IF you have not yet caught up with Lawrence McKeown’s Green and Blue – Kabosh’s award-winning play on the daily humorous and painful realities faced by the individuals who patrolled the border during the height of the conflict – now's your chance to catch it at the Lyric before it tours.
I caught it a few years ago at the Féile. The commissioned play tells the story of an officer from the Royal Ulster Constabulary in his green uniform and one from An Garda Síochána in blue who communicate via crackly radios until an explosive incident forces them to meet across a field only local farmers know.
Focusing on what it’s like to be hunted when you’re protecting a man-made line on the ground, the play looks at the societal and human cost of borders.
Perhaps if you attend the play you might consider how at times in our recent past it seemed like nothing was ever going to change, but the fact that much has changed since the setting of the play reminds us that it may take time but things do evolve.
There are some great moments in the play and in doing research for for it everyone had different stories. I remember Paula McFetridge of Kabosh saying in an after-play discussion that all the Garda agreed that when being sent up to the border to work, any married members would take off their wedding rings. This snippet did not get included in the final cut.
Green and Blue is based on real-life interviews with former serving officers. It was winner of the Lustrum Award for Best Theatrical Moment at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe.
It runs at the Lyric Theatre from September 14 to 18. A post-show discussion with writer Lawrence McKeown and director Paula McFetridge will take place after the Saturday 3pm show and is included in the price of £12 to £18.
At this time of the year we start to wind down the summer, get the kids back to school and the autumn brochures start to come out to tell us where we can look ahead to what is going to thrill, intrigue and entertain us in the coming months.
European Heritage Days are always a good way to have a nosey around places that you may not have an excuse to be in. This September more than two hundred of Northern Ireland’s historic buildings and monuments, landmarks and hidden gems will open offering free entry with many activities.
The 2022 theme 'Sustainable Heritage: Learn Use Enjoy' encourages us to consider the environment and its impact on our heritag and how we conserve our built and cultural heritage to develop a more sustainable future.
There are 54 spaces open in Belfast, from the Harbour Commissioners and Masonic halls to St Malachy’s College and Cliftonville Moravian Church in the Oldpark – one of one five Moravian churches in the north.
Or what about visiting Lord Craigavon’s home? And the City Cemetery will have a traditional wrought iron demonstration along with blacksmith's forge and demonstrations on making decorative and functional ironwork, as well as a traditional stonemason on hand and limited opportunity to carve into the stone to make a letter.
Lovers of all things North Belfast can catch up with the Great Place North Belfast crew and explore the unique heritage of inner North Belfast with a tour which will reveal the hidden histories of each of the buildings involved in the project. The tour sets off from outside St Anne's Cathedral on Saturday, September 10. To book email firstname.lastname@example.org
European Heritage Open Days are on September 10 and 11. Some opening hours are limited and some activities need to be booked, so check the websites before you set off.
Finally, during Covid French photographer Bernard Lesaing had an exhibition of his bi-lingual exhibition and book 'Faces and Places Northern Ireland 1975-2020' but was unable to have an opening.
Artcetera stepped in to give him an opportunity to have a public conversation about his book last week. It was interesting to hear him talk of his first experience of visiting the Island and being unaware of the divisions north and south.
Faces and Places showcases images by French photographer Bernard Lesaing, from his trip to NI in the mid-1970s and his return over 40 years later.— Ulster Museum (@UlsterMuseum) September 21, 2021
This exhibition gives insights into how life has changed for people here.
Admission is free. Book here: https://t.co/zWePVmnFiB pic.twitter.com/h35qIVwfVN
I wonder if the boys in the photographs of the Busy Bee shopping centre or the anti- internment rally in Andersonstown in 1975 are still around? Bernard didn’t want to go on a hunt into the past to find them but was inspired to return to the region after friends told him just how much we have moved on and after two other French photographers brought out photobooks on Northern Ireland that only focused on the past.
The 2020 images include a number of familiar faces including Father Martin Magill and Nisha Tandon who have worked or are working towards moving the region on further and there is a poignancy in reading their stories alongside the black and white portraits.
His good news is that he has donated twelve of his images to the Ulster Museum, with Frankie Quinn of the Belfast Archive Project being offered the rest.
Bernard is currently focusing on giving his life’s work to Marseille city and setting up exhibitions and training exchanges for young people on traditional photography. He hopes to set one up with Belfast, after all once we get under your skin it’s hard to cut all ties.
Bernard finished his visit with a talk in Derry.