A NEW play that tells the story of inner-city working class North Belfast loyalist communities is set to debut in the MAC Theatre next month.

Brought to you by Green Shoot Productions, 'Pride of the Shore' is centred on one dysfunctional family. And when daughter Gillian challenges the traditional views of her loyalist father Rocco, the scene is set for fiery exchanges about modern-day Protestantism, Brexit, a united Ireland and the future of the local Pride Of The Shore Flute Band.

Underlying all this is the modern scourge of suicide and the fate of Shammy and his wife.

The fixed seating at the MAC will be removed for this production and audiences will be seated cheek-by-jowl with the actors throughout.

With a cast of 40, Pride Of The Shore will explore the state of the Protestant community in the 21st century.

The cast and crew from Pride Of The Shore

The cast and crew from Pride Of The Shore

The play is written by Rathcoole native Gary Mitchell, one of the North's most prominent playwrights, and directed by Matthew McElhinney.

It stars Marie Jones, Ivan Little, Antoinette Morelli, Matt Forsythe, Eimear Bailie, Robert Hamilton and a community cast of 20.

Speaking at the launch of the play in Gallopers Cafe on York Road, Martin Lynch from Green Shoot Productions, said: "I have worked on plays all over but nothing gives me more pleasure than to work on a play based in the community I am from.

"I am from York Street and this play is based in this wider community. We have a cast made up of professional actors and non-professional actors from the community taking part. I know people will enjoy it."

Writer Gary Mitchell said: "It has always been my dream to write a play about working class Protestants.

"I can’t thank everyone who took part in our community engagement who trusted me enough to write a play based on it."

Director Matthew McElhinney added: "It is incredible to be working with this community cast. They are all totally engaged in the play. The play tells the story of the resurgence of this community."

Pride of the Shore performs in the MAC Theatre from 12-23 June. You can book tickets now at www.themaclive.com.