John Duddy to star in Duggan courthouse drama

John Duddy.
John Duddy.

Derry boxer-turned-actor, John Duddy and Limavady actress Orla Mullan (BBC2’s The Fall) will join Diarmuid de Faoite in a gripping new play by novelist and dramatist Dave Duggan, that will be staged in Derry’s Courthouse in April.

Denizen is a courtroom drama, written in verse, in which the last republican dissident challenges himself to build a future without violence. Played by Diarmuid de Faoite, most recently seen in TG4’s Corp agus Anam, Denizen, is cross-examined by a chorus of prison guards, portrayed by Duddy and Mullan.

The hard-hitting drama focuses in on one person, the perpetrator Denizen, and from his personal perspective, explores his life and violent actions. He interrogates himself with questions of what to do now and explores possibilities for creating a peaceful future.

In a unique piece of theatrical staging, the opening night will be in the Ráth Mór Centre, followed by dates in Bishop Street Courthouse, a first for both buildings.

Since retiring his boxing gloves Duddy’s career on the stage and screen has gone from strength-to-strength. Most recently he has starred opposite movie giant Robert De Niro in Hands of Stone biopic based on the life of Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán. He also appeared in rock band Bon Jovi’s new video for their latest single Because We Can.

He said: “I’m very lucky and absolutely thrilled to be returning home to Derry to be apart of this great play Denizen.

“I’m looking forward to working and rehearsing with Dave Duggan and the entire cast and crew to help tell this intriguing story. It brings to mind something I heard long ago, ‘One mans terrorist is another man revolutionary’. I’m looking forward to seeing my family and friends again very soon.”

Limavady’s Orla Mullan completes the all-star cast, joining Duddy as a prison guard Audiences will be familiar with Mullan after recently playing PSNI backroom officer Aiobheann Jackson, in the critically-acclaimed BBC thriller The Fall.

Commenting on her new role, Orla said: “I am delighted to be part of the Denizen cast, especially having been involved in the rehearsed reading last year. I think it’s such a well-written, interesting piece and the site specific element of the performances adds an extra flavour and further layer of intensity that you don’t always get in a theatre - to be able to actually perform the play in the Courthouse and transform the Rath Mor Centre will be something very special.”

Denizen by Dave Duggan, produced by Creggan Enterprises Limited, in association with The Hive Studio, is being supported by Derry City Council and Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Legacy Fund.

Tickets are on sale at the Millennium Forum and Pennywise (Ráth Mór Centre) for shows at the Ráth Mór Centre on Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st March, at £5 and for shows on 6th, 7th and 8th April at The Court House on Bishop Street, at £10 and £7.