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A great 'turn out' for our guest artist Trish Bennett and all our contributors made for another wonderful night in Abbey Lane.

Many thanks to Trish travelling all the way from Co.Fermanagh/Leitrim border to give Armagh a taste of her undoubted talents in the ''oul' poetry and storytelling game''. Other contributors to thank on the night Peter Kelly with his 1st anniversary  tribute to Una Boylan recalling some of the pieces she performed at our 'Poem and Pints nights' of the 70' and 80's. Una is still sorely missed. Tim Hanna presented work 'Zero some game' from Byddi Lee's writing classes as did Malachi with 'Return journey'. Joe Mc Ginley poem 'Do I really need to know!' had the crowd agreeing on its sentiment that social media just gives TOO MUCH information.

Ann Gilmartin's story of the Unhappy King was listened to attentively as was Maria Mc Gilly's take on British politics and B...xit. Andrew McMurdie sang 'Mr Tambourine Man' and was encouraged to sing again with 'You are my Sunshine' too rapturous applause. His new CD will be launched in May.

Dymphna as usual brought the proceeding to new levels with her funny poem '50 shades of Grey'. Mark Brownlee poem 'Dream Man'  a humurous take on the perfect partner and Michael O'Callaghan regaled us with 'She's my girl she's my world'.

The VERY  popular competition 'Family and Local Sayings' was well received dispite organized hacklers demanding the return of 'Limerick Laugh's'  Surprise gifts were presented on the audience's Ayes or Nays...the ayes have it!

Best sayings of the night...Braziel family input ''If you'd open your eyes as wide as your mouth...'' ''if his brains were elastic they would stretch round a sparrows knee cap'' '' it will happen when there's two moons in the sky and one in the dungel'' advice ''if you fall don't wait to get up'' and ''I'm going up the stairs to throw my head down for half an hour''...afternoon nap!  NEXT OPEN MIC 26TH APRIL. See you there! Thanks to all who  helped on the night and Felim for photos.

 

 

 

We all have listened to parents and grandparents describing or explaining things and situations in colourful and humorous ways. Now with the influence of texting and social media these sayings are in danger of disappearing. So we are starting a revival at the OPEN MIC NIGHT's and from Fri a super prize for the best old saying is on offer.

My own Mother often said ''I'm going upstairs to throw my head down for half an hour'' We all knew what she meant (an afternoon nap) but taking it literally paints a whole different picture. Get thinking and raise your hand to tell us your family sayings this Friday 29th 8pm Abbey Lane Theatre.....Guest poet Trish Bennett who I'm sure will have some of her own.

The main attraction of Abbey Lane's Open Mic Night's is not the hospitality or the atmosphere or the ridiculous entrance fee of £5 (and free wine) BUT the sheer eclectic mix that can be experienced on one evening. Last Friday was such an evening, with 2 bands 2 celebrated poets, accordian player, story tellers, birthday celebrations and an Septuagenarian comedienne from Dungannon.

Guest artists 'Dirty Words' fronted by Colin Hassard (poet) were Seonaid Murray (sax) Ashley Manners acoustic  guitar played from their new cd 'age of microwave dinner'. Tim confessed to aged criminalization in his story and Anne recited a beautiful poem. Second half started with the memorable Cathy Carson and her riviting story 'Ready' , Fionnuala with her caring poem,Mickey on accordian and some beautiful slow airs,back for a solo run Colin Hassard with new poems never before heard....brilliant. David Brazil (renowned poet and back for a welcome visit) regaled us with his incise and humorous verse. Next up Armagh Ukelele Jam (who can be heard in Dobbin Centre every Wed evening praticing) had us all singing along. Then we ended the evening with Dymphna and some jookes that cant be repeated here. Great night and great audience. Next Open MIC March 29th.......dont miss!

 

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.

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 folks.......next 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 tomorrow....no not tomorrow  Stars of today!