Personal effects of John and Pat Hume to feature in Playhouse exhibition
An exhibition featuring some of the personal effects of the late Pat and John Hume is to be shown in the Playhouse from Sunday.
‘Hume – A Pilgrimage to the Light’ promises to reveal key moments in the lives of the late political activists including their role in the development of the credit union movement in Ireland.
Derry Credit Union is allowing access to their vault for the exhibition which is being presented in the run up to a major new drama honouring the peacebuilders.
The exhibition will include John Hume’s Credit Union membership card and minutes of first Derry Credit Union meeting and will be held at The Playhouse from Sunday, October 16 to Sunday, October 23, from 2pm to 6pm, marking the exact time and date of the first ever meeting in 1960.
It follows the announcement of funding of £45,000 by the Irish League of Credit Unions for the forthcoming Playhouse production of ‘Beyond Belief’, a new musical drama honouring John Hume, that will be screened live across the world on the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement next year.
Delivered in partnership between The Playhouse and The John & Pat Hume Foundation, the production will be created by writer and poet Damian Gorman, Brian O’Doherty (composer) and directed by Kieran Griffiths.
Telling John and Pat’s story through the medium of music theatre, ‘Beyond Belief’ is the second part of a peacebuilding trilogy by The Playhouse, following the phenomenal success of ‘The White Handkerchief’, which premiered in the Guildhall on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, January 30, 2022.
As with ‘The White Handkerchief’, members of The Playhouse Music Theatre Company will make up the ensemble for the production, (with some auditioning for major roles), having taken part in world class training with The Playhouse.
Launched in May 2021, The Playhouse Music Theatre Company offers world class music theatre training to those from the city who are strong theatre performers.
President of The Irish League of Credit Unions Helene McManus said: “John and Pat Hume mean so much to so many people and none more so than to credit union members on the island of Ireland. John and Pat recognised that for ordinary people to have a voice, they needed to have access to credit while others financially and socially excluded them.
"Through their work in founding Derry Credit Union, John and Pat provided the working class people of Derry with opportunities to change their lives through financial education and access to credit.
"John was also the youngest President of the Irish League of Credit Unions from 1964 to 1968, and, during his tenure, travelled the length and breadth of Ireland ensuring the development of the credit union movement. The Irish League of Credit Unions is honoured to support the production of ‘Beyond Belief’.”
CEO of The Playhouse Kevin Murphy said: “These are immensely symbolic artefacts, not just for Derry Credit Union, The Playhouse, or our city, but for the island of Ireland and beyond. We use the arts to empower people and make peaceful change, and no-one did that better than John and Pat, who saw the value of financial independence as a means for people to build decent and dignified lives.”