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Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update:

Please see the news page for our full Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update. Following advice ISLAND Arts Centre is temporarily pausing venue-based activities until further notice - we will continue to monitor the evolving situation to determine when we will re-open. We will update this message, via the News page of our website, and our social media channels.  Read more

ISLAND Arts Takes Care Home Residents on a Magical & Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane with Songs from Christmas Past.

ISLAND Arts Takes Care Home Residents on a Magical & Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane with Songs from Christmas Past.

November 20, 2020

Due to the current restrictions for both care homes and live theatre productions it is not possible this year to safely perform arts and entertainment events for our older people the usual way. So, ISLAND Arts has created an unusual way - oh yes we have!

The team, has commissioned actress and producer Maria Connolly to create, ‘Christmas with the Broads,’ a live festive experience, bringing the thrill of live music to care home residents.

These events are a sequel to ’The Broads,’ a musical and theatre piece, which travelled around the care homes in the Lisburn Castlereagh area during the summer, telling the stories of starlets Marilyn Monroe, Bette Midler and Judy Garland and which proved hugely popular with staff and residents alike. National Lottery recently recognised Maria as a ‘National Lottery Arts Champion’ for bringing creativity, enjoyment and enrichment through the arts to people in new ways via ‘The Broads’.

This ‘Christmas Special’ once again features the talents of Maria Connolly (Line of Duty, Two Sore Legs) as Judy Garland, Christina Nelson (I’ll tell my Ma, Good Vibrations) as Bette Midler, Roisin Gallagher (Abigail’s Party, The Man Who Fell To Pieces) as Marilyn Monroe and Richard Clements (The Fall, Good Vibrations) playing live music.

Reprising their roles as the three Hollywood Divas, care home residents and their healthcare workers will be invited once again to take their mind of their troubles and take a sing-song down memory lane with songs from Christmas’ past.

Speaking about the festive treat, Alderman Michael Henderson MBE, Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Leisure and Community Development Committee said:

“It is crucial we support our older people now, especially as it is more widely recognised that the protective protocols in place due to coronavirus is having a knock-on effect on our older people’s physical and mental well-being.

“In the lead-up to the festive period we want our older people, their families and carers to know, Christmas is not cancelled nor are they forgotten. This ‘through the window’ participatory performance will be a sing-song down memory lane and will include a host of classic Christmas songs and carols from a golden era. More importantly, residents will be able to enjoy the socially distanced entertainment from the safety of their armchairs as the cast perform outdoors.

“The social and emotional benefits of the event for all residents is clear. However, there are also important medical benefits for residents too, as scientific research demonstrates musical memories are often preserved in the parts of the brain of a person who has dementia. We hope for these residents the event will be a real mood enhancer.”

While delighted to be performing once, actress Maria Connolly said “I am absolutely over the moon ‘The Broads’ is returning to Lisburn and Castlereagh bringing a little bit of Christmas cheer to the people we adored entertaining in the summer. It is going to be a very special week indeed and I am extremely grateful to everyone for making this happen.”