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A full evening of wonderful entertainment was enjoyed at a packed Abbey Lane Open Mic Night last Friday.

With 'Women Aloud NI' headlining our evening, it made  our new MC, Tim Hanna's debut, easy peasy.

Doreen Mc Bride, Csilla Toldy, Cathy Cole, Ann Mc Master and Byddi Lee rocked the place. Well done girls and come back anytime.

Other contributors Eugene Greene,

Again a packed 'Abbey Lane' were royally entertained during our September Open Mic Night. This evening was split into 3 sections with our invited guest poet- Colin Hassard- starting off by testing out new material on the audience and ending as a modern singing bard  playing guitar to rapturous applause at the end of his set.


Next up we had Claudia Clendenning singing beautifully 'The first time ever I saw your face' & 'Cant help falling in love'. Tim got the short straw to follow Claudia and did very well with his sleeping advice 'sort of poem'. Dymphna assisted to the stage by her young,strong male helper got stuck in with her view of RHI debacle. Joe McCool told us the story of his beloved primus stove with great flare and a bag full of props. Peter Kelly read the North and South, the East and West, the Up's and Down's of Irish politics with great aplomb. The surprise of the night was Andy Summons from NASHVILLE USA who after an impromptu rehearsal with Marty Rafferty in the courtyard came in and  sang G Brooks's 'To make you feel my love'. Liz finished off the Open section with a wonderful melody of classic country songs with all singing along. Thank you to all.

Limerick laughs and Brexit subject was won on the last applause by Granny Dymps (Prosecco), second Tim(meal for 2 in a pk of custard creams) and Thrid JoeMcGinley for a birthday present and a 2 euro coin (when I find it).

Well done everyone who entered.

We finished the night by introducing Derrynoose singer sonwriter Ronan Finnegan, singer Nicola, Anthony whistle and percussion accompanied by Connell, Eoin and Marty from Rafferty School of Music. The band sang 4 song from the pen of Ronan leaving the new and only (we were told) Monaghan anthem to last. This got immediate approval from the one man Monaghan contingent, Kevin, and finished a great night on a high.

Thanks to all who attended and those who helped out on the night NEXT DATE 26th October. C U then.

Remember folks there will be no Open Mic this Friday 31st August... (TONIGHT)!

Apologies to all our faithful followers but the need to re-charge the batteries  becomes essential at this time of year.

So  our next date is SEPTEMBER 28TH when we have Poet Colin Hassard appearing as part of his Northern Ireland tour of his Spoken word/ music album. Colin is recent runner up in Seamus Heaney Award with his poem 'A storm will come' and featured on Radio Ulster this week. This will be the only Co Armagh venue Colin will perform his work....definately a date for your diaries.

Also the usual stories, poetry, songs, yarns , music, prizes, competitions,nibbles, wine,and the odd TEA. FOR £5!

None tonight date September 28th!

With punters sitting on the stairway and by the open doorways, Abbey Lane was bursting at the seams last night for this John Hewitt International Summer School Open Mic Night special. The later start time of 9pm allowed our regulars to get seated before the students arrived down from Marketplace Theatre and we weren't disappointed. We are constantly surprised by the writing talent and entertainers we have in our mist which reinforces the need for an outlet such as Armagh Theatre Group and Abbey Lane Theatre.

Yvonne Boyle' Coleraine poet.

Last nights' stars were; Marguerite singing 'My Father's house':Tim with his second World Cup story (from Donegal):Michael Callaghan, song; Malachi, poem The Grave problem; Thomas playing guitar/singing; Trish Bennett poetic teenage memories and some more mature: Dennis McArdle singing 'Clady's sour milk cart';Richard O'Leary's story of his Chinese adventures: Peter singing/guitar 'Orange Maid of Sligo' and Croppy Boy' Yvonne Boyle poetry inc 'My beautiful hands'; Kate McGrail singing ; Thomas on Flute and poetry; Peter with 'That's Amore'; Kate with 'Boys from the Co Armagh'; Byddi Lee story 'Cooking a chicken in Paris' Gaynor Kane poetry of her Superhero Nephew, and Michael Callaghan sang us out with 'Eileen good night'

Kate Mc Grail sings 'The Boy's from the Co Armagh'

Our Limerick Laughs competition won by Byddi Lee while ridiculing a ''difficult first line''; Thanks to Tim, Bridie, Yvonne,Aisling/ Roisin, and an email entry from Patrica Gibson which came second .....last!

Special thanks and acknowledgement of the kind words from Karen Mooney, poet, on her welcome and hospitality she has received from the Armagh people during the John Hewitt week. NB, Karen.

Armagh Stars of not tomorrow  Stars of today!


Tin Man enters under the Rainbow

Four packed houses as Spotlight Studios presents Wizard of Oz in Abbey Lane Theatre over the weekend. See here a transformed forecourt as the audience are kept outside till a Munchkin peers over the 'City Gates' and invites the eager crowds to enter. Shows by 2 dozen 5-7yr olds and 20+ from 8 -young teens strutted their stuff on our stage. Drama in Armagh has just got a big transfusion of new blood for a bright future.


First line....... 'There was a wee woman called June'

5 lines , first two and last rhyme, middle two rhyme with each other.

Really really good prizes this month HONEST. Everyone will get a chance to win if they have a Limerick!

Keeping the wheels of Drama moving through productions at Armagh Theatre Group is an on going procedure. Their inception, or conception, more than often comes in the form of one of our regular reading nights the most recent which was Tuesday past. Yes, at times eveyone involved in a production  often feels that sence of expection and worry, like new parents, as we approach the 'birthing' date. The staging of a new production.

We read 'London Vertigo' by B Freil  set as a period farce (Hilarious) ; 'The car journey' by Thornton Wilder (Our Town) a moving one act that we all can relate to. Also 'The Donahue Sisters' by Geraldine Aron another one act,

very funny with an unexpected shocking twist!

There on the night, Claire, Bridie, Goretti, Malcolm, Tim, Maria, Byddi, Felim. Also Paul Mc, Malachi and Aideen not in pic). Thanks to all for coming along. Next readings will be in June. KEEP EYE ON WEBSITE FOR DATE.


 IMG 1662

Una Boylan joined Armagh Theatre Group soon after its foundation in 1966 and quickly became an essential part of the group right up to 2018.  Her last performance on stage in 2016 was in 'Two's' and she was scheduled to take part in a comedy this Autumn, to be held  in her beloved Abbey Lane Theatre.  

Given her dynamic personality she held positions on committee from: Vice-Chair, Chair and President and while acting and producing plays, she raised the necessary funds to keep us afloat through decades of raffles.

Her enthusiasm was infectious and she never stopped recruiting to the ranks at every opportunity. Dozens of young and not so young actors got their 'break' on stage due to  her cajoling and encouragement. 

Amagh Theatre Group will forever be indebted to her drive, enthusiasm and good humour in her efforts to bring live drama to the people of Armagh. During the time when violence and disturbances were daily occurrences she, along with others in Armagh Theatre Group provided a vital cross-community group for drama, resulting in the vibrant Drama and Arts community that continues to blossom in Armagh City today.