Award winning Portadown Phoenix Players celebrate 30 years with epic performances

The award winning Portadown Phoenix Players are celebrating their 30th Anniversary this year by performing not one but two shows in Portadown Town Hall
The award winning Portadown Phoenix Players are celebrating their 30th Anniversary this year by performing not one but two shows in Portadown Town Hall

The award winning Portadown Phoenix Players are celebrating their 30th Anniversary this year by performing not one, but two shows, in Portadown Town Hall.

In what has become known as the ‘fabulous Phoenix fortnight’ at the end of August the first show is the much loved and funny musical, Bugsy Malone.

Running from August 24- 27, is the much loved and funny musical, Bugsy Malone.

It is based loosely on events in Chicago, Illinois during the Prohibition era; more specifically, on the exploits of gangsters such as Al Capone.

Its tongue-in-cheek style features children (aged from six to 16) as the gangsters and their molls.

The cast of Bugsy were ‘thrilled’ to have had a recent visit from the Rose of Armagh, Nicole Mc Keown, when they were showcasing their talent in the Meadows shopping centre.

During the second week, which runs from August 31 until September 3, the Phoenix Players will present the iconic masterpiece which is West Side Story, inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. 

Set in the Upper West Side neighbourhood in New York City in the mid-1950s, the musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks - two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.

The members of the Sharks from Puerto Rico, are taunted by the Jets - a white gang. The young protagonist, Tony, a former member of the Jets and best friend of the gang leader, Riff, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks.

The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes and the focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. Bernstein’s score for the musical includes “Something’s Coming”, “Maria”, “America”, “Somewhere” and “Tonight”.

Both shows are supported by a full orchestra of local professional musicians.

A representative of the production explained: “The ABC Lord Mayor Alderman Gareth Wilson, attended a recent rehearsal and was immensely impressed by the talent and enthusiasm of all the young people involved.

“He and his family will be returning to see the shows when they are performed in Portadown Town Hall.”

Tickets are available at Winnies Newsagent, Woodhouse Street, Portadown or you can pay at the door.

All evening tickets are £10 and Saturday matinee tickets are £5. The evening show starts at 7.30pm and both matinee start at 2.30pm

“Please support these action packed and memorable shows both of which demonstrate the immense talent in the local area.”