From the Camp to the Creggan opens in the Forum

Brian Foster, playwright. DER3313SL06 Photo: Stephen Latimer
Brian Foster, playwright. DER3313SL06 Photo: Stephen Latimer

It caused a sensation in Derry and Donegal when it premiered in the Millennium Forum last October.

And tonight, Brian Foster’s hilarious play, from THE CAMP to THE CREGGAN, opens for a new five-night run in that same wonderful venue.

People who saw it last year described it as the funniest thing they had ever seen on a Derry stage.

Many returned to see it again the next night. And the next. So if you haven’t already seen it, this may be your last chance.

And if you have, then you’ll no doubt want to see it again.

Brian said: “After this run it will be many years before this play returns to a Derry stage. That’s if it ever returns in my lifetime.

“I have other things to be getting on with, so after this run I’ll put from THE CAMP to THE CREGGAN to bed, just as I did with another of my plays, Maire – A Woman of Derry.’

“Last year, audiences were amazed and delighted at what they saw on stage.

“The play is hugely original. And besides being an hilarious comedy with a superb cast, is also a powerful story of human endeavour, a testament to the ‘we refuse to lie down’ attitude of generations of Derry folk.

It should be pointed out that it contains strong language throughout, and is definitely NOT suitable for children under fourteen.

“Nor for those with an overly sensitive attitude toward sex, religion or politics.”

Brian again: “The play takes us back fifty years to early 1960s Derry, and follows the journey of the Kelly family of Springtown Camp. ‘The Camp’, as it was known, was a collection of 300 tin huts on the outskirts of Derry abandoned by the US Navy after World War 2. Left empty and derelict, these were quickly squatted into by families desperate to escape the teeming slums of the Bogside, Brandywell and beyond. Their pleas for rehousing to more suitable accommodation ignored, a house in the huge new estate of Creggan remains but a pipedream for ‘The Camp’s’ deliberately forgotten residents. So firebrand socialist father of five, Harry Kelly, comes up with an audacious plan to show up the ‘faceless men’ of Derry’s political establishment to the outside world.

“Communities across the city have been invited to enter a Christmas competition to be held in the Guildhall, to find the best new nativity play. So Harry sits down and writes a play for the local children to perform. But, with the eight-year-old kids played by top adult actors, Gerry Doherty, Carmel Mc Cafferty, Pat Lynch and Bill Waters, this will be a nativity play like none seen before. Add Seamas Heaney, Rachel Melaugh and Shaunsy Coyle to the potent mix, and the scene is set for a night of relentless, side-splitting laughter!’  

Plus a few tears too, I should add, as Brian Foster once again gives us his unique take on Derry working class ‘life and death’ humour.   When from THE CAMP to THE CREGGAN last played The Forum, audiences laughed, cried, clapped and cheered throughout, leaving the theatre feeling delighted, exhilarated, perhaps even a little scandalised! Beginning tonight, and continuing right up to Saturday, this is a must see play that must NOT be missed!

‘From THE CAMP to THE CREGGAN’runs from Tuesday 21 to Sat 25 Oct.

Box office: 02871 264455. Or book online at: www.millenniumforum.co.uk.

Special opening night offer – all seats £12.50.