Added on 05/11/2012
Prominent local playwright Jonathan Burgess is writing new material for a series of forum–theatre workshops under the title ‘The Exile’. Burgess is well known for his recent play, ‘The Exodus’. This play concerned the events surrounding the displacement of Protestant families in the late 1960s and early 1970s from the west bank of the River Foyle in Derry / Londonderry to the relative safety of New Buildings and other areas on the predominantly Protestant Waterside area of the city. This was one of the largest movements of people in Europe at that time.
‘The Exile’ will continue to look at the subsequent experiences of those Protestant people that had to move their home at that time. It will also draw out the impact that this displacement had on people’s lives. ‘The Exile’ material will then be used in a series of forum–theatre workshops to be run around the city early in 2013.
Theatre–forum workshops are a way of using drama to look at difficult subjects – doing it in a way that helps the audience understand the experiences behind the issues being dealt with. A theatre–forum workshop usually starts with a one–act piece of drama followed by an opportunity for members of the audience to reflect on and discuss what they have watched.
‘The Exile’ has been commissioned by Archdeacon Robert Miller, Rector of Christ Church, Culmore, Muff and St Peter’s Parish group. A spokesperson for the Archdeacon said “Many wounds were caused across our city during the Troubles. For the Protestant population the massive population movement during that period has left its mark”. He continued, “We want to use these theatre–forum workshops to promote greater understanding between the communities about this period and to do so in a way that brings healing. Legacy is a vital part of our year as UK City of Culture. We want ‘The Exile’ to leave a positive legacy of greater understanding and healing between our communities”.
As part of his research Jonathan Burgess would like to hear from as many people as possible that have experiences and memories from the time of the population movement. He said, “The secret of powerful drama is to capture and touch on the experiences of real people. That is why I am keen to talk to as many people as possible who have memories from that time”.
To talk to Jonathan Burgess phone 028 71841931 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|For further information please contact:|
The Diocesan Communications Officer