We are proud to present, for his second lockdown number, Peter Kelly accompanied by Madeleine on meracas/ backing vocals; and Eoin on acoustic guitar/ backing vocals. This talented family group are giving us a redition of Jimmy Buffets 'Margaritaville'
As there may be more from the trio and the introduction is long we have named them ....'The Sun Hats'
Last job glass inspector in Tyrone Crystal for thirteen years
ATG MEMBERSHIP SINCE:
WHY DID YOU JOIN:
I became involved with the ATG through Malachi's nephew Adrian Mc Nally who had heard me doing my performance poetry at a function in Benburb and had got in touch with my son to tell me about the Open Mic nights run by the ATG on the last Friday of each month in Abbey Lane. I went along the following month and enjoyed it so much I think I've only missed 3 Open Mic nights in the last four years.
I was a late starter to the world of art and theatre. I was in my fifty's before I started to write poetry and had my first acting debut at the ripe old age of seventy two when I performed in two of Carol Dooey's plays on the one night in the Burnavon Theatre in Cookstown, playing the part of a stroke patient in one and a Mistress to a corspe in the other. In 2018 when the ATG put on their scam plays for the local council and policing board I was lucky enough to be asked to take part in them. The writers and directors of these were Malachi and Tim.
LIKES AND DISLIKES:
I love chocolate, cakes, fruit and vegetables. I dislike spaghetti and gravy.
I love to entertain but also enjoy being entertain.
EMBARRASSING STAGE MOMENT:
When I wrote a poem about dementia and the first time I performed it I forgot the words.
FAVOURITE BEDTIME READ:
Anything by the above Author.
FAVOURITE MUSIC CHOICE:
Country and Western.
BEST HOLIDAY DESTINATION:
Back in the day it used to be removing a shirt from under a jacket while being worn by someone but nowadays it's a poem -- got wiser with age.
A stranger's just a friend you've yet to meet.
Laughter - It keeps my jaws active.
Chicken Maryland especially in The Greenvale in Cookstown.
HOPES FOR ATG in 2026:
I hope the building will be expanded and that the Open Mic nights will still be going strong and that Malachi will still be introducing me with his usual line --"Next up is Dymphna and I have to say - SHE - comes with a warning".
Dymphna as part of the ATG team who performed at the Sunflower Festival in 2017
ZOOMEO & JULIET
Armagh Theatre Group has exactly what you need to blow away the “lockdown” blues…. ZOOMEO & JULIET, an original “zoom play”, written by Byddi Lee, Malachi Kelly & Tim Hanna, and brought to you by the magic of modern technology!
The writers are thrilled that Margery Quinn has jumped at the opportunity of producing a play on Zoom and she in turn has recruited a brilliant cast including Felim Rafferty, Bridie Heaney, David O’Toole and Aisling Kelly as well as a dazzling supporting cast.
Zoomeo & Juliet is a warts and all depiction of the realities of producing a play on zoom from the start of our isolation period. Guaranteed to have you laughing throughout and elicit the odd nostalgic smile from those novice zoom users.
This is also a fundraisier for our building project to extend Abbey Lane which now requires an Archaeological Dig at an additional cost of as much as £5,000 so….as we are still trying to raise all the money for the build…….we are charging £7.99 per “screen” (your whole family can watch).
If you wish to book a place for Thursday 2nd July go to
If you wish to book a place for Friday 3rdnd July go to
If you wish to book a place for Saturday 4th July go to
As this is new to us all, there are a few important things which you need to know.
We are presenting three live performances –Thursday 2nd, Friday 3rd July and Saturday 4th July at 8pm, which can only be viewed on Zoom…so it is essential you have the zoom app on your computer/tablet (watching is best on a laptop or desktop computer. An ipad/tablet will work however a phone is not recommended.)
We will only have 80 “screen” places available each night and you need to register by clicking on the appropriate link above to secure your place. Importantly – please register and pay using a laptop or desktop computer. Using a tablet/ipad/mobile phone will work but you will either need to already have a PayPal account or else open one.
