Upcoming Events

The Man in The Iron…

Friday 31st October
Make and decorate your own mask!

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Spooky Storytelling…

Friday 31st October
Come along to hear spooky stories for all ages!

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Ghosts and Terror Face…

Friday 31st October
Let's get ready for the Halloween Carnival!

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Foyleside Mini Sleuth…

Friday 31st October
Begin your journey at Eason where you will get the first clue. See if you can find the…

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Verbal News

This innovative shared reading project, which helps its participants improve their health and social well-being launches in Belfast today.

This innovative shared reading project, which helps its participants improve their health and social well-being launches in Belfast today.

The Reading Rooms is the brainchild of Derry’s Verbal Arts Centre, and after a successful run in the North West, as part of the City of Culture programme, it has been invited to Belfast. Belfast Deputy Lord Mayor Maire Hendron pointed out the links between Belfast and Derry-Londonderry, making of this project an example of how both cities work together towards a better Northern Ireland.

Trained volunteers will host free shared reading sessions in community groups, youth centres men’s and women’s groups, schools groups, Alzheimer’s groups and even prisons. The volunteers will bring specifically selected short stories and poems to the groups and read them aloud in a fun and interactive way.

The conversations that arise from the interaction gives the participants an opportunity to relate it back to their own lives and experiences.

James Kerr of the Verbal Arts Centre said, “We are delighted to be able to share the Reading Room experience with Belfast, as it has proven so popular with the community in Derry~Londonderry.  The groups have a fantastic experience in the Reading Rooms and the outcomes are amazing, particularly with the Alzheimer’s groups, the prison group, as well as with the children and young people. Feedback from participants has been very positive, the groups help to increase confidence and positivity, reduce the sense of isolation and encourage participants to work together for a common purpose. We would encourage people of all ages and abilities to come along and try the sessions”.

The Reading Rooms are free to attend and sessions, there are plans for the project to roll it out in various locations, as well as other towns and cities across the north.

The Reading Rooms project is supported by Belfast City Council, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Ulster Garden Villages, Derry City Council, DCAL, Clore Duffield Foundation, and British Council 


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The Verbal Arts Centre, Eason and Foyleside will be transformed into one mammoth crime scene for their Killer Books Festival as part of Derry-Londonderry’s Halloween celebrations this year.

The Verbal Arts Centre, Eason and Foyleside will be transformed into one mammoth crime scene for their Killer Books Festival as part of Derry-Londonderry’s Halloween…

The Festival running from Thursday October 30th to Saturday November 1st will bring a wide array of activities and events for all ages packed with crime and mystery.

On Thursday 30th the Verbal Arts Centre and Foyleside will become a terrifying crime scene where budding CSI detectives will work to solve a mystery, examining fingerprints and other exciting evidence like real scientific investigators, where families will help the PSNI to resolve the mystery examining up fingerprints and other evidences like real scientific investigators. Even the Verbal Arts Centre’s Reading Rooms will get scary, with special Halloween sessions that will give goose bumps to the whole family.

Friday and Saturday, Foyleside will be the scene of spooky storytelling for all ages, interactive crime fighting, mask and face painting workshops for children to turn into little monsters. Mini sleuths will have the chance to solve the crime and mystery in the Verbal Crime lab as well as find the hidden treasure following clues given by the killer books characters found around Foyleside Shopping Centre.

For more information on event times etc., please contact the Verbal Arts Centre on 02871 266946 or visit www.theverbal.co


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The voices of the unheard will ring out this Thursday at the Verbal Arts Centre, during their much anticipated Crows on the Wire Symposium

The voices of the unheard will ring out this Thursday at the Verbal Arts Centre, during their much anticipated Crows on the Wire Symposium

Hosted by Guardian and Observer Irish Editor, Henry McDonald, the Symposium will bring together former UDR man David Crabbe, former IRA man Seanna Walsh and former RUC officer Roger McCallum, alongside conflict transformation academics for a full day of in-depth discussions, theatre performances and photo exhibitions.

The symposium follows on from the hugely successful Crows on the Wire theatrical production – dealing with the human story behind the changeover from the RUC to PSNI – that toured across Northern Ireland last year.

Mhairi Sutherland, Crows on the Wire Community Engagement Co-Ordinator, said

She was delighted to be able to offer a wide range of voices to the public.

“A range of different perspectives and experiences have been heard in response to the themes throughout the life of the project,” she said.

“Séanna Walsh, of Coiste na nIarchimí, is one of the longest serving former IRA prisoners’ and David Crabbe OBE, who served in the Army for nearly 30 years, were brought together by the Crows on the Wire project. They will come together to share their stories with us at the Symposium. It will be fascinating to hear these voices of the unheard, from polar opposites of life in Northern Ireland.

“Henry McDonald will give a unique perspective of the Troubles as seen from a news reporter and photographs from the darkest days of the Troubles will also be on display during the symposium. Irish News Photographic Editor Brendan Murphy’s work, one of which is pictured above, captured some of the most poignant events and pure raw human emotion, that sits well with Fergus Jordan’s quite dark ‘Altered’ artwork.”

The Symposium runs from 9.30am to 3pm on Thursday October 2nd at the Verbal Arts Centre. Members of the public are welcome to come along and are asked to register their names with Dr Mhairi Sutherland on mhairi.sutherland@theverbal.co before Thursday.

Crows on the Wire explores the transition of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), from the perspective of some of those most directly impacted, the rank and file officer. Set in a police station locker room, the production is an intense dramatization of the actual transition of the RUC to the PSNI on a night in November 2001. The performance toured across Northern Ireland in November 2013, giving 20 free of charge performances accompanied by post-performance discussions between an invited panel and the audiences. Prior to the tour an engagement programme with drama + discussions forums took place with schools and community groups in September and October. Since then, the project has produced an innovative educational app, in the form of a digital graphic novel based on the original script, which will be freely downloadable for schools and the public, in autumn 2014.

Crows on the Wire is funded by the SEUPB Peace III Programme managed by Pobal.


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The Centre

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The Centre has a number of accessible and flexible spaces for hire and has played host to a wide range of uses from seminars, training sessions, presentations, board meetings, debates, drama, musical events, dance sessions, storytelling, wedding blessings and even the Northern Ireland Executive.


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