Hero of Belfast: Mary Ann McCracken Walking Tour

Dates and Times
Friday, 5 May 2023, 14.00-16.30
Saturday, 6 May, 10.00-12.30

Meeting Point
Clifton House
2 North Queen Street
BT15 1ES

Please arrive 10-15 minutes before the start of the tour.

Onsite parking is available

Experience Mary Ann McCracken’s Belfast, as you walk in the footsteps of this remarkable abolitionist, philanthropist and social reformer. Mary Ann McCracken, who was born over 250 years ago, is intrinsically linked to the city of Belfast. She lived her fearless life championing causes, moving from place to place, always on a mission to make life better for those less fortunate than herself.

Hear too about her more radical nature. Her role in the work of the United Irishmen, the 1798 rebellion and beyond. How she was devoted to her older brother Henry Joy – hanged for his leading role in the rebellion.

This walking tour takes in the locations linked to her life, her endeavours and that of her family. You will be led by an experienced guide through the same streets she walked over 200 years before. This new walking tour starts at Clifton House, where Mary Ann’s thirst for philanthropic causes first began, and where her impact can still be seen today, and finishes near Belfast City Hall.

Booking link


Early Show – 7.00pm

On Friday 5 May, U.S. indie-rock royalty Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss aka Quasi play their first Belfast show in 17 years at the Ulster Sports Club. After nearly three decades of launching drums and distorted pianos through the shifting interzones of harmony and chaos (moonlighting along the way with the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, Jon Spencer and the HITmakers, Wild Flag, Built to Spill and a long list of others), the duo continue to be a genre of their own.

Hosted by self-confessed Quasi evangelists The Thin Air, this early show is part of a EU/UK tour, celebrating Breaking the Balls of History, their tenth record – and Sub Pop debut – which lands ten years after their last record, on February tenth. Three tens, which aligns with the thirty years they’ve played together. Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss have become Pacific Northwest icons, and Quasi has always felt so steadfast – their enduring friendship so generative, their energy infinite, each album more raucous and catchy and ferocious and funny than the last.

Tickets £14.

Support  From COWTOWN

Ever evolving rock band from Leeds consisting of Jonathan Nash on guitar/vocals, David Michael Shields on drums and Hilary Knott on keybass/vocals. They began life as a bizarre grungy noise duo before adding Nash and succumbing to the influence of late 70’s/early 80’s punk, post-punk and new wave; Devo, B52’s, Pere Ubu, Walls Of Voodoo, ESG, Liquid Liquid, Black Flag, Minutemen, Tom Tom Club etc, and the soundtracks that galvanised their earliest listening experiences; Teenwolf, Karate Kid, Gremlins, Beverley Hills Cop, Ghostbusters etc. Couple that with an obsessive fascination with They Might Be Giants (which explains away their namesake) and you have some idea of what to expect from the trio. Four albums in with a fifth on the way, there’s a chance you may be stuck with COWTOWN indefinitely…sorry”


Press for Breaking The Balls of History

Breaking the Balls of History is a gritty rendering of Quasi’s classic garage sound, spearheaded by the blistering single “Nowheresville,” serving as a long-awaited return to form for the band—who bring a triumphant masterclass to the forefront of Sub Pop’s modern catalog 10 years after their last record, Mole City.” [“The 33 Most Aniticpated Releases of 2023”] –PASTE

“[Queen Of Ears] Has all the Quasi earmarks: pointed lyrics, jagged melodies, skronky organ, bashing drums, and Sam & Janet’s distinctive harmonies.” – Brooklyn Vegan
“Lead single “Queen Of Ears” finds Coomes and Weiss bashing away on their keyboard and drums, respectively, lending a raw edge to an otherwise bright and poppy song. The backing vocals are clutch on this one.”- Stereogum

“A punchy blend of state-of-things stream of consciousness and melodic brightness signals the much-awaited return of Pacific Northwest legends Quasi.” – Shindig!


On their sophomore album Omens, siblings Kim and Mike Rauss AKA Kayam set off on an ethereal, psychedelic journey of self-discovery building on the success of debut albumSand to Snow.

From the intimacy of folk to indie-pop, Kayam’s sound reflects a lot of nuances and originality rooted in their multicultural upbringing in places like England, Germany, and Israel.

It is in their live performances that Kayam really excel. Kim, who provides stunning vocals, also plays the Celtic Harp.

Mike is a versatile performer who plays guitar and sings. In addition, he also builds intricate fabrics of looped parts, often using his guitar as a percussive instrument and even beatboxing from time to time.  One of the hidden gems of the festival we think.

