Our ‘First Responders’ of The Troubles share their stories

Those first at the scene of shootings and atrocities during The Troubles have worked with The Playhouse in Derry to devise and perform a new piece of theatre about their experiences.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 10:04 am
Updated Saturday, 1st February 2020, 1:13 am
Cast members of First Responders rehearsing at The Playhouse.

Created by The Playhouse Theatre and Peacebuilding Academy and directed by Japanese-American artist Ailin Conant, ‘First Response’ will open at The Playhouse Derry next month.

‘First Response’ asks what happens when your professional duty requires you to run towards the scene of the horror, at a time when everyone else is running away?

What secrets do these men and women hold in their physiology, and how can their story help us understand ourselves and the society we live in today?

Cast member of First Responders rehearsing at The Playhouse.

Ailin Conant is the latest artist to be announced for the two-and-a-half-year EU PEACE funded Theatre and Peacebuilding project, which will work with a range of internationally based artists with significant experience of utilising arts activity in conflict and areas of social breakdown throughout the world. Ailin’s vast experience using theatre as a platform for post-conflict dialogue includes work with former adult and child combatants, refugees, war orphans, and survivors of genocide.

Delivered in partnership with Holywell Trust, Thomas D’Arcy McGee Foundation and Queens University Belfast, the project aims to use theatre as a tool to promote healing and reconciliation in a healing and transformative way.

The PEACE IV Programme is an EU funded Programme designed to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border region. It is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Executive Office and the Department for Rural and Community Development.

‘First Response’ will run at The Playhouse from Wednesday, February 26 to Saturday 29. The cast of first responders will also be supported by an ensemble from University of Ulster drama.

Tickets are free but booking is essential. Contact The Playhouse Box Office on (028)71268027 or online at www.derryplayhouse.co.uk