Ballycastle, we’re coming to town!

Ballycastle, we’re coming to town!

Ballycastle is hosting one of our Creative Shops in Feb-March 20, and we couldn’t be in a more beautiful bustling north coast town!

A Creative Shop is about everybody – and anything (well, almost anything). It’s open (pop in a say hello, tell us a story or two), its always free, yep, free! And mostly, its about finding the creativity of a place and putting that on show – colour, craic, creative, community. Come in and talk to the artists.

We’ve had Creative Shops in Enniskillen, Omagh, Portstewart, Dungiven, Strabane, Newry, Carrickfergus, Magherafelt, Bushmills, Cushendall, Banbridge … we’ve been all over. Most places, we’ve returned to either with another shop or a totally different project.

We’ve had drama groups, open mics, storytelling, dance performances, young bands and not so young bands, open jams, slime making, window theatre, invisible theatre, puppets, yoga, quote walls, book swaps, book launches, poetry nights, power knitting (?), film nights, longest ghost story in the world, local photo exhibitions, poetry, Japanese tea ceremonies – once, we even did a dog beauty contest. (That was weird..) We’ve had schools, older people’s groups, youth clubs, drama groups, writers groups, knitting groups, historical groups all take part.

But as well as all that, Ballycastle has a special heritage project called Small Worlds, which we’ll also run form the shop, with hopefully lots of help from Ballycastle people.

Small Worlds will make a model building of the current museum – which used to be the old courthouse upstairs, and the market downstairs from 1735. Through each of the windows of the model, you will see small films telling stories from the courthouse and market back in history! The research and writing will be by Claire Savage. The films will be made by Conor Edgell – an amazing film maker from Ballycastle ( – and hopefully, some of them will star – you!! If you know any history about the building or actually, a good yarn is better, or you fancy a film role, step into the Creative Shop and make history!!

The history of the market charts the transformation of Ballycastle from a small fishing port into the most important industrial centre of the north coast, within a generation, and the role played by the town in the growing Irish industrial economy. The records of the Petty Sessions Court reveal how local life, with all its squabbles, minor nuisances and personal tragedies, was played out. Together they offer a wealth of material to create visual images and characterful stories which offer a unique insight into the social history of the era.

The installation will initially be displayed in Ballycastle Museum and from there it can be used as an interactive resource and taken to schools/residential homes/businesses and tourist information centres to extend the reach of the project.

The best Creative Shops are led by the communities that host them. Use the Ballycastle Creative Shop Facebook page (link) to give us your ideas and get involved – better still keep an eye on opening hours for the shops and call in.

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Big Telly Theatre Company c/o Flowerfield Arts Centre, 185 Coleraine Road, Portstewart, BT55 7HU

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