Foster play the ‘funniest Derry has ever seen’

The cast from the 'Camp to the Creggan.'
The cast from the 'Camp to the Creggan.'

Local playwright Brian Foster is confident that his new play, From THE CAMP to THE CREGGAN, will amaze and delight audiences - even if he does face excommunication for one of the scenes he’s written.

“Were I still a practising Catholic, I think I might well be excommunicated for the scene where Kitty Coyle (Carmel Mc Cafferty) and Shugo Kelly (Gerry Doherty) act out, for the enlightenment of their bug-eyed eight-year-old playmate, Paddy Pee-The-Bed O’Neill (Pat Lynch), their unique interpretation of how Derry mammys and daddys make babies. Needless to say, they haven’t quite got it right,” explains Brian.

The local playwright anticipates the play may also stir up a bit of controversy when it opens in the Millennium Forum on Wednesday night for a four-night premiere run.

From the camp to the Creggan has already caught the imagination of the Derry public, with the opening night sold out weeks in advance, and the other three nights each taking heavy bookings.

Brian said: “This play takes no prisoners with sex, politics or religion. Yes, it’s a rip-roaring, laugh-out-loud comedy from start to finish. But the story contained within the play also makes for powerful theatre.

“Set in Derry in 1963, against the background of slum housing, chronic unemployment, and the relentless unionist gerrymander of the city’s political wards, From the Camp to the Creggan will strike a chord with many. And will appeal to men and women alike. It contains not one, but two what might be termed ‘spoof’ Nativity scenes.

“Playing eight-year-old kids from Springtown Camp, these and many other outrageous scenes are enacted, with hilarious gusto, by top adult actors Gerry Doherty, Carmel Mc Cafferty, Pat Lynch and Bill Waters.’

Add Seamas Heaney (as The Narrator), Joanne O’Reilly (Maggie Kelly) and Shaunsy Coyle (Harry Kelly) to the above mix, and the scene is set for a night of side-splitting laughter, plus a few tears too, as Foster once again gives us his unique take on Derry working class ‘life and death’ humour. Brian feels that only by bringing together what he regards as possibly the best local cast ever assembled for a Derry play could he hope to stage a successful production.

He continued: “This is an unashamedly provocative play, detailing the daily struggles and deprivations under which Derry families persevered back in the late 50s, early 60s. In a gripping storyline, the play documents the journey of one such family, the Kelly’s of Springtown Camp, whose vision of ‘the promised land’ consists of a house up in Creggan ‘with an indoors toilet and a wee bit of garden for the wains to play out in’. Audiences will laugh and cry at the struggles of Harry and Maggie to achieve a bit of dignity for their growing family.’

Brian says he wants audiences at his new play to feel free to laugh, clap and cheer throughout. Above all, he wants them to go home feeling raised up and exhilarated at what they’ve just seen.

The opening night is already sold out but there are still seats left for the other three nights. So get booking now, or risk missing out on what is shaping up to be one of the ‘must see’ Millennium Forum events of 2013. Indeed, the buzz hitting the streets is that it may well be the funniest, most original local play ever seen on a Derry stage.

‘From THE CAMP to THE CREGGAN’ runs from Wed 16th to Sat 19th October. Millennium Forum box office: 02871 264455. Or book online at: