Those Springtown kids are a real riot

The cast of 'From the Camp to the Creggan.'
The cast of 'From the Camp to the Creggan.'

It may not have been the most talked about event in the culture calendar, but ‘From the Camp to the Creggan’ is set to become the comedy gem in the crown of 2013.

Opening at the Millennium Forum on Wednesday night, the crowd practically had to scoop themselves off the floor at the end after convulsing with laughter.

Joke followed joke and laugh followed laugh as the crowd enjoyed what is sure to become the most talked about play of the year.

The play has, what I can only describe as the finest bunch of actors this city has ever produced, who will have you roaring with laughter in one breath, while reaching for the tissues in the next.

Carmel McCafferty as the ever so wise ‘Shitty Kitty’ was sensational; she even takes to riding a donkey at one stage. I think everyone in the theatre actually believed she was just eight years-old.

I defy anybody not to clutch their sides and roar with laughter as she and Gerry Doherty (S’Hugo) act out for their friends in Springtown Camp how Derry mammies and daddies make babies.

It goes without saying, they haven’t exactly got their facts of life straight.

Pat Lynch as ‘Paddy Pee the bed’ with his endearing stammer took the audience to his heart, Bill Waters as Matty was incredible and Seamas Heaney as narrator brought a real sense of nostalgia to the piece.

And Joanne O’Reilly (Maggie Kelly) and Shaunsy Coyle (Harry Kelly) as the poverty stricken parents of ‘S’Hugo gave sterling performances.

But the star of the show is without question Gerry Doherty as S’Hugo Kelly. Acting like a child obviously comes naturally to him.

The entire crowd were transported back to their childhood with Gerry, reliving all their childish insecurities.

His portrayal was simply magical and his performance is one I won’t forget in a hurry.

During the two hour performance, the play took in every subject - sex, politics and of course religion.

The crowd are treated to not just one but two nativity plays. They’re both irreverent, foul mouthed and probably the funniest thing I’ve ever seen on a Derry stage.

Quite simply, Brian Foster has created another masterpiece and the cast richly deserved their standing ovation.

They’ll be talking about this play for years to come.

There’s only 12 weeks left of the City of Culture but I’ll stick my neck out now and say if there’s one show I’ll remember this year for, it will be ‘From the Camp to the Creggan’.

There are just two performances left this week at the Millennium Forum, tonight and tomorrow night. But tickets are selling fast. Book on 02871 264455 or online at: www.millenniumforum.co.uk