ARMAGH THEATRE GROUP QUESTIONNAIRE 2020
NAME; Peter Kelly
ATG MEMBER since;1972
WHY DID YOU JOIN ;Boredom mostly…..in those years, Jenny’s Row was a hive of activity. Any weekend there’d be Jackie Connolly, Jimmy Lamb, Buddy Mc Ardle and others, all working on staging and sets. Help was never refused. If not, there’d certainly be an upcoming event which demanded a Party! Somebody’s birthday was a perfect excuse.
1st PRODUCTION; We decided on The Playboy of the Western World by J.M. Synge to be performed in a school hall. In the end we secured the use of St Catherine’s College.
1st PRODUCER/DIRECTOR; Paddy Shiels directed a stellar cast which included Stanley Fitzgerald (a legend of our times) Mary Lamb (ditto), Una Boylan (her Widow Quinn was unparalleled in living memory, Paul Tracey (the perfect murderous gob) ….and with Margaret Toman and Kate McGovern, Dudley Marjorem and Mick McCoy….. we had the piece de resistance of Irish Theatre. I played a sobre but noteworthy Michael James, owner of the shebeen. According to the Armagh Observer it was….” a study in restraint, acting in the true Stanislavski style”.
FAVOURITE THEATRE to PERFORM/ VISIT
Shercock, Co Cavan
FAVOURITE PLAY and PART;
Jack in The Weir and more recently Doc Gibbs in Our Town.
ACHIEVEMENTS on ‘STAGE’;
Special mention by the adjudicator in King Lear 1959 CBS.
Chocolates or Cakes; Now and again……Apple tart with cloves
Meat or Veg; Sea bass, mussels and monkfish with new potatoes en buerre.
Fruit or fry; Apples and oranges
Tipple or Dry; Pint of Guinness…just the one. One is heaven, two’s not bad, three’s too many and four ‘snot enough!
ENTERTAIN or be ENTERTAINED; Both!
EMBARRISING STAGE MOMENTS; Fell asleep in the wings and almost missed my cue, final night of Our Town. Stage manager twigged on just in time….. MPT 2016
FAVOURITE AUTHOR /PLAYWRIGHT;
Sebastian Barry. Our lady of Sligo…..The Steward of Christendom.
FAVOURITE BEDTIME READ;
Historical Fiction….Wolf Hall….Any Human Heart
FAVOURITE MUSIC CHOICE;
Flamenco guitar…..Christy Moore
All the above and Brother Where art thou? Coen Bros
BEST HOLIDAY DESTINATION;
Lanzerote in summer and Sapporo in winter
YOUR PARTY PIECE;
MANTRA- RULES OF LIFE;
Live life to the full….Try anything ONCE!
Cycling but locally only and sea bathing in Carrickfinn.
Sausage, egg and chips.
HOPES for ATG by 2026
With plans and finance well advanced for renovations at Abbey Lane, my hopes were high for a new foyer and increased capacity going into 2021. However we are not in a good place right now. The pandemic has landed us in a muddle, and in spite of my natural optimism, I can see no easy answer to our problem.
The unique appeal of Abbey Theatre was its intimacy and cosy familiarity. These are the very qualities which are now under attack by this virus. Without an effective antidote we are looking at a very uncertain future. Professional theatre has been thrown into chaos equally, and it will be the last activity to return to any normal operation. I can only trust that with our enthusiastic and resourceful people, we will manage to keep the show on the road in the bleak years ahead. As I write, we are busily putting together our virtual drama Zoomeo and Juliet, a special ATG production for summer 2020. Thanks to our writers, actors, director, and of course yourselves, our wonderful and loyal supporters who have stuck with us over the years.
This week Armagh Theatre Group were to present 'IMPACT' in the Market Place Theatre for several performances. An extended script was adapted for the new venue and all the cast had committed to the schedule of rehearsals. It was shaping up to be an exciting project for all involved. Tickets were already being purchased in February and pormotions had started.
What a changed world we live in now as it looks like threatres will be the last public venues to open after this pandemic has abated.
Undaunted ATG have picked up the challenge to perform for our audience via Zoom, with the 'in houses' production Zoomeo and Juliet. A humorous behind the scenes look at the problems that present themselves when an amature group embrace this technology to rehearse.
We are aiming for the first weekend in July showing two live Zoom performances by a stellar cast and directed by a brave Margery Quinn.
Keep your eyes peeled to our website and social media for the invitation details. You will be able to prebook a viewing slot and help towards our Building Extension fund via Paypal. All proceeds will go towards these substantical costs. Thank you.
Armagh Theatre Group is YOUR theatre group.
After a 10 day vacation in the back garden, recommended by my doctor due to Broadband failure, we have been reconnected at last.
Two things that have helped to get us through this frightful period are exceptional weather and Broadband, Oh, and alcohol and chocolate.
So four things that have helped us through this awful virus time Good Weather, Drink, Sweeties and Internet. Luckily it didn’t rain while camping in the garden and we had stockpiled on Alcohol and Chocolates (as well as bleach and toilet rolls). But I really missed Netflix…..and posting Jigsaws and Questionnaires on the ATG website.
So we are back on track now with a crowd of people from our 2016 production Our Town. Some could sing, some could act and some just mimed.
Now put them all together and see if you can find yourself.
Remember time is of the essence and the winner’s prize is a day trip to Barnard Castle, Co Durham were sight seeing is now world renowned.
Link to jigsaw above.
REGRETFULLY WE AT THE JIGSAW COMMITTEE HAVE BEEN INFORMED ANONYMOUSLY OF THE UNDERHANDED USE OF 'GHOSTING' BY SOME PARTICIPANTS ATTEMPTING TO IMPROVE THEIR TIME AND THUS GAIN OUR SUPER WEEKLY PRIZE..
THIS IS A FEATURE DESIGNED TO AID THOSE NEW TO THE CONCEPT OF A JIGSAW ( ie Children OR people who may have learning difficulities) TO COMPLETE A PUZZLE.
SOME UNBELIEVABLE TIMES HAVE BEEN LODGED TO US IN THE PAST WEEKS. (even with having time on your hands during Covid).
TO STAMP THIS UNSCRUPULOUS, UNSPORTSWOMANLIKE ACTION OUT WE WILL BE SUSPENDING ALL WEEKLY PRIZES AS OF TODAY.
The committee wish to thank Matilda Heaney Lee for raising the matter.
Tim "Drinks on the house for everyone" as Charlie Knipe (Barman) and Peter Kelly salute 'a Great man' (and so say all of us)
ARMAGH THEATRE GROUP QUESTIONNAIRE 2020
NAME; Tim Hanna
JOB/ CAREER; Semi Retired Valuer
ATG MEMBER since; 1987
WHY DID YOU JOIN ; Didn’t “join”. Was press ganged by James Lamb (along with other innocents, Wilma Campbell & Charlie Knipe) under the pretext of a Sunday afternoon cricket match. A lot of bottles of good plonk later, Mr Lamb went in for “the Kill” and successfully recruited us – a technique which sounds pretty “dodgy” by today’s standards!
1st PRODUCTION; The Way To Keep Him – a Victorian Melodrama performed in The Band Hall on the Mall. I think I was a vicar. It was pretty manic but obviously addictive.
1st PRODUCER/DIRECTOR; James Lamb who was always calm and encouraging!
FAVOURITE THEATRE to PERFORM/ VISIT No favourite but prefer modern and small.
FAVOURITE PLAY and PART; Blackpool & Parrish (one of James Lamb’s Canadian discoveries). I was Page the butler in the weird “Club”. Also liked Lone Star with Malachi Kelly & Felim Rafferty which was twinned with Laundry & Bourbon – really funny and good fun to be in when you saw and heard the response from the audience. I guess that’s key – if the audience enjoys what they are seeing then that makes it worth while.
ACHIVEMENTS on ‘STAGE’; No particular achievements. Just enjoy the whole process.
Chocolates or Cakes; Neither any more (aren’t I good)
Meat or Veg; Both – boring.
Fruit or fry; Strawberries but not fried.
Tipple or Dry; Now and again.
ENTERTAIN or be ENTERTAINED; I love to be entertained but will leave/switch off if it’s dire. I also like to entertain, as long as the audience is enjoying what they are seeing/hearing. – which is not always.
EMBARRISING STAGE MOMENTS; Plenty of cockups but who hasn’t.
I think scariest back stage moment was in my second production, recruited by James Lamb for a wee part in the almost all girl “Factory Girls”. I did not know what a Festival Play was but before I knew it we were heading for the Ulster Finals in the Opera House (no thanks to me I would add). Terrifying prospect. I remember looking out the dressing room window onto Great Victoria Street 15 minutes until curtain up and preying for either a bomb or at the very least a damn good bomb scare. The odds of either in 1988 were fairly good but alas not to be. I survived the ordeal on stage but was more wary of Mr Lamb’s offers of a small wee part in future.
Also, on a par in the “terror stakes” – when the prompt (can’t quite remember her name) went AWOL during the first Act of Pentecost in a Drama Festival in darkest Monaghan or Cavan. It’s amazing how 15 seconds wracking your brain for the next line whilst preying for a line from the prompt (who’d STILL gone AWOL) whilst trying to appear calm and in control to the audience and Adjudicator, can feel like TEN minutes!
FAVOURITE AUTHOR /PLAYWRIGHT; Still like Dickens. Don’t read/see enough plays.
FAVOURITE BEDTIME READ; Whatever I am reading during the day. I have no problem carrying it upstairs at night as long as it’s not too heavy.
FAVOURITE MUSIC CHOICE; Still in a 1960’s “bubble” but also like Nick Cave, Keith Jarrett. Usually something depressing/maudlin will do.
BOOK/PLAY/FILM recommendations; I love books, particularly modern American fiction – Donna Tart/John Updike. Resisted joining Book Club for years ( “I’m not going to read books someone else tells me to read”) Gave in 2 years ago and have been proved a prick – recent good ones I would never have read – Golden Hill by Francis Spufford, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead….oh and my first ever Sci-fi, Rejuvination by Byddi Lee!!!
Don’t watch enough plays to recommend anything but the National Theatre Live screenings are generally good (The Lehman Trilogy was fantastic) plus they won’t need “social distancing” at Craigavon Omniplex when they re-open as only about 8 people turn up so you get a row to yourself – safe or what?
Films are on holiday at the moment and my attempts to have a Japanese film at ATG Film Club having been rebuffed umpteen times means I’m recommending a telly show instead – Call My Agent on Netflix – set in Paris – subtitles – funny and light….well, I liked it.
BEST HOLIDAY DESTINATION; Anywhere that leaves you with great memories.
YOUR PARTY PIECE; Just a slice of pizza I’m afraid. Best Party Piece’s observed at ATG over the years – Patricia Savage’s versions of Victoria Wood songs. Shame she emigrated……to The Cooleys!
MANTRE- RULES OF LIFE; Nothing special – Maybe try and be more tolerant, which is harder the older you get, even when someone else’s actions/behaviour drives you up the wall!
EXERCISE CHOICE; Obviously limited by body falling to bits, so, as long as I can walk that will do.
FAVOURITE FOOD/RESTAURANT; Not a foodie. Eat to keep alive.
HOPES for ATG by 2026 – Just the obvious ones – recruit some MEN and some more YOUNG ONES to keep the thing going. Not much point building these new toilets if there ain’t anyone to sit on them.
ARMAGH THEATRE GROUP QUESTIONNAIRE 2020
Name; Marie-Claire Guy
AGT Member since; since 2013 (I think) I was in my early twenties anyway.
Why did you join; Malcom Dawson and Aunty Una (Boylan) made me do it! I have a vague recollection of being auditioned by them both at a party using an enamel toothpick as a prop to sell in a Dragon’s Den style whilst being filmed on an i-pad… and you needn’t laugh Malcolm Dawson you were wearing a big ginger wig.
1st Production; Two
1st producer/director; The ever tolerant, patient and enthusiastic Kevin McEneaney bless him.
Favourite theatre performed in/visited;
It would be hard not to choose the “Gem” that is the Abbey Lane Theatre. That special moment when you are trying hard to pretend to be someone else and your mummy is sitting right under your nose. The Navan Centre has a great stage right entrance. I have a fond memory of Peter Kelly, in the reading of “Deirdre” directed by Margery Quinn, entering like Darth Vadar into the Death Star courtesy of the whoosh of the emergency exit. The very same door that Peter, Bridie and I got locked behind and couldn’t get on stage for the start.
Favourite play and part;
Favourite play for the craic was Ladies Day produced by Hilary Good. For the hard work I’d have to say “Our Lady of Sligo” directed by Kevin McEneaney, and I only had a fraction to do. Hats off Bridie! It was a great feeling to be part of that.
Biggest achievement on stage;
Loot directed by Felim Rafferty, I will never know why I didn’t just phone in sick. (Felim doesn’t either).
Chocolates or Cakes;
I could have passed up on either until lately, I suspect this won’t end well but now I’ll have both please.
Meat or Veg;
Still Veg, no change there
Fruit or Fry; Yup, fruit.
To entertain or be entertained;
Entertain, I probably wasn’t that much of a Theatre goer until I joined ATG. I do enjoy watching from the wings. I think that is my favourite place to be.
Most embarrassing stage moment;
It has to be Our Town and hollering out the wrong line at the full dress rehearsal. I am sorry to all I distracted but Gerry McGrath needed his braces re-attached and the cue was really like the one where I supposed to holler out that line… honest Gov, it wasn’t my fault. Oh, and there was the one during Loot when, mid proposal scene between Malachi and I, someone switched on the interval Music. Was that a hint? ‘cause I didn’t take it.
Favourite author/ Playwright;
Thomas Hardy, he does such dark stuff to his characters. I do love Jane Eyre so maybe I should get around to reading more Charlotte Bronte.
Book at your bedside;
Caught I don’t have one. If I don’t crash as soon as my head hits the pillow I trawl through images of paintings on my i-pad. I do have a bag with all my old scripts right beside the bedside table. Does that count?
Favourite Music choice;
Now this is hard. I enjoy such a variety, classical music, 80’s and 90’s stuff, 1970s, Earth, Wind and Fire, Quincy Jones and Nile Rodgers’ music. It’s hard to beat the music you take part in though. I’ve battered out music in a few different forms, pants at all of them but the fun I have had, so that’s my favourite music.
Best Holiday destination; San Juan De Los Terreros, just like Donegal but there’s a big yellow ball in the sky.
Your party piece;
We’ll no go there, it’s not pretty and not to be encouraged.
Mantra- rules of life;
In the words of Len “And of course you can’t become if you only say what you would have done, so I missed a million miles of fun”
Think about it, yes. Talk about it, a bit, but for goodness sake do it.
It will have to be film. I watch a lot of films so again it’s hard to choose. I think the Michael Caine/Lawrence Olivier screen version of “Sleuth” started the attraction. I love the acting in “Thelma and Louise” there’s not a bad actor in it. Christopher McDonald who plays Thelma’s husband is just brilliant. I can’t not mention “Rosemary’s Baby” I watch it nearly every weekend.
Walking. Great way to learn lines. Load them up in your head and go.
Chinese on a Friday night with Beer or Cava or both.
Hopes for ATG by 2026;
That it will continue to provide joy, laughter, tears, inspiration, embarrassing moments, first plays, favourite plays, fear of Jesus, first directors, favourite theatre and friends like you will find nowhere else by 2026 and beyond. Sod the toilet for back stage…that element keeps you on your toes for the performances.
Marie-Claire caught impersonating an Amature actor . Scene from Good Thing's by Liz Lochhead along with Aileen and Hubby Charlie 2018
This week’s puzzle is of Armagh Railway Station. With its Greek arches it stood majestic and secure, close to the site of present day Philip
Ironic that a tyre company whose stock- in –trade (car industry) was the major reason why the railway line closed in the 1950’s.
In our play ‘IMPACT’ the building was the hub of excitement on 14 June 1889 as hundreds gathered for the day trip to Warrenpoint.
Afterward it was used for the Great Northern Railway enquiry into the incident which took the lives of at least 89 people and injured hundreds.
Sombre subject but I decided to keep things local as our international supporters were getting to be a pain in the neck (All the translating…)
Winner last week Byddi Lee at under 38 mins (So she says)