Steinbeck night at Arts Centre

US novelist John Steinbeck (1902 - 1968). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
US novelist John Steinbeck (1902 - 1968). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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The Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre is hosting a special film screening of the 1955 Oscar winning adaptation of East of Eden and learn about the author John Steinbeck’s local ancestry.

In an event, on Friday, 4 May, at 7.30pm, Douglas Bartlett will provide a short presentation and discussion on Steinbeck’s local connections preceding the screening, focusing on the author’s article ‘I Go Back to Ireland’ first published in Collier’s Magazine in 1952, and documenting his pilgrimage back to his ancestral homeland of Ballykelly in the same year.

“Speaking of connections, the event marks the first event of the Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre as an International Fringe Festival partner for the National Steinbeck Centre, California. Indeed, after the Arts & Cultural Services Officer sought the original article for some time, the National Steinbeck Centre kindly dispatched it to her all the way from the USA,” saod a spokesperson.

“The Steinbeck Centre now titles Limavady ‘A City of Letters’ thanks to its Steinbeck connections and includes the Arts Centre as an International festival partner, along with Prague, Buenos Aires and Canberra! Their definition of a ‘city of letters’ is one which has been brought to life through the pages of books, and this is particularly evident in Steinbeck’s East of Eden. “

Released in 1956, the film East of Eden was adapted from Steinbeck’s novel, and is very poignant for Limavady, as the character Samuel Hamilton from the novel was based on Steinbeck’s maternal grandfather who hailed from Mulkeraugh, just outside Ballykelly.

Starring movie legend James Dean in his first cinematic role, the film went on to win an Academy Award and also stars Raymond Massey and Julie Harris.

Admission to the event is £4 and complimentary refreshments are provided. For further information, or to book your seat, please contact the Arts Centre on Tel: 028 7776 0650 or visit