After 50 Years Onstage
Rodney ‘Plonker’ Magee
takes his Final Bow!
SEPTEMBER 1963 – The Beatles charted with ‘She Loves You’, the Profumo scandal was making headlines and the Great Train Robbery was still sending shockwaves around the UK.
And, at the same time in Portrush, a young boy called Rodney Magee was persuaded to set foot on stage for the very first time with Ballywillan Drama Group.
Now fifty years on, Rodney is preparing to take his final bow with the group as he takes his leave from stage after half a century of amateur drama.
Rodney is currently playing the part of an apostle in the drama group’s production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ in the Riverside Theatre and, on Saturrday, February 1st, he will step down from performing with the group.
Rodney took time out from rehearsals for ‘Superstar’ to look back over 50 years of pantomimes, musicals, directing and producing.
“I suppose like many Portrush folk my first memory of going to see a panto was being taken to the Town Hall by my mother when I was probably about seven or eight to see Ballywillan,” Rodney told the Times.
“In those days, people used to be queued up outside in all weathers waiting to get in.
“I remember being amazed as a child that all the people I had seen dressed up on stage were the same people that I met down the street in Portrush.
“I suppose it was naive but I was just fascinated that these were the people we met in shops and around the town.
“Then in September 1963, I was coaxed to go along to rehearsals for the pantomime The Wizard of Oz.
“I joined the chorus and I never left!