An award-winning play about a