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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Ballymena theatre group host tribute to late co-founders

Bob and Elza Margrain

Bob and Elza Margrain

A County Antrim-based amateur dramatic group hosted a tribute event on the first anniversaries of the deaths of their co-founders, Bob and Elza Margrain.

The Ad Hoc Theatre Group was founded in the 1990s by a number of enthusiasts to provide for a friendly environment in which anyone with an interest in drama could participate.


The Margrains helped produce summer theatre productions such as 'And Then There Were None' by Agatha Christie and Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest', directed by Bob, and in which Elza played her dream role as Lady Bracknell.

The Group was also involved in rehearsed readings and in the Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorations.

Indeed, Bob had agreed to play the part of Ernst Janning in an abridged version of 'Judgement at Nuremberg' as part of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Holocaust Memorial Day event in January 2023.

Unfortunately, Bob passed away in November 2022, with Elza dying a month later.

Co-founder Mervyn Barkman said:

"Bob and Elza worked with Ad Hoc Theatre Group for over 30 years and fostered -and developed-the talent of a huge number of people from the young to the not-so-young.

"This local community in Ballymena and beyond owes them a huge debt of thanks."

The special event was held in the Kells Room of the Adair Arms Hotel on Saturday (9th December) to pay tribute to the much loved and much missed couple, who lived in Cullybackey for many years.

Members of Bob and Elza's family was in the audience and heard some tributes from past and current members of AdHoc, as well as readings from some of Bob and Elza's short stories.

During the afternoon, members of the Group performed some sketches they had wrote, as well as performing a rehearsed reading.

For more information on The Ad Hoc Theatre Group, please visit the group's Facebook page by clicking HERE.


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