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.
Felim Rafferty as Ian (an inexperienced Therpist and ex Priest) and Malcolm Dawson as (John) his first client.
Felim (Ian) is confronted by his mott (Neasa )Marie- Claire Guy. Also cast is Thomas P Healy (Laurence, the third edge of the love triangle)
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.
Armagh Theatre Group stage
'Shining City' in Abbey Lane Theatre
Armagh Theatre Group’s Spring Production is 'Shining City' by Conor McPherson coming to Abbey Lane Theatre, Armagh on Thursday 4th Friday 5th & Saturday 6th April 2019 at 8pm.
Many will remember ATG’s production of Conor McPherson’s The Weir where ghosts were never far from the rural pub regulars. This production of McPherson’s Shining City is no exception as it reflects with subtlety and compassion on the guilt, anxiety and restlessness of two haunted Dubliners, lonely men seeking emotional and spiritual connections. Ian (Felim Rafferty) a fledgling Therapist and former priest, welcomes his first client, John (Malcolm Dawson), to his far from salubrious consulting rooms where both their inner demons are gradually unleashed. Ian’s confrontation with his girlfriend Neasa (Marie Clare Guy) and his later encounter with the younger Laurence, (Thomas Healy), only add to his internal turmoil.
Producer Margaret Marjoram has, as always, assembled a stellar cast, and has created a compelling drama which has been staged with a delicate balance of humour and melancholy. Definitely not to be missed.
The play contains adult themes and strong language.
Tickets £12 (Including glass of wine) are ONLY available from MUSIC WORLD, ABBEY LANE,ARMAGH. Tel028 3752 7883
A real coop for Abbey Lane's Open Mic fans and set to appear as our guest on what's looked on as an inauspicious date in cross border history. 29th March 2019. But whatever type of border she traverses she'll feel right at home regaling us with her witty stories and poetry. Another DON'T MISS evening.
Trish Bennett hails from County Leitrim. She’s got the breeze of Thur (the mountain, not the God) in her blood. She crossed the border to study over twenty years ago, and was charmed into staying by a Belfast biker. They have settled themselves into a small cabin by the lake in Fermanagh, and try to keep the noise down in their bee loud glade.
Bennett writes about the shenanigans of her family, and other creatures. Sometimes she rants. She has won or been placed in nine poetry competitions in the past few years, is widely published in print and online, and has read on the wireless.
Bennett loves nothing more than to connect with folk through her words. She’s working on her first anthology.
Servant to a menagerie of creatures, some human. Poet. Storyteller. All round eejet. Winner of Leitrim Guardian 2017 & 2018 Literary Award for Poetry.
The Leitrim Guardian 2017 & 2018 Literary Award for Poetry.
Shortlisted North West Words / Donegal Creameries Poetry 2017
Bursary for the John Hewitt International Summer School (2016).
Long listed in the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year award 2013
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!
Along with sax player Seonaid Murray, Ashley Manners (acoustic guitar) and Colin Hassards (vocals/guitar) make up this exciting trio called DIRTY WORDS,our next guests lined up for Open Mic on 22nd February. Abbey Lane audiences needs no introduction for Colin and his innovative poetry but marrying this with top class musicians will be a real treat. Remember our new Open conversation on Family sayings and quotes, our renowned hospitality, our prizes and now Dirty Words for a Dirt cheap entry fee of £5......see you there and NOTE limited seating! Doors opening 8pm.
Tartan adorned the tables and the sweet smell of Haggis filled the air in Abbey Lane Theatre as our Open Mic/ Burn’s night got underway.
The Saltier flag rippled on the screen as the Proclaimers ‘walked 500miles’ then forgot something and had to walk back ‘500 more’. After a short biography from
MC Malachi, our mystery piper struck up ‘Oh flower of Scotland’ and the vegetarian Haggis was served with glee to all in attendance!
Peter Kelly commenced the entertainment with a rendition of Burns’ Peggy Gordon. Kevin Mc Eneaney recited ‘Sweet Afton’ and duet with Peter on ‘Marie’s Wedding’ with great gusto.
Our first guest Karen Mooney from Moira read her own poem ‘A tribute to Rabbie Burns’...... then Pat Fairon took the class with the Lost Vocabulary of Ulster Scots pertaining to Burns’ era.
His well constructed flash cards tested the knowledge and memory of the pang’ fu d (crammed) audience. Not a pechin (cough) nor pluff (short, sharp breath) was heard from his attentive class.
Our Burns’ section was rounded off by Mark Brownlee reciting ‘Ae fond kiss’ a favourite of Burns aficionados.
The regular Open Mic got underway with the amazing Cathy Carson. What a talent this lady is, a great writer and actor with a delivery that stops a room.
Her two pieces, ‘Wake up call’ and ‘November Sun’ had the audience spellbound and will live on in the memory of great moments at these Open Mic’s.
Dymphna got the short straw as she had to follow Cathy, but no other could do it better, with her poem where she weaved the unlikely combination of ‘Donald where’s your trousers?’ and Brexit!
A new face to Abbey Lane is Stephen Edwards on guitar who sang Neil Young’s ‘The damage done’. Karen Mooney gave us her incisive poem ‘ A More Sustainable Future’ a metaphor of present day life
cleverly set in a garden. Michael Callaghan then had us all singing along ‘She’s my girl, she’s my world’.
Jack Watson, another welcome new comer, gave us Cassius’ speech from Julius Caesar. Delivered with aplomb, this young actor from Armagh captivated the room with his performance.
Regular contributor, Thomas Healy, came to the stage with a poem and song. This young man’s writing and voice are going from strength to strength. Malachi rounded of the night with his story
‘A hell of a Day in Heaven’ a very true, funny story of his ordeal in the Mournes with a Perfect Modern Family!
Thanks are due to all who helped out Monique, Felim jr, Peter, Colin, Aisling and Bridie. The more hands the easier the task.
Which reminds me of our new competition ‘Family saying and quotes’. This is where we stop for a moment and all have a chat about old saying that yourself or your family or friends used.
Some appropriately from Robbie Burns himsel started the conversation. Tonight’s winners were Marie Crowley and Pat Fairon. But I think all of us were winners tonight as the entertainment was 1st class.
Next date Feb 22nd and our guests are ‘Dirty Words’ aka Colin Hassard vocals , Ashley Manners guitar and Seonaid Murray sax . A selection of songs and poems from ..’’Two of the best on today’s scene’’NI Poetry News.
A very happy, artistic and peaceful New Year to all. This is another big year for Armagh Theatre Group as we mark 53 years tramping the boards, 4years of our ever popular Open Mic's and our planned extension of Abbey Lane.
We start our Open Mic's on Burns Night this year. So we will feature some of the Scottish bard's work and songs. We will have a new in house competition with sponsored prizes from some of the biggest business in Armagh, like the Dole, Education and Health boards...
We welcome all artists to the stage. poets, writers, singers, musicians and codologists to try their work in front of a friendly and appreciative audience. Come along and enjoy the craic, the company and the magic atmosphere of Abbey Lane.