Not Now

Not Now is a sharply written, heartfelt comedy about the past, identity and moving on – from David Ireland – the multi-award-winning author of Cyprus Avenue.

You’re an Irish Daniel Radcliffe.”
“I’m British!”
“You’re a British Daniel Radcliffe. From Ireland.”

The morning after his father’s funeral, an unsure and still grief-stricken Matthew prepares to fly to London to audition for the prestigious drama school, RADA.

When his painter-decorator Uncle Ray interrupts his private rendition of Richard III’s opening monologue to offer some unwanted direction and dubious career advice, Matthew starts to doubt whether he should really be leaving Belfast in the first place.

Or is Belfast where he truly belongs?

David Ireland’s dialogue is nonstop sparkle; the development of the play is beautifully judged in Max Elton’s production, as the boy (Matthew Blaney) moves from gangle and sullenness to candour and the uncle (Stephen Kennedy) from joviality to reluctant disclosure.

There is, as always with Ireland, an unflinching look at Protestant politics, but Not Now adds different notes. His greatest play so far, Cyprus Avenue, was a satire fuelled by an imaginative flight of which Jonathan Swift would have been proud. This drama has a new warmth. It also clinches on a beautiful reanimation of Shakespeare’s words about changing “dreadful marches to delightful measures”. The Guardian. Review of  Glasgow production.

★★★★★Five Stars, London Theatre 1

★★★★★Five Stars, Close Up Culture

★★★★The Guardian

★★★★Four Stars, The Observer

★★★★Four Stars, The Stage

★★★★Four Stars, Daily Mail

★★★★Four Stars, Morning Star

Off West End Award Nomination for LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY Matthew Blaney

Off West End Award Nomination for LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY Stephen Kennedy

This production was first produced in association with Neil McPherson at the Finborough Theatre’

Approximately 50 minutes with no intervals.

Production Team

Director: MAX ELTON
Designer: CECI CALF
Sound Designer and Composer: JACK BAXTER
Lighting Designer: MATTIS LARSON
Associate Producer: BRIAR KNOWLES
Producer: SARAH ROY


Continuing on from one of his biggest years yet, which included a mini UK & IRE tour and not only performing but being nominated in two categories at the NI Music PrizeLeo Miyagee is one to watch.

Having established himself locally, Leo’s reach is growing across the water, with his rhythmic flow, poetic one-liners and picturesque sounding beats. He’s fast becoming one of the faces of urban music in the north.

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Jolie Holland

Jolie Holland grew up playing music in Houston, Texas and was a traveling musician as a teenager. She formed The Be Good Tanyas with Samantha Parton in Vancouver in 1999. Shortly before The Be Good Tanyas released their debut record, Blue Horse, in 2001, Jolie Holland settled in San Francisco. It was there that she recorded the songs that eventually became Catalpa, released in 2003

Over the span of her career, Jolie Holland has knotted together a century of American song—jazz, blues, soul, rock and roll—into some stew that is impossible to categorize with any conventional critical terminology.

This is her burden and her gift, to know all of these American songs of the last ten decades in her head and her heart, and to have to wrestle with their legacy. She dives straight to the pathos of a song the way the very greatest singers, singers like Mavis Staples, or Al Green, or Skip James, or Tom Waits do.

As evident on her first recordings, Holland has no fear of the truth, and there is no emotional core that she cannot reach in song. In fact she thrives on the red hot centre of a musical composition, in all its strange and brutal detail.

Which brings us to Wine Dark Sea. Listeners to Holland’s work will recognize how her writing over the years has deepened and matured. The classic Holland lyrical concerns are evident in songs like Palm Wine Drunkard, and St. Dymphna, and Out on the Wine Dark Sea, all of which mix a density of literature and poetry to brutalities of romantic love, to the fragmentation of self and narrator in a torrent of loss and grief.

There has been no album of the recent decade with quite this sonic ambition, with quite this command of what a rock and roll song is and ought to be, but Wine Dark Sea is all of that.It is the album of a lifetime with a lifetime of work in it.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating

Blind Stitch

is a project which features the music of Kevin Murphy, a celebrated cellist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter from Cork Ireland.

He is also a founding member of critically acclaimed Irish experimental bands Slow Moving Clouds and Seti The First. Blind Stitch has just released its debut album – The Emperor’s Lung.

Kevin has featured as a guest musician with many Irish and international artists such as The National, Bon Iver, Jenny Lewis, Lisa Hannigan, Gavin Friday, Rick Danko, Seamus Fogarty, Adrian Crowley and Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode.

