patrick J O’Reilly and runs at the Crescent Arts Centre from December 4th - 19th.


But there is one day in the festive calendar that especially makes you feel like shaving all your hair off Britney Spears style - Yes Christmas Eve! Written by Marie Jones and directed by Dan Gordon “Christmas Eve Can Kill You” is showing in the Lyric Theatre from the 24th November - 10th January. The play is set in Christmas Eve 1992 Belfast  and tells the story of a number of dubious characters who are not in the mood for Christmas, and those who are, tend to be merry.


One thing we will certainly be eating a lot of over Christmas is cake! And one of the most controversial subjects of 2015 was the “gay cake”.  Deborah Frances-White, the star of BBC 4’s “Role the Dice” will be coming to the Black Box on December 1st, with “Friend of a Friend of Dorothy” (a “friend of Dorothy” is gay slang for a gay man, for anyone unfamiliar with the term). Deborah will be portraying her life with the gays and girls through her sui generis combination of stand-up, storytelling and improvisation.


Another issue linked to this that has also been a “hot topic” in 2015 was Marriage Equality. Panti Bliss became a major figurehead of the republic’s successful “Yes Campaign” after a speech she made about homophobia was described as “the most eloquent Irish speech” in 200 years by Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole and  went viral as a result. Panti Bliss will be coming to the Mandela hall on December with her critically acclaimed show “High Heels in Low Places.”  The stand-up performance is about her life post “Pantigate”.  Although the show may be crude as Panti is sure to say the unsayable, there is a hidden message of liberty and individualism.


Another comedian who is not afraid to say the unsayable is Jake O'Kane who will imprisoned in the Crumlin Road Gaol on the 2nd and 3rd of January. Jake will be reviewing the event that enfolded in 2015 and takes no prisoners as he opines his views of the year in his stand up show “Gagging on it”.


If you are gagging for a unique comedy performance then Wonder Frog is your ticket. Wonder Frog is a 6-person improv comedy group based in Belfast. The group uses only the audience's suggestions for performing comic scenes and therefore the performance is always completely original and authentic.  The show is a kin to “Whose line is it Anyway?”, being composed of various games. Wonder Frog performs at the Black Box every month - the next performance being December 16th.


“Comedy Live” is one of Northern Ireland's best kept comedy secrets and is on the first Thursday of every month in Mc Hugh’s bar basement. 3rd December will see Michael Ledge take to the stage. Michael has supported many comedy greats on tour such as Alexei Sayle, Stewart Lee and Dylan Moran. He's a team captain on the Sony award winning podcast “Do The Right Thing” and is known as a "grump". So if you are a pessimist with a dry sense of humour this will float your boat.  


Christmas may be a time of stress and arguments, but one thing you cannot argue about is that there are plenty of comedy nights in Belfast. So if you are feeling stressed out come see one of these comedy gigs and you’re sure to have a merry time.


Adam Henry Magee


Check out Culture HUB if you are doing your Christmas Shopping in Belfast and Greater Belfast!


Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Independent - “Tories to kick children out of family council homes if parents die.” Should your parents not have to have owned their house before you inherit it?

The Independent - “Tories to kick children out of family council homes if parents die.” Should your parents not have to have owned their house before you inherit it?

On my facebook I noticed a group called “The last person to enter parliament with honest intentions was Guy Fawkes” shared an article written by “The Independent” entitled “Tories to kick children out of family council homes if parents die” which was efficacious in producing opprobrium among  young left-wing  facebook users(most likely prior to actually reading the article!), who could not wait to show dismay at anything Tory.  I however, knew instantly that this was speculative journalism and clicked on the link to read up on the topic - what a misleading title it was.
    The government IS taking away children's rights to stay inherently in their families council homes after their parents die. This seems awful at first, but then think about it again- it is council homes, the parents did not own the homes thus it is not their childrens to inherit! I doubt that many children whose parents die and who owned their house get to live in it afterwards also. Council housing should be allocated on needs - not on who has lived in it previously!
    These sorts of articles and the sharing of them infuriates me as they are purely written with subterfuge in attempt to bring down the conservatives. People share the articles just because it mentions the conservatives and something negative about there - were they never taught to not judge a book by its cover? What also has annoyed me about this article in particular is because it is from a highly venerated publication “The Independent”, which from its name implies it has no political agenda however this sort of an article would make you question just how independent “The Independent” really is?

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Culture Hub Magazine.

Check out Culture Hub magazine, if you are doing your Christmas Shopping in Belfast and Greater Belfast! I've written about comedy events in Northern Ireland! 

Friday, 4 December 2015

Will The Pro-Refugee Protesters Practice What They Preach?

Will The Pro-Refugee Protestors Practice What They Preach?

N.B. I personally am not anti-refugee/immigration, but I believe what the government is doing to help is enough. 

Belfast Anti-Fascists, a “ broad collective of left-wing activists dedicated to pro-actively confronting fascism/racism, both physically & political” are organizing a pro-refugee protest named “Refugees Welcome, Bigots Not”. The organizers have made a spurious claim that the media, in particular right-wing has “seized on the opportunity to turn this tragedy of the millions of people being displaced and imply that the innocent people fleeing conflict are terrorists”.

The paradox of how left-wing supporters manage to make claims of what right-wing publications write without reading one is fascinating. I am reader of the Daily-Mail and The Times, which are supposedly right wing newspapers, but I am yet to read an article stating that all refugees are terrorists. However by educating myself by reading newspapers, I am aware that ISIS are a terrorist organization that is based in Syria and Iraq and a lot of the refugees at present are from Syria and Iraq and therefore there is a possibility that some of the refugees are members of ISIS and therefore possibly terrorists.  Isn’t it ironic how left-wingers criticize right-wing publications for manipulating facts and figures to scare the public, however on the other hand the left-wingers subterfuge also by exaggerating what the right-wingers claim?

The possibility of terrorists is only one reason why people do not support refugees. The other problem is economical; the economy can arguably not support the large influx of refugees. Yes, the UK is a first world country but that does not mean the UK does not have problems. People point to austerity, the cuts being made to the NHS, cuts being made to education, the housing crisis, falling of living standards and the unemployment problem. These problems could become worse with more people on benefits, more sick people needing help from the NHS, more people requiring housing and more children needing to go to school.  Yes the UK can help the refugees, however not with grave sacrifice.

Some people are wealthy enough to be in a position to help refugees without it having a significant impact to the quality of their lives. Like  Sir Bob Geldof, who claimed after seeing the picture of the three-year-old Syrian boy’s body washed up on a Turkish beach, that he would happily provide refuge for three families: “‘I’m prepared – I’m lucky, I’ve a place in Kent and a flat in London – me and (partner) Jeanne would be prepared to take three families immediately in our place in Kent and a family in our flat in London, immediately, and put them up until such time as they can get going and get a purchase on their future.” However, has Geldof practiced what he preached? No. It has been three months, and there has not been a single refugee family moved into the Geldof palace, never mind three.

So this is what I pose to the pro-refugee protesters on Saturday - practice what you preach. If you want to welcome refugees - sign up to do so. If you want to make sacrifices for more refugees, then you are welcome to do so.  So you can’t go out this Saturday for your friend’s Birthday - that £50 needs to be saved for the Refugees. You can’t get the new IPAD from for Christmas - tell Santa Claus you are spending that money on refugees. You can’t buy new make-up - the Refugees won’t care if the person helping them looks like Shriek. And no you can’t go to Ibiza this summer - the Refugees don’t like Techno.

Do I think most of the protesters on Saturday will actually make any personal sacrifices in order to accommodate Refugees? No. Do I think they are going to create a huge mess costing the council lots of money, go for a drink after and approbate each other on how morally superior they are to right-winged folks for taking part. Yes.

Adam Henry Magee

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