As another storm blows over the country this morning last night Raquel (Rainbow Ashwood Jamacian) McKee created her own storm of entertainment as guest artist in Abbey Lane. Her infectious charm and presence had the audience particapating from the start. Pieces such as 'One potato,two potato' and 'Charles Drew' will stay long in the memory of those lucky to have been there. A great ambassador for African/ Carribean culture in N Ireland and a privilege to have her as our guest artist for Feburary.
Guest artist Raquel McKee
We started the night with an important public announcement from the Ministry of All Spinsters,the Bachelors and the Envied (Mastbates)
Warning single people of the dangers of unexpected proposals today 29th Feb. Malachi's rant 'The Great Ulster Forest' kicked of the night which included Sophie Ross singer/songwriter (To sleep at night); Thomas Healy singing ( Delicate by Damien Rice); Dymphna with her well known brand of comedy; Cathy Carson written word performer ( 2 pieces- Pockets & 17) France Lavery singing Honky Tonk Angles ( her own interpretation!);A short cartoon interlude; David Braziel Armagh's top poet (Selection of works); Kate McLaughlin ( her Father Harry McGrail's poem May Day); Adam Trotter (monologue American Civil War) Jim Doc singing his way (I Did It My Way); Rachel Toner, (story Not a child of the Troubles); and finished with Sophie returning with her version of (Bob Dillon's Blowin in the wind)
Rachel Toner Poet/Writer
Thanks to all who helped, who performed, who participated in any way but especially to all who braved the storms, the cold, the fear of proposals, the viruses and still travelled to Abbey Lane to make this another successful night for the best wee Open Mic ...ANYWHERE!
Next month's Open Mic is on 28th March when our special GUESTS are flying in from Newcastle-upon-Tyne (yes folks our fame has travelled over lands and seas) when we welcome David and Carol Cooke- known as 'Two many Cookes' or 'Cooke's R' Us'. This multity talented couple are here for ONE night only and as we are getting 2 guests for the price of 1 the house should be PACKED!
As the leading amature theatre group in Armagh area we have an opportunity for an Actor, approx 40 to 60 age groupto take part in a one act play written by Tennessee Williams. We are presenting this 3hander early APRIL in Abbey Lane Theatre Armagh where rehearsals will be directed by Felim Rafferty.
The colour of Jamaica, its rhythm and rhyme, its romance and history are imbedded in its poetry, music, song and dance.
Like this island it portrays images from a strong culture and mysticism and one of her spritual Daughters' will be our special guest for February's Open Mic. We welcome the return of Raquel McKee aka Rainbow Ashwood Jamaican.
Rainbow Ashwood Jamaican
Rainbow Ashwood Jamaican, a Caribbean born poet, storyteller and actress living on the island of Ireland is a repeated Arts Council Northern Ireland awardee, and recently was commissioned to write for the National Lottery Heritage Funded Links and Legacy 400 project run by ACSONI (African & Caribbean Support Organisation Northern Ireland). In 2019 she performed her commissioned pieces at Gala NIA in Titanic Belfast, headlined at Lit Up open mic night, performed within her cultural workshop to Herbert Smith Freehills law firm, read at Hillsborough Festival, as well at the East Side Arts Festival, and at Poetry Ireland at the X Borders Transitions showcase, amongst other events. In 2017 she performed at the John Hewitt Festival Week in Armagh, and returned in 2018 in the role of Asha in the Kabosh Theatre production Lives in Translation. She is delighted to be able to return. Samples of her work can be found in Four x Four Issue 28, The Corridor Literary publication -X Borders Issue and Writing Home Anthology by Dedalus Press.
February 28th doors 8pm start 8.30pm BYOP Bring your own favourite Poem, read it all or just a stanza! (4 OR 5 lines). Usual entry,rules,benefits and fun. see u @ Abbey Lane Theatre.
Well we got this decade's Open Mic's of to a brilliant start. A full house for Liz Weir's first visit to Abbey Lane and Armagh Theatre Group coincided with first visits by fellow storyteller Joseph Heywood; Thomas Mallon musician /singer; and 'Pat the Novice' yarns of dying priest and philosophy.
The night started with a communal tongue-in-cheek singalong to acknowledge the exit of Britain from EU influence from 11pm that night. We quickly moved on and introduced Liz Weir as our special guest for January. A consummate professional, Liz had the audience on her side straight away and regailed us with wonderful stories of Marriage and hard drinking witches in London and Romance between Fermanagh's kingdom and English aristocrats.
The Open Mic started with the talented Sophie Ross from Keady with an orginal song written by her that day. Not titled before performing the crowd when asked afterwards favoured 'Sometimes' ...brilliant singer who should go far. Next up Mark Brownlee ;poems inspired from songs, Jimmy Rafferty; 'Barred of Armagh' which mentioned 40yrs of recent local history, Thomas Healy on tin whistle and Cornet (but not at the same time); Laurane sang Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond beautifully, Joe McCool with a passing joke;Joseph Heywood's story The Coyote and the stars;Theo Sinton from Magherlin, on guitar singing Murl Haggard's 'Today I started loving you again' and wise words in 'Faster horse, younger women,older whiskey, more money' ;Malachi with his 'Fund me a lift' poetic plea for MOT. Thomas Mallon from Keady singing/guitar cover Lion's roar (First Aid Kit) class act; 'Pat the Novice' from Crossmaglen,the dying priest story; At this point Liz was up again with Valentine story, Robbie Burns and her Witches story. Dymphna quickly brought the night back from its heights with her inimitable humour, Tim went shopping with his poem; Damien Mallon sang Nell Flattery's drake;Sophie was back by popular demand and sang 'Rocky Racoon' to rapturous appluse. and our night ended with a poem from Rachel Toner on relationships. A wonderful night which also incuded Mick Mc Connell's AldiLidi song.
Thanks to Liz Weir and Joseph coming all the way from Cushendall and to all who performed. Thanks to Allan on sound/lights and projections; to the ladies at the door,serving drinks and cleaning up and to Tim for keeping them under control. But mostly to our wonderful supporters who make the evening what it is...the BEST Open Mic in Armagh.
Death Notice for Seamus Mallon
The Committee and Members Of Armagh Theatre Group deeply regret the death of Seamus Mallon our co-founder and long time friend. Without his foresight and drive for inclusivity we would not exist. He set a standard that we have been proud to maintain over the past 53 years. Deepest sympathy to his daughter Orla, son in law Mark, granddaughter Lara, sisters and entire family circle.
M.Rennie (Chairperson) M. Kelly (Secretaty)
We recommence our series of monthly Open Mic Night's and kick off the new decade with one of the biggest names in the literary world of children's books and storytelling on this island, Liz Weir.
Liz Weir is a County Antrim based storyteller with an international reputation. She has performed on five continents, sharing her tales with audiences of all ages and is currently Storyteller in Residence for Libraries NI. Liz has written 27 books for children and is currently working on a memoir looking back on her long career as a librarian and storyteller.
We also celebrate our Scottish roots on 31st January and give a nod to the bard Robbie Burns. (good name for a bridge) and open our doors to all musicians, writers,poets,singers + more projected humour from 8pm onwards. Bring your own tipple,£5 entry and a chance to shine on stage for 5mins. Co Armagh's best!
Tickets to see IMPACT (Extended production) this coming June 2020 in Marketplace Studio Theatre.
After a sold out run in Abbey Lane Theatre of the story of Armagh's train disaster in 1889 and in response to continued requests to see this Armagh Theatre Group production, we are delighted to announce tickets are now on sale at Box Office, MarketPlace Theatre Armagh 0283752 1821
To all our loyal supporters and friends may we wish you a peaceful, joyous and dramatic Christmas and hoping 2020
is not just a sign for good vision but a year when we open our eyes to all life's blessings. Happy New Year!
'SORRY YOU WERE OUT' By David Braziel
(A first reading by David at Open Mic Night Abbey Lane Theatre Armagh 29/11/19)