Stage Aid celebrates three decades helping

The members of Stage Aid at final rehearshals for this weekends production of 'The Wedding' in Gilford Community Hall. LM0909-145gc
The members of Stage Aid at final rehearshals for this weekends production of 'The Wedding' in Gilford Community Hall. LM0909-145gc

As the Gilford-based Stage Aid Drama Society celebrates its 30th Anniversary, it draws focus to the growing Ebola crisis.

Initially inspired in 1985 by Bob Geldof’s Live Aid concert, Armand Gaillard used his skills as a talented musician, songwriter and playwright to create Stage Aid Drama Society, a charity that uses profits from its popular performances, to make continuous donations to Third World countries.

Despite the charity’s local rather than global focus, Armand has managed to keep the charity running, producing a number of award-winning plays such as ‘The Spinner’s Ball’, ‘The Wedding of Lily Thompson’, ‘Uncle Tommy’s Wake’, ‘Love knows no right-a-way’, ‘My Final Destiny’ and most recently, ‘The Departure Lounge’.

In 2014 the Drama group were inspired once again, by Bob Geldof’s re-ignition of Band Aid to raise awareness not for famine, but for the deadly Ebola virus that struck West Africa, which as Geldof states ‘renders humans untouchable’.

As images and reports raised a lot of concern over the alarming Ebola crisis, the urgency to help encouraged Stage Aid to release their latest production ‘The Departure Lounge’, as an appeal for support.

In the last 30 years many charities have struggled to keep afloat due to the ever increasing financial pressures and demands.

However, it is a testament to Stage Aid’s commitment, on-going voluntary membership and the quality of scripts and performances that they have continued to display, that has caused them now to be celebrating their 30th Anniversary.

By putting on first class shows to hundreds of people in a variety of venues, ranging from Community Halls to The Waterfront Hall, Belfast, Stage Aid is extremely appreciative of its continuous public support for performances which has enabled the society to raise a staggering £60,000 pounds for Third World and local charities year after year, whilst staging the best possible productions with the minimum of expense.

After receiving a standing ovation in The Waterfront last October, the popular performance, which also won the Audience Award in Lislea Festival in February 2014, will be hitting Lurgan Town Hall on Friday, 13th February. Tickets can be purchased from McKeag’s Express Dry Cleaners or alternatively you can pay at the door, for just £10 which will include a light supper.

Not only will you be making a significant and much needed donation to the Ebola Appeal, but you are guaranteed a wonderful evening full of entertainment, laughter and craic!