Presented by Rachel Toner our winner of £30 cash prize is Michael Kennedy with his poem 'The Last Child Married' in the Family Affairs theme.
Darren Rogan received the 'Highly commended certificate' with his poem 'Palestine' in the What Matters theme. Both poems included here. We wish to note Paula Craig's entry 'Life is a trial ' was a strong contender this month and well received by our audience.
Themes for March's competition; 1) Spring /Easter ( New life; Re birth)
2) Split milk (Accidents; regrets)
3) From Youth to Euthanasia
(We celebrate good health/ vitality yet expected to endure terminal illness).
'The Last Child Married' by Michael Kennedy.
'The Last Child Married'
Deeply grooved our hands
let slip the straining hawsers
Our little vessels sail away
Not yet fully crewed but captained and first mated.
Confident we have made them world worthy, life tight
Stocked the galleys
Provided maps and compass
Opened communication lines
Knowing ahead lie churning waters, rocks uncharted
And siren calls .
As the muscle memory of the tugging fades we fear
And pray the storm anchors hold.
IT'S A DISGRACE
'Palestine' by Darren Rogan.
It's a disgrace…, How are the Israelis allowed to wipe out an entire race,
While the World watches and turns away, ignoring innocent faces each and every day.
Surely there's something we all can do,
Shout to governments, who are clueless, oh it's true.
Safe places assigned, but not safe at all,
Palestinians herded, awaiting their fall.
Like cattle they're led, to meet their doom,
All they want is safety, not doom and gloom.
In the struggle, a flickering flame,
Hope persists, despite the shame.
From Gaza's shores to Jerusalem's gates,
Resilience endures, patiently waits.
Where are all the nations now, that have power to end, This madness, this sorrow, they could surely mend?
Media biased, their narratives spun, Al Jazeera reveals, the truth they shun.
Turn on the news, see the lies they impart,
Corrupt agendas, tearing souls apart.
And like we had never been away, January's Open Mic was filled with great talent from across several counties
and genres .
The house was full of anticipation for Conchur White's launch of his first solo album 'Swirling Violets'.
Hotly tipped for a big future in the music business by all the indi rock press, Conchur's request to launch in Abbey Lane OMN
was due to the welcome and enthusiasm our audiences show. We wish recently married Conchur all the best in his marriage
The Open Mic had poets, singers, storytellers and musicians filling the evening and starting with Mollie Maguire, poet; Tim Hanna, film review; Thomas Healy poetry and songs; Mark Brownlee, mental health odes from his recently launched debut book ' Manic'; Dennis McCloskey musician/ singer. After a short break for our famous raffle our Poetry competition winner was announced as Jay Rafferty with his entry 'The Blade' (Friendship topic) and highly commended Ellen McKenna with 'By the Sea' ( favorite walk). Both of these entries will be posted on our website.
Continuing the night Malachi read his now finished poem 'I can't resist a sausage'; Frances Lavery and Fergal Donnelly duetted beautifully with 'So here's to you'; Ellen McKenna poetry; Jay Rafferty poetry; Theo Sinton sang his own composition and
Willie Nelson's hits; Malachi read 'Invited for coffee' and Dymphna Ferran rounded of a super evening with jokes, yarns and her poem
in memorance of her Mum.
Thanks goes to all the helpers on the night who set up , helped at raffle, lights, sound and clearing up after. etc. Best wishes to Rachel
who is down with one of the many bugs..get well soon Rachel.
Our next Open Mic is February 23rd....short month folks and hope to see you there.
ATG's next production, 'Toxic Relationships' by Byddi Lee, will read tomorrow night (23rdJan)in Abbey Lane Theatre at
7.30pm. Under the directorship of Margery Quinn this production is to be performed in April and May @ Abbey Lane .
So if you are keen and able to commit to these dates a part may be there for you, drop in and see.
Our 2 T-Rex gives a godly preview of a scene from 'Toxic Relationships' recently in Dublin.
After a very successful run in 23' we are rolling out our FREE 30-3-30 poetry competition for this month's Open Mic on 26th January.
Only change is from a restrictive 30 word limit we are allowing your creative jucies up to 30 line limit. This could be 4 x7line stanza
or 6x5 line verses or whatever format you like but not more than 30 lines (standard A4 )
So to remind our poets 30 lines - 3 topics - £30 to winning poem.
This month's topics suggestions; 1) New Beginnings. 2) A favorite walk. 3) Friendship
Title your poem but do not sign your name on attachment.
Judges decision are final. Best wishes to all are entrants.
As we near the end of 2023 a look back on a very busy year for Armagh Theatre Group and Armagh Youth Theatre Group.
Estimated visitors to ATG/AYTG events; over 2650
Productions staged in Abbey Lane/ Market Place/ Dublin venues;
ATG's; My Brilliant Divorce 1 performance
ATG's 'Bleak Expections' 4 performances
AYTG; 'Treading the Boards' 2 performances
'Summer Scheme' 1 performance
' Dec term end show 1 performance
'Impact, Armagh's Train Disaster' 2 performances (MPT)
'Toxic Relationships' 3 performances (Dublin)
Rehearsals for all above smashed 70 sessions in 4 venues
Other activities at Abbey Lane and within group
Open Mic Nights for 2023' Community event 11
Poetry Work Shop for 'Creative Lives'
Marian Rafferty climbs Mount Kilimanjaro
Group trip; Patrick Kavanagh Centre
New storage space erected after the 'Moving stones' ceremony
Mark Brownlee's 'Manic' book launch
Looking forward to 2024. Rehearsals underway for 'Mini Plays' in January. Open Mic returns. AYTG classes returns.Byddi Lee's 'Toxic Relationships' begin rehearsals in February for April performances in Abbey Lane and high hopes for commencing the long delayed extension plans in spring. With a possible trip to Dingle Co Kerry with Byddi's play we have lots to keep us busy in 24'
Big thank you to all who were involved in any way to help us achieve so much as an amature drama group. Without you it would not have happened. We hope you have a peaceful and joyful Christmastime and New Year.
This week we broke new ground for the history books of Armagh Theatre Group by appearing in two venues on Wednesday and Thursday in Dublin City.
Firstly Byddi Lee's incisive new play on climate change 'Toxic Relationships' , which we have been rehearsing under the wonderful directorial eye of Margaret Marjoram, was featured as an excerpt reading in Aviva Stadium as part of the Sci-Com Communications Conference.
ATG were the only Drama group attending this vital climate focused event to show young scientists a novel , humorous way of educating audiences through drama. (Hand drawing by attendee while we performed was proof it worked)
Our second Dublin event was in the Teachers Club in Parnell Sq where we presented the first full reading of 'Toxic Relationships' to an enthralled audience.
The evening started with a workshop for students and teachers followed by a vegetarian buffet, hospitality of our hosts Oxfam/ Comhlamh. A packed enthuastic theatre were entertained by ATG members and responded with cheers, boos, laughter and applause throughout the performance.
The warmth of the response to the reading was heartfelt by actors, Margaret Marjoram producer and writer Byddi Lee .
Thank you to Oxfam and Comhlamh for all their hospitality and welcome .
The stage is waiting for you to get up and entertain.
Tomorrow night in Abbey Lane Theatre's famous Open Mic we have special singing guest Colm Gavin all the way from Dublin, we will have a local World record holder and sell-out author, we will have poetry, songs, music and craic all evening for a massive cover charge of £5..... Dont miss the surprizes, the raffle, launch of our new Poetry Competition for 2024, and our famous welcome to all who come along. Limited space so dont leave it too late!
Went to see 'Impact" last night. Excellent. A very important play informing a new audience of the horrendous railway accident. The topic was handled sensitively and acted well. I was in the upper gallery and heard all. Using the guide and tourists at the statue was a very good way to start the play. The scene with children dancing as angels was very poignant. Reading out the names was also an emotional piece of drama and by making it the first list of 30 or so deaths it didn’t take too long. The full list of names at the end with music was again very well done and a tribute to those lives lost. I’m sure lots of relatives must have brought their own stories to you after seeing the play. Well done to Byddi, Malachi and you for taking on the research and writing and producing the play.
Never write reviews but felt strongly to let you all know that I took my 2 daughters to see Impact last night in Armagh. Wow wow wow what a performance of such a tragedy we were all blown away and enjoyed learning so much about it, soo well written and acted out, huge huge credit to you all super well done, we all look forward to seeing you on the stage again!