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The Insider

RETIRED international Shay Given led the troops into new party venue Madison over the weekend.

The ex-Ireland footballer, who plays for Aston Villa, enjoyed a quiet drink with pal Mark Devlin in the new Wicklow Street haunt on Friday night. He also met up with his good pal, Westlife star Shane Filan and wife Gillian.

Also spotted in Madison was model Karena Graham as well as Corrie actress Nikki Sanderson and Georgia Salpa, who was with her boyfriend Joe Penna.

www We'll have some acting royalty in our midst next month when the award-winning actor John Hurt comes to Dublin.

The Oscar-nominee and Alien actor will be treading the boards in the Gate Theatre after signing on to appear in its production of Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape. Directed by Michael Colgan, the production received rave reviews State-side.

Running for just 10 performances from Tuesday, March 19, he'll play the part of Krapp, who marks the occasion of his 69th birthday by revisiting his 39-year-old self via a birthday tape recording.

Tickets are expected to sell like proverbial hot cakes.

• American singer/ songwriter Bruno Mars, inset, will be bringing his world tour to Irish shores this autumn.

The singer recently confirmed dates for his Moonshine Jungle World Tour which will kick off in June 22 in Washington 22.

The Locked Out Of Heaven crooner will then start the European leg of his tour with a night in Belfast on October 2 before he takes to the stage at the O2 Dublin the following night. It's hard to believe that this time last year, he was performing to audiences in the much smaller venue of the Olympia Theatre before the success of his debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Tickets go on sale from Friday.

• After a long sabbatical, the critically acclaimed Alone It Stands is returning to the Olympia Theatre for a limited run.

The curtain will rise on the play tomorrow. John Breen's tale features just six actors taking on an impressive 62 roles. It tells the story of how Munster Rugby played and beat the almighty New Zealand All Blacks in 1978. Tickets priced €20 on sale now.

• Meanwhile, the red carpet will be rolled out at the Bord Gais Theatre next month for an entirely different production, Swan Lake On Ice.

A host of familiar faces will be heading to the venue on Tuesday, March 5 for the opening night of the show from the Imperial Ice Stars, who are coming to Ireland for the first time.

The show will star the talented Olga Sharutenko, who TV fans will recognise from Dancing On Ice.