He has also collaborated with Irish traditional and folk musicians such as John Spillane, Cathy JordanPhil Callery Cormac Breathnach, and Ger Wolfe in live settings and on recordings.

His band Seti The First co-wrote two songs on The Waterboys 2017 album Out Of All This Blue. He also participates in the People collective spearheaded by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Bryce and Aaron Dessner (The National). This has resulted in collaborations with the above artists and others in festivals across Europe in recent years including the Funkhaus in Berlin 2018 and Sounds from a Safe Harbour Cork in 2017 and 2019.

He has co-composed the score for Michael Keegan Dolan’s Swan Lake/Loch na Heala hailed by the Guardian Newspaper as the second best dance production of the 21st Century.

Kevin co-composed the score for feature film Tomato Red (2017) directed by Oscar long listed director Juanita Wilson and The Lodgers, (2018) which featured at the Toronto Film Festival. He has just finished co-composing the score for acclaimed Irish director Kim Bartley’s new feature documentary True Grit released in 2022.

Glasshouse performs Aphex Twin

Glasshouse is a Dublin–based music ensemble and arts organisation. Their mission is to elevate Irish music through commissioning and collaboration. They combine sound, space and visual design to create unforgettable live music experiences.

This event features chamber ensemble and electronics, accompanied by striking visual projections. Enjoy Glasshouse’s lush and soaring take on Aphex Twin, one of the most influential figures in electronic music.

‘Glasshouse are among the highest calibre of musicians the nation has to offer.’ NIALLER9

Badly Drawn Boy: 25 years of Badly Drawn Boy

Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy has embarked on a a series of intimate shows to celebrate 25 years of releasing music. The shows will feature a career-spanning set of hits and fan favourites as well as being his first full headline tour since 2020’s album Banana Skin Shoes.

“I’ll be playing songs from across my career, including favourites and some rarities and deep cuts. I’d like to think this is the tour I’d want to see if I was a long-time fan. Very much looking forward to it and hope to see you there.” – Damon Gough (aka Badly Drawn Boy)

It’s hard to predict what he will play from such a beautiful and eclectic discography that over nine albums has earned him the reputation as one of the U.K’s most treasured songwriters.

From his still-towering, Mercury Prize winning debut The Hour Of Bewilderbeast in 2000 to the enthralling soundtrack to Nick Hornby adaptation About A Boy (from 2002,) Have You Fed The Fish? (also 2002) which featured You Were Right, his biggest single to date.

Then there was the mental-state-of-the-nation epic Born In The U.K. (2006) and his most recent album Banana Skin Shoes which was met with great acclaim from critics.

Damon is expected mix it up each night and when you’ve got a repertoire like his, why wouldn’t you?

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Seated

Deirdre Mc Kenna: Mundane again, again… A retrospective

Mundane again, again… A retrospective

25 April – 13th May 2023

PS² is most excited to work with Deirdre McKenna (b. Dublin, 1973) for her solo show Mundane again, again… A retrospective, where we will delve into the artist’s extensive back catalog of works. Deirdre’s practice broadly spans diorama, painting, sculpture, photography, curation, installation and video. It stems from her desire to visualise autobiographical stories, while allowing room for the viewer to embellish the narrative or alter the meaning. In recent years, her socially informed and engaged practice has led to commissioned projects with local activists from Reclaim the Agenda for their processions; the work was later selected for inclusion in the British Textiles Biennial 2019.

Deirdre is a visual artist, art worker and studio member of Flax Art Studios, Belfast. She studied Fine Art Painting in the RTC, Sligo, followed by a BA at Ulster University, Belfast. In 2007, she graduated with distinction in an MFA at Ulster University.  Nationally, Deirdre has exhibited at The Model Arts Centre, Sligo; FE McWilliam, Banbridge; Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast; and CCA Derry~Londonderry. Her work has also been exhibited internationally (including Taiwan, Tokyo, and New York) featuring in shows alongside Tracy Emin, Grayson Perry, Henry Moore, Phil Collins, Susan MacWilliam, Mark Wallinger, Christine Borland, Seamus Hanrahan and Stephen Rennicks. Her work features in several private and public collections, including Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Deirdre has worked with arts organisations and activist initiatives in Belfast since 2000 such as Catalyst Arts, Golden Thread Gallery, numerous artists, curators, communities and collections (including Tate, Imperial War Museum, British Council, and Arts Council of Northern Ireland). Since 2017, Deirdre has worked both as a freelance arts administrator, and as the Creative Programmes and Participation Lead with University of Atypical, Belfast.

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