Dermott Hickson who plays Jackie Duddy, the first person killed on Bloody Sunday, in the performance of The Conquest of Happiness this weekend. Picture Martin McKeown.
The Conquest of Happiness an outdoor, avant garde, daring and epic show take place at Ebrington Suqare this Friday and Saturday night.
Featuring a unique and visually dynamic set comprised of military vehicles, the open air performance will push the boundaries of what makes modern theatre, promising two raw, emotive and powerful nights on a bold scale.
The action will centre on a dramatic combination of first-hand accounts and dramatizations of some of the 20th and 21st centuries’ most dramatic moments of conflict, including a historic scene from Bloody Sunday, reenacted by Ballaghy born actor Dermott Hickson.
The show presents the theory that, even faced with atrocity, humanity has the enduring ability to find happiness.
Combining an exciting mix of theatre, live music and dance alongside a people’s choir of adults and young people from the city, the show will place the audience directly into the heart of the performance.
This multi-sensory experience, which is directed by the acclaimed Haris Pasovic in his Ireland debut, is inspired by the writings of world-renowned pacifist Bertrand Russell, who penned the book of the same name. ‘The Conquest of Happiness’ was published in 1930 and became known as the world’s first self-help book. Russell was eminently progressive on education, feminism and the anti-atomic movement and his writings are incredibly relevant to modern western thought. The Conquest of Happiness, which was commissioned by the Culture Company as part of the UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations, will contextualize Russell’s writing against some of the most horrific acts of war of the 20th and 21st centuries. An episode in Northern Ireland’s troubled history will be played out amongst stories from Palestine, Vietnam, Cambodia, Chile, Bosnia and 9/11.
Director Pasovic said: “Derry~Londonderry is the right place to stage the World Premiere and the Derry~Londonderry audience is an extremely important partner for this show. To think about happiness in this unhappy world, to meet as fragile human beings, to exchange our dreams, hopes and fears and to create a vision which will inspire both the audience and us – those are and have been our goals.”
Wet weather gear and warm clothing is advised for Friday and Saturday night at Ebrington Square.The performance is standing. Tickets £12 and £8 concession (plus booking fee). Contact 028 7126 4455.