With punters sitting on the stairway and by the open doorways, Abbey Lane was bursting at the seams last night for this John Hewitt International Summer School Open Mic Night special. The later start time of 9pm allowed our regulars to get seated before the students arrived down from Marketplace Theatre and we weren't disappointed. We are constantly surprised by the writing talent and entertainers we have in our mist which reinforces the need for an outlet such as Armagh Theatre Group and Abbey Lane Theatre.
Yvonne Boyle' Coleraine poet.
Last nights' stars were; Marguerite singing 'My Father's house':Tim with his second World Cup story (from Donegal):Michael Callaghan, song; Malachi, poem The Grave problem; Thomas playing guitar/singing; Trish Bennett poetic teenage memories and some more mature: Dennis McArdle singing 'Clady's sour milk cart';Richard O'Leary's story of his Chinese adventures: Peter singing/guitar 'Orange Maid of Sligo' and Croppy Boy' Yvonne Boyle poetry inc 'My beautiful hands'; Kate McGrail singing ; Thomas on Flute and poetry; Peter with 'That's Amore'; Kate with 'Boys from the Co Armagh'; Byddi Lee story 'Cooking a chicken in Paris' Gaynor Kane poetry of her Superhero Nephew, and Michael Callaghan sang us out with 'Eileen good night'
Kate Mc Grail sings 'The Boy's from the Co Armagh'
Our Limerick Laughs competition won by Byddi Lee while ridiculing a ''difficult first line''; Thanks to Tim, Bridie, Yvonne,Aisling/ Roisin, and an email entry from Patrica Gibson which came second .....last!
Special thanks and acknowledgement of the kind words from Karen Mooney, poet, on her welcome and hospitality she has received from the Armagh people during the John Hewitt week. NB, Karen.
John Hewitt International Summer School starts 23rd July on all week.
OpenMIc Night Abbey Lane part of the JHISS 27th 9pm Abbey Lane Theatre
August 10th Blues Festival Film 'The Blues Brothers' Abbey Lane Theatre
August 11th ....-- --- -- --- The Mighty Quinn playing live@ Abbey Lane. 8PM
August 26th Spotlight Dance&Drama School 'Country music Show' 7pm
No Open Mic in August.
Sept 7th Fri second performance of 'Cheatin Heart' in Abbey Lane.
Sept 13 Thurs Abbey Lane Writers course. Six 2hrs classes over Sept Oct Nov
facilitated by Byddi Lee, author of 'From March to November' Limited places.
Armagh Theatre Group promoting live Arts in Armagh since 1966.
For the thrid year our Open Mic Night has been incorporated into the John Hewitt International Summer School programme. This has proved to be a great success with many students enjoying the chance to 'let their hair down' and recite their new or past work in a relaxed friendly atmosphere. As usual we move the start time to 9PM to facilate those attending the final Market Place Theatre event. Come along, get a glass of wine and give us 5 mins of your time to entertain. BYOBottle, nibbles provided, lights, stage and possible stardom!
This month's Limerick Laughs compo first line ''During this baking hot July''
27th July, 9pm till late, Abbey Lane Theatre, Abbey Lane. Armagh.... entry £5
First performed over 30 years ago this Radio play script by Maggie Shevlin- Elmore lost none of its punch, vitality and humour in this production by Armagh Theatre Group. Staying true to the script and in the presence of Maggie herself the cast gave up a polished performance in this rehearsed reading to ANOTHER packed Abbey Lane audience. ATG are honoured to be allowed to perform 'Cheatin Heart' for only the second time since its Radio 4 premier staring Maggie as 'Geraldine' and Stephen Rea as' Dan'. Here are some photos of the night.
In the great tradition of Co Armagh bards Donald McKenna is up there with the best. Here he regales us with his poem 'The Tragic tale of Tim McCann' at June's Open Mic Night in Abbey Lane Theatre while the summer heat soared to 30o
''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.