Despair, love, anger, humour, and bravery, six children lost to the Troubles will be remembered in a powerful new drama created by The Playhouse Theatre Peace Building Academy will open on Tuesday, November 27 to Saturday, December 1.
The stories and experiences of six families who’ve experienced the killing of a child within their family will be shared in ‘The Crack in Everything’ by Jo Egan.
These stories will be performed by friends and family connected to the children, supported by professional actors.
Over 20 people have taken part in one-to-one interviews with family members, friends of the children, school teachers, neighbours, peace activists and specialists in trauma for the major EU PEACE IV funded project cross-border project.
The stories being shared are those of Damien Harkin, 8 years old, was killed by a British Army lorry in the Bogside on July 24, 1971; Annette McGavigan, 14 years old, fatally wounded when the British Army fired into a crowd of bystanders at a riot in the Bogside on September 6, 1971; Julie Livingstone, 14 years old, died on May 13, 1981 from injuries sustained after she was shot by a plastic bullet fired by the British Army; Kathryn Eakin, 8 years old, died in the Claudy bombings, carried out by the IRA, on July 31, 1972; Kathleen Feeney, 14 years old, shot and killed on November 14, 1973 when a young IRA sniper fired at a British Army checkpoint and killed Kathleen by mistake; and Henry Cunningham, 16 years old, a passenger in a van fired on by three UVF gunmen on August 9, 1973.
The initiative aims to use theatre as a tool for truth recovery, to find healing and peace in stories of hurt and tragedy.
Playwright, Director and Community Arts Activist Jo Egan is the first of four Socially Engaged Theatre Practitioners to deliver this new theatre piece for the project.
Jo Egan said: “This is one of the most challenging but exciting projects I’ve ever been involved with. These stories are terrible in their impact on people’s lives, frightening in that they reveal the corruption of our political structures, but they also reveal a hard won wisdom, deep humanity and fearless honesty.”
The Playhouse is working in partnership with Holywell Trust, Thomas D’Arcy McGee Foundation and Queens University Belfast to deliver the two and a half year Theatre Peace Building Academy project.
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.
Tickets for ‘The Crack in Everything’ by Jo Egan are free and are available from The Playhouse Box Office on (028)71268027 or online at www.derryplayhouse.co.uk. More information about the project is available from www.theatreandpeacebuilding.co.uk.