Tartan adorned the tables and the sweet smell of Haggis filled the air in Abbey Lane Theatre as our Open Mic/ Burn’s night got underway.
The Saltier flag rippled on the screen as the Proclaimers ‘walked 500miles’ then forgot something and had to walk back ‘500 more’. After a short biography from
MC Malachi, our mystery piper struck up ‘Oh flower of Scotland’ and the vegetarian Haggis was served with glee to all in attendance!
Peter Kelly commenced the entertainment with a rendition of Burns’ Peggy Gordon. Kevin Mc Eneaney recited ‘Sweet Afton’ and duet with Peter on ‘Marie’s Wedding’ with great gusto.
Our first guest Karen Mooney from Moira read her own poem ‘A tribute to Rabbie Burns’...... then Pat Fairon took the class with the Lost Vocabulary of Ulster Scots pertaining to Burns’ era.
His well constructed flash cards tested the knowledge and memory of the pang’ fu d (crammed) audience. Not a pechin (cough) nor pluff (short, sharp breath) was heard from his attentive class.
Our Burns’ section was rounded off by Mark Brownlee reciting ‘Ae fond kiss’ a favourite of Burns aficionados.
The regular Open Mic got underway with the amazing Cathy Carson. What a talent this lady is, a great writer and actor with a delivery that stops a room.
Her two pieces, ‘Wake up call’ and ‘November Sun’ had the audience spellbound and will live on in the memory of great moments at these Open Mic’s.
Dymphna got the short straw as she had to follow Cathy, but no other could do it better, with her poem where she weaved the unlikely combination of ‘Donald where’s your trousers?’ and Brexit!
A new face to Abbey Lane is Stephen Edwards on guitar who sang Neil Young’s ‘The damage done’. Karen Mooney gave us her incisive poem ‘ A More Sustainable Future’ a metaphor of present day life
cleverly set in a garden. Michael Callaghan then had us all singing along ‘She’s my girl, she’s my world’.
Jack Watson, another welcome new comer, gave us Cassius’ speech from Julius Caesar. Delivered with aplomb, this young actor from Armagh captivated the room with his performance.
Regular contributor, Thomas Healy, came to the stage with a poem and song. This young man’s writing and voice are going from strength to strength. Malachi rounded of the night with his story
‘A hell of a Day in Heaven’ a very true, funny story of his ordeal in the Mournes with a Perfect Modern Family!
Thanks are due to all who helped out Monique, Felim jr, Peter, Colin, Aisling and Bridie. The more hands the easier the task.
Which reminds me of our new competition ‘Family saying and quotes’. This is where we stop for a moment and all have a chat about old saying that yourself or your family or friends used.
Some appropriately from Robbie Burns himsel started the conversation. Tonight’s winners were Marie Crowley and Pat Fairon. But I think all of us were winners tonight as the entertainment was 1st class.
Next date Feb 22nd and our guests are ‘Dirty Words’ aka Colin Hassard vocals , Ashley Manners guitar and Seonaid Murray sax . A selection of songs and poems from ..’’Two of the best on today’s scene’’NI Poetry News.
A very happy, artistic and peaceful New Year to all. This is another big year for Armagh Theatre Group as we mark 53 years tramping the boards, 4years of our ever popular Open Mic's and our planned extension of Abbey Lane.
We start our Open Mic's on Burns Night this year. So we will feature some of the Scottish bard's work and songs. We will have a new in house competition with sponsored prizes from some of the biggest business in Armagh, like the Dole, Education and Health boards...
We welcome all artists to the stage. poets, writers, singers, musicians and codologists to try their work in front of a friendly and appreciative audience. Come along and enjoy the craic, the company and the magic atmosphere of Abbey Lane.
Pablo Doherty kicked off our last Open Mic of 2018 in great style. Our guest Poet from the shores of Lough Neagh near Lurgan fitted in his energetic performance while also being the taxi driver for his son who played at Holme Park the same evening. It's how busy Daddy/Poets juggle opportunities and parental duties these days. In a twenty minute slot he managed to touch on just about every subject from Family life to Brexit to Sport and even a mention of Santa! On twenty one minutes he grabbed his bag and coat and bolted out the door waving a farewell to all. The son's team were beaten but Pablo was on a high from staring in Abbey Lane. Well done Pablo!
We also had great contributions from Hilary Good, Michael O'Callaghan,Rachel Toner before the break. Afterwards Armagh Ukelele Jam and T J Smart nearly stole the show with our night's MC Felim Rafferty finding difficulity getting them stopped. Dymphna Ferran, Tim Hanna Joe Mc Cool and Malachi all with stories and poetry. We then had a very sad announcement by Felim saying the famous Limerick Laugh's competition and the Appulse Meter would be put to bed tonight. The winner in a very close run event, picked totally by random (reverse alphabetic order) was Tim.
The Management will be working to publish a booklet of Limericks featured in the three years of the compo and have it for sale as a fund raiser to the new extension......watch this space. Thanks to all our contributors and guests over the year and all being well we'll see you back on 25th Jan 2019! Merry Xmas and Happy New Year from all at Armagh Theatre Group.
So we will finally see the back of a historic, iconic,ironic, sardonic,ascerbic and at times comic competition. A competition whose winners wavered between the ages of twelve and eighty. A competition which drew people from as far as Belfast and Belcoo to win its world renowned prizes...not to mention the kudos gained by having this on your curriculum vitae. 'And winner of ATG's OMN LLC for the month of November 2018 is...'
One could dine out on this for years. There was a wee Woman from... ah! the memories.
THE FINAL LIMERICK LAUGHS ON 30TH NOV. THEME 'CHRISTMAS' ''THERE WAS A WEE MAN AT CHRISTMAS'' your first line.
See hilarious scenes from our recent one act's in Abbey Lane by kind permission of Felim Rafferty Jr. Good work Felim!
Go to; You Tube , Felim Rafferty Jr: and see 'Someone to talk to' & 'The Happy Journey to Trenton' Please like or comment.
Cast of 'The Happy Journey' by Thornton Wilder; Emily-Jane Conway as 'Caroline' and debutant Liam Loughran as 'Arthur' and Lily-Rose Conway as 'Beulah. Parents Bridie Heaney as 'Ma Kate' and Malachi Kelly as 'Da Elmer' and Tim Hanna as 'Stage Manager.' Producer Felim Rafferty, Lights/sounds John Perry
Many thanks to Felim Rafferty Jnr for putting together these clips of rehearsals and performances of 'The Happy Journey'...Enjoy.
We end this year's sessions of Open Mic's next week, 30th Nov. Over the course of the year we have had great entertainment from all our contributors. Those brave souls who find themselves standing on stage, behind the Mic. Or sitting on the famous painted chair and giving us their 'all'.
To our guest artists throughout the months, to the JHISS and the now famous July Open Mic, but especially all our supporters and contributors who reguarly fill Abbey Lane on the last Friday's to launch into poetry, stories, song,music and written. Mainly because of an enthusiasm,a burning desire to entertain, and be entertained....THANK YOU.
We finish the year, as we started in January with Mel McMahon, by welcoming another poet from Lurgan, spoken word artist Pablo Doherty. Like Mel Paul's work shows incisiveness of the world we live in delivered with humour and fun. So, usual warning of limited seats, nibbles and wine but unlimited talent!
Pablo's window https://www.facebook.com/pabloshoutingatthesea/.
We will take this opportunity to wish all our supporters and friends the best of the coming season! (there now, ive said it)
Armagh Theatre Group’s Autumn production is a double header of One Act plays, brought to its own Abbey Lane Theatre in Armagh, on Thursday 15, Friday 16 and Saturday 17 November 2018 at 8pm
Someone To Talk To by Michael Judge is an ensemble production with Pat McNally, Madeleine Kelly, Margery Quinn and Malcolm Dawson. In the format of an unconventional radio play reading!
Two sisters living alone decide to take in a lodger to have “someone to talk to” but be careful what you wish for………………!
Originally cast with the late, and much missed, Una Boylan, ATG are certain she would be delighted that the show is “going on”.
The Happy Journey by Thornton Wilder, produced by Felim Rafferty, is a simple tale. A father, mother and two of their three children drive from Newark, New Jersey to Camden to visit their married daughter. Their journey is punctuated by talk, laughter, memories (some mundane, some happy, some painful), and appreciation of the Now – ham and eggs, flowers, family, sunsets and the joy of being alive. In this family drama, nothing much happens-and yet everything important happens. As Ma Kirby says, “There’s nothin’ like bein’ liked by your family.””
A cast of youth (Lily Conway, Emily Conway & Liam Loughran) combine with older fare (Bridie Heaney, Malachi Kelly & Tim Hanna) in a bitter sweet “road trip” across the America of the 1920’s.
Don’t miss this great night’s entertainment in Armagh’s little gem theatre.