''Unreal!'' That was the verdict of the comedian Mark Shields (Coalisland) after experiencing his first Abbey Lane Open Mic. It was also the verdict of the big crowd who enjoyed Marks' take on life, especially in a Tyrone shirt. You can take the man out of Tyrone but.... His critical eye exposed traits of himself, family, neighbours, fellow 'islanders and Strabane! All very funny and probably not true at all. Hope to see you back Mark. Damien Mallon, poet,singer read from his collection 'Off the trees'. Beautiful depiction of life in and around Keady, of young love and cowboys and indians That's were a lot of cowboys are from Damien! And from the same neck of the woods Donald McKenna, bard extraordinaire had the audience entralled with his ode to 'The tragic tale of Tim McCann' .Kate McGrail introduced us to technological problems and 'commercial breaks' during here great story of her family's trip to see Pope John Paul in 1979. I'll approach committee to install wifi Kate before next time. No such problems with her rendition of Spancil Hill. As a daughter of the famous Harry, the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Thanks to; new comer Malachy Trainor with poem 'To be performed' orginal work, Bridie Heaney with F Ledwidge's 'June'. Dymphna Ferran's 'Royal wedding', Tim Hanna's dreamteam of NIre taking on Russia in the World Cup and Malachi 's poem ''Im sure I didn't''. Singers Margueirite with 'Limerick your a lady',Michael Callaghan singing Elvis's 'falling in love with you' and Ann Marie McCourt with 'Streets of London' or Paris!
Too all our contributors in the Limerick Laughs competition Goretti, Tim, Byddi, Donald,Kate, Joe,Pat,Dymphna, Paddy, Bridie and all others unmentioned THANK YOU! We finished up with the conclusion of Ann Gilmartin's storytelling tale of 'Our Friend with the black mask' Definitely a NI Screen movie there Ann to follow on from 'Game of Tyrones' sorry Thrones. Thats thon Mark Shiels AGAIN!
On the Friday 6th July in Abbey Lane ATG will present Maggie Shevlin-Elmore's 'Cheatin Heart' as we introduce our loyal followers and supporters to Radio Drama, on stage.
Set in 1980's Belfast 'Cheatin Heart' depicts the married life of Geraldine (Maria McGilly) and Dan (Des Crilly), his constant straying and her struggles to have a baby. Maura (Bridie Heaney) a schoolfriend of Geraldine's, meets Dan in London by chance and falls into his web...or does she jump?
Introducing Lily Conway as young Geraldine, Emily Conway as young Maura , Rory Lamb as young Dan and Byddi Lee in cameo roles as Waitress/Announcer.. Foley artist (sounds/music) is Jordan Trotter. This is a joint production by Trotter and Kelly on behalf of ArmaghTheatre Group.
Patsy Cline sings throughout...worth the money alone!
Tables and chairs layout,pay at door £10, complementary glass of vino Bring Your Own Bottle,free raffle!!!
Doors open 7.30pm show starts 8pm.
Armagh Stars of tomorrow....no not tomorrow Stars of today!
Tin Man enters under the Rainbow
Four packed houses as Spotlight Studios presents Wizard of Oz in Abbey Lane Theatre over the weekend. See here a transformed forecourt as the audience are kept outside till a Munchkin peers over the 'City Gates' and invites the eager crowds to enter. Shows by 2 dozen 5-7yr olds and 20+ from 8 -young teens strutted their stuff on our stage. Drama in Armagh has just got a big transfusion of new blood for a bright future.
First line....... 'There was a wee woman called June'
5 lines , first two and last rhyme, middle two rhyme with each other.
Really really good prizes this month HONEST. Everyone will get a chance to win if they have a Limerick!
We have had our first auditions for this exciting development producing 'Cheatin Heart' a radio play by Rostrevor actress Maggie Shelvin. Our aim is to stage this before the July holidays for one evening in Abbey Lane Theatre. We are still looking for a male actor/reader from 35/50 age group preferably who can do a Belfast accent.
Also 2 female teenagers and one male teen to act the youthful main characters in the play of Dan , Geraldine and Maura. run time is about 40mins and you have the scripts to hand throughout...so simples!
Continuing with our evening's of Play readings Armagh Theatre Group invites you to Abbey Lane on Tues 12th June. Come along to read or listen to prospective plays which may see their way to the stage in the coming months. 'A matter of grave importance', 'Cash on delivery' and a radio play 'Cheating Heart' (more later on this one) are going to be read. So the more readers the better. New faces and voices needed, young/mature/female and male all welcome. A warm welcome, a laugh and refreshments await you and a friend.
7.30pm 12th June Abbey Lane Theatre (behind Music world, lower car park).
With temperatures in the bammy 20's and the long May bank holiday starting, excuses for missing this month's Open Mic were strong and understandable. But the magic of these evenings still enticed our faithful audience to come in the dozens to entertain and be entertained by their fellow attendees.
This month we were entralled by musicians, singers, authors, poets, yarn spinners and the afore mentioned Magician Ed. Our usual 'warm up' act Dynamic Dymphna gave us red hot flushes with some very personal insurance advice! Author of 'From March to November' Byddi Lee read excerpts from this her first published novel which had all the ladies rubbing their hands with glee and all the gentlemen cringing in notional agony...the War of the Sexes continues. Paddy Mohan fought back on the men's side with his guitar and singing.Malachi's poems 'Golden Cow' and 'Ma wee black pan' followed and the first half was called after Thomas showed us his new talent on flute and whistle.
After some complimentary refreshments we introduced this month's guest Ed Masters to resounding applause. His enthusiastic assistant for the evening, Paddy Hamill, played the part like a pro.... Ooing! and Aaaing! in all the right places as Ed showed us amazing card tricks. Helen Donnelly then volunteered from the crowd to assist Ed with a flying table trick after she got over the shock of meeting Ed. We were still trying to figure out how he managed that.! Another first for the OMN's Illusionst and Magician Ed Masters.
Our second author/playwrite was Fionnuala Cassidy from CoTyrone reading excerpts from her latest work for the first time in public. 'Smoke and mirrors' her working title, left the audience wanting more. This evening had another first with Esmee O'Donnell playing her cello beautifully unaccompanied. Marty sang his version of 'Windmills of your mind' and we had the welcome return of Michael Callaghan recently out off hospital to sing from the floor 'My Eileen is waiting for me'. Dymphna won the meal for 2 Limerick Laughs compo and so ended another great night's entertainment in Abbey Lane. Next date Friday 29th June. Limerick Laughs theme for JUNE 'There was a wee woman called June'. Big thanks to all who attended and participated on the night.
We always like to surprise and delight our audience with the range of wonderful talent at our doorstep. This month is shaping up to be slightly different to the many great nights already experienced. Ed Masters, Illusionist and Magician has confirmed he will be 'appearing' in Abbey Lane on 25th May. It's constantly said of Abbey Lane been a place of magic and imagination and that Magic you will see for yourself when Ed takes to our stage.
Ive said it before, beleive me again, this night should NOT BE MISSED.
Check out Ed on http://www.youtube.com/watch?V=sfAj6-zyQwE
Along with the mix of regular and new participants taking to the stage with their poems, songs, instruments and writings we have the 'Limerick Laughs' compo theme 'The Magic OF May' (that can be the Month, a name or a Politician) to compete for those breathtaking prizes! Door open 8pm £5 entry, 5mins on stage, compo drink and nibbles, or Bring Your Own Bottle. Seating will be more limited so get in early.