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A couple of months ago at our Open Mic a 10yrs old girl  came in with her Granddad and put her name down to sing.

Thinking she might not be able to stay long and maybe a bit nervous I asked her if she'd want to go on first. 

''No'' she said ''I'll go on last''.  That night Heidi Mackey entertained us royally singing hits from the musicals.

I knew then she would make a terrific 'Girl in Green' for our up coming Impact production. 

As a member of Spotlight Studios Dance and Drama classes she did not disappoint and along with the rest of the children

from Caleigh's Choreography  stole the show on each performance. 

Last in our 'Introductions to cast' BUT certainly not least we welcome Heidi Mackey.

All any talent needs is an opportunity to shine. 

ATG are giving that chance through its writings, productions and Open mic nights throughout the years..

Erin, Jessica and Scarlette have grabbed this opportunity to perform to live audiences after weeks of rehearsals under the tutelage of our producer Margery Quinn.

Their enthusiasm is affective and along with Caleigh's dancers and our newly formed Youth Group have revitalised the whole Theatre Group .

Amature drama in Armagh is in good hands.

 

We are proud to welcome back Conor V Egan (the V stands for Virtuoso) after his memorable romp in long johns during 

our production of 'Good Things' in 2018. Partnering Joe (Peter Kelly) as his mate Pat their scenes are full of pathos and honesty.

Although Thomas Healy is a regular face at our Open Mic over the past few years, he will be a new face to

our drama audiences. Multi talented musician and poet, Thomas has recently turned his hand to the acting stage 

and has developed his 'Dublin Harry' character into a memorable part. Depicting the town knowall who revels in bad news 

he is first to tell of the crash to town folk.

The stationmaster on the day of the tragedy John Foster facilitated the oversell of tickets for the excursion. 

Whether through a lack of backbone in not managing the number of passangers ,or a misplaced loyalty to make more money for the GNR (or himself)

his remiss in not informing Dundalk depot of the increase in numbers was a major element in the terrible loss of life.

David O'Toole has recognised these possible failures in  Foster's character and plays them with conviction.

 

One of the many elder statesmen within the ranks of Armagh Theatre Group, Peter Kelly brings a lifetime of experience and craft

on to any stage he graces. Effortlessly taking on roles, he now plays Joe McGee (father of injured Peggy)

who escapes from the turmoil at home walking the quiet streets with his mate Pat (Conor V Egan) and calling in to the 'local' 

 

Impact in verse ....continued

The Railway Act was ammended, some regulations tightened up

Allowing recognition for children to drink from the compensation cup.........

Our town was changed forever as generations stayed silent in grief

Now it;s IMPACT told to those young and old with an air of disbelief.   

 

Written by M Kelly  (Impact in verse)

 

 

Marie Claire Guy's artistic lineage is strong and varied. From painting and choral singing to acting and law her talents are used daily.

One could judge her as an all rounder, a walking versatility. Along with her spouce Charlie this loving duo feature strongly in our cast of Impact.

Marie Claire  plays Alice, a crash survivor, who's recalls her experiences of the day and its tragic aftermath.

Impact in verse...continued

Inspectors, lawyers and judges, to the highest of government clout

Scamper for a scape goat- to find an established way out....continued

 

 

The driver of the 'regular' train to Newry Patrick Murphy was hailed as a hero in his efforts to curtail his train's

impact on the runaway carriages. Although surviving the crash he died within the year from what we now know as PTSD.

Mark Brownlee, a regular at our OMNights with his incisive poetry, plays Murphy once again with equal directness.

Impact in verse...continued

An inquiry,a court and inquest as fingers are pointed for blame

The driver,stationmaster and Company all hang their heads in shame.

 

This year we formed Armagh Youth Theatre Group to offer teenagers the opportunity to develope the basic skills 

of the stage through weekly classes in Abbey Lane Theatre. Tutors, Aisling Kelly and Adam Trotter have an exciting 

programme in place leading to a performance by the youth group in Abbey Lane this coming spring.

'Impact' director Margery Quinn suggested using the group in her production after attending the classes and seeing the students enthusiasm.

So earlier than expected they will be on stage, this coming week, for 4 performances in front of packed audiences....what an experience!

IMPACT in verse: continued

The trains impact at frightening speed,steam and screams as babies cry

Clouds of smoke for the town to see rising with the souls that die.

Now bells ring out their clarion call and a town responds post haste

But as losses grow, eyes do flow for such a human waste......to continue

Goretti Moore brings all her years of stage craft to this lead  role of Mrs McGee the mother of Peggy injured

in the crash.

 

IMPACT; in verse continued.

Hurtling to their destiny in this panicked prison of wood

Ten wagons full of humanity praying where ever they stood.

Shouts of 'Help!'  confusion and fear from those securely locked in

Children thrown from windows on the sound of the 'Regular's' whistling.

Miss Penn, the inquest sectretary, has the vital task of recording the evidence of those interviewed.Gillian Faulkner portrays

this part with quite authority.

Impact in verse: continued

An eerie silence throughout the town as ninety are laid to rest,

And hundresd of injured are cared for by a community doing it best. ,,,,continued tomorrow

 

 

This morning we feature Sandra Armstrong taking on the part of 'Granny' who's slow pace meant her

lucky granddaughter is the last to board the train.

IMPACT story in verse.

Almost at the summit now the plan was split the train

'Take part to Bawn,time will allow'. Would end in blood and death and pain.

The last breakvan holds, the uncoupling complete but a shunt from the Engine starts the wheels to creep.

A thespian to his fingertips Kevin, while still directing the successful run of My Brilliant Divorce, has taken on the part of

Albert Flanagan rescuer at the crash scene.

 

IMPACT in verse;

A thousand souls both young and old,in high spirits their God to thank

Now on a journey doomed to never rise above the 'Armagh bank'

Was it lack of speed that momentum stalls all the drivers fault ,

Or the overloading - human greed- that grinds the train to a halt? ......continued tomorrow.

 

Hilary Good is more than true to her name when she steps on stage. Her talent shines with each role she plays.

IMPACT in verse;

Smoke and steam and whistles, shouts of ''Board'' with doors tight locked

Carriages filled to overflow and even passageways blocked.

Leaving now the big wheels skid as the driver applies full power

Then slowly hauls his heavy load mid a light passing shower.

 

The town has fallen Sunday quiet, that early buzz has gone

A baby cries, a bark, a bell echoes on and on and on.

Our Stationmaster now sipping tea while the 'regular' Newry departs

A calm returns to his domaine but an unfolding disaster starts.....   Continued tomorrow

 

 

A welcome return by Sean McCann to the stage bringing his artistic stamp to the onerous part of Elliot (Chief clerk, Dundalk depot) 

Enhancing ATG's pool of strong female talent  Monique Rennie plays the role of 'Nurse Jenny' in the Infirmary  

during the time of the tragedy.

 

 

Ruairi's acting talent and stature are perfect for this role as Prison Warden

Returning in the part of McGrath (Excursion train driver) the ever sweet Charlie Guy 

 

 

A busy year for Bridie with a long run in My Brilliant Divorce she now takes on the role of (Hospital Secretary) in Impact