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This month's OMN in Abbey Lane has firmly established itself as the John Hewitt Fringe event in only its second year. With the continued support of local talent and the injection of visiting artists attending the 'Hewitt' we were spoilt with wonderful original writing, music, poetry, songs and stories throughout the evening. From the wonderful Mother and Son duo of Joan and Mark Clendenning to the youthful Eva Powell who won our Limerick Laughs competition and ran off with the first prize of an Embers Restaurant meal voucher. Many thanks to John, proprietor, for the donation. The night got of to a great start when Pat and Aidan Prunty along with Joe McCool on whistle played  a traditional sailing set. Other contributors were Dymphna Ferran (original poetry)Crystal Campbell ( Ukulele and original song) Thomas Healy( original poetry)Malachi ('Armagh and what about your Da') Peter ( songs and guitar)Paul Carson (prose European cities)Jimmy Rafferty (Bard of Armagh)Caren Blayney (original poetry) Eric Greaves and Pat Prunty (trad mandolin/bodhran music),  Finbar Magee (performance poetry and Bard)Thomas Eillott (Belfast story original) Raquel McKee (original rap about Jamaican spuds) #see video. Yvonne Boyle (original poetry) Stephen Buggy (original short story in heraldry prose)and Ingrid Casey (original poetry. Peter wrapped up the full night with a couple of singalong songs that had the rafters rocking. HOW MUCH WOULD A NIGHT LIKE THIS BE? £5 inc wine and nibbles!!!!!

NB; Next Open Mic will not be till September 29th. So keep the pen to paper and remember everyone has a story to tell. Thanks again to all who came, it's you make the night memorable.

The rapper SFJ previously known Rafferty.

The real Rapper Raquel McKee (One potato two potato)

Yvonne Boyle ( poet)

Eric Greaves and Pat Prunty

Thomas Eillott (poet and storyteller)

Full house again at Abbey Lane.


Troubadour Peter


The young talent on show last Friday night at the OMN brilliantly entertained the audience with their 'take' on Beauty and the Beast. Spotlight Dance and Drama school  have developed these young actors/dancers in their stage art to a very high standard and we in Abbey Lane certainly seen the future stars of acting and dance in Armagh. The future looks bright. Well done to Joanne Mullen and her cast for putting on a great show at very short notice. Congratulations and thanks to all involved.

Our rather more mature contributors took to the stage and this month we were regaled by Dymphna (original poetry), Peter (the steam trap),Tim (Limerick Laughs), Joe (Trad Scottish song) ,Roisin (poem) Kevin Groogan (Guitar & songs),Liz (song)Malachi (original poetry and stories)Mark (song) Liz &Kevin duo, Peter &Pat duo.

Malachi had a short history on Francis Ledwidge poet ( centenary anniv) Limerick Laughs won hands down by Dymphna, see OMN section for winning contribution.

next date 29th July will be in association with John Hewitt Summer School..... start time moved to 9PM for this month. Big crowd expected so getherearly!

. Open Mic Night will take a break in August but will be back in September

After a recent first showing of Armagh Theatre of Group's DVD of 'Our Town ' in a packed and enthusiastic Abbey Lane we can announce that copies of the DVD can be purchased from MUSIC WORLD in Abbey Lane. Featuring speeches from Seamus Mallon (MP) who was the groups' Producer when it was first staged in the 60's and from the recently deposed ArmaghBanbridgeCraigavon Mayor Garath Keating, with a moving acknowledgement to Fiona Hughes (RIP).


DVD's cost £3 each or 2 for£5. Those who pre- ordered  can get copies of  the limited stock!!!!! from John in Music World, Abbey Lane, Armagh. 


OUR TOWN Cast and Choir (Oh the memories!)

In the clammy heat of an early Armagh summer, with temperatures in their mid 20's the open doors of Abbey Lane Theatre allowed the sweet sound of famous Scottish airs to float into the City's skies as Kirsty McMullen gave a wonderful rendition of famous tunes from across the Irish Sea. Robbie Burns songs like' My luve is like a Red Red Rose', 'Auld lang Syne' along with 'Scotland the Brave' had the audience foot tapping and singing along. To Charles Neville (Ulster Scots Community Network Development Officer) who gave us an insight into the Network's achievements and aims and Kirsty (Enagh Rural Development Association Markethill) a big thank you. We also had our Limerick Laughs competition which was won, on countback, by Dymphna who was delighted with her first prize. These great efforts will be on our Open Mic Night section of the website. Next months subject will be 'Politicians ' and I'm sure we have some lovely things to say about that lot! Remember you too could win some brilliant prizes on the night. To all  who came along and those who took part on the night a BIG THANK YOU.They are, Bridie (original poem), Paddy ( song/guitar) : Limerick Laughs competition featuring Bridie, Aisling, Felim Jnr, Dymphna x2, Malachi, John and William. We continued our night with Ann's (Cuban poem)Thomas (song/guitar), Dymphna ( ,Gammy Knee' org poem), Malachi (story), Felim( poem) Joan (song) Paddy, Thomas, Malachi and finished with Claudia singing Cathy's Song. Great night once again, next OMG JUNE 30TH. 



Wonderful pictures from ' Slices of Life' production with thanks to Mary McKenna .

Helena Rafferty and Dessie Crilly.

EmilyJane Conway and Kevin McEneaneny

Marcella and Connell McBride

Aileen Conway

Some brilliant moments of Drama from Armagh Theatre Group captured by Conor at our 'Slices of Life' production directed by Kevin McEneaney in Abbey Lane Theatre.

More images to follow.......well done everybody!

We had a great response to our first Limerick Laughs competition during the OMNight  Friday last. Well done to all who participated either in writing their own or reading from originals supplied by management. During the voting procedure which was hotly contested, there was evidence of VEVO (vote early vote often) syndrome and GM (Gerry Meandering) similar to Gerrymandering only some of the audience moved around to vote for every entrant. In the end we got the same split decision as with Stormont elections, no clear winner and a three way tie had to be declared to keep the peace. Those at the top of the pile Dymphna Ferran, Josh Trotter and our own Heaney poet Bridie. See our Open Mic Night section for these wonderful pieces of poetry. Thanks and congratulations to all the other contributors on the night, Malachi (original poem) Adam (Epic stories, jokes and big, big lies), Dymphna (Original humorous rhymes) Limericks round1, Tim (real estate advice of the last century) Peter (troubadour),Limericks R2, Kevin (Lovers soliloquy) Ann (storytelling) Malachi ( poetic advice to ABC councils)Limericks final including rows & ructions, Josh and Adam (peoples opera),Peter (singsong), and finally Dymphna( The tie). Next OMN on 26th May and our Limericks subjects will be 'Teachers' or 'Veggies'. REMEMBER THE GREAT PRIZES ON OFFER!

A rehearsed reading of 'The Good Humour Club' was performed in our theatre on Thursday night last to a packed house of loyal supporters and friends gathered to witness this unique event. Set in a meeting room above 'The Hole in the Wall' pub of the 17th century, the experienced cast (representing centuries of dramatic knowhow), regaled us with witticisms and language of the period with consummate ease. Congratulations to the facilitators Wheelworks & Dept for Communities who partnered this production.




Some of the brave souls from Armagh Theatre Group, lead by the ever colourful Peter Kelly, took 'Dean Swift' on a tour of Armagh City during this years' St Patrick's Day Parade.


The first recipient of Armagh Theatre Group's Fiona Hughes Memorial Cup for most promising newcomer in this year's Portadown Drama Festival was Elizabeth Weir from 'Rosemary Players' Belfast for her portrayal of Maeve in 'Blue Stockings' by Jessica Swale. Congratulations Elizabeth, may this mark the start of a wonderful acting career. A fitting holder of what will surely become a prized acknowledgement of young talent within amateur drama circles.


Fiona Hughes RIP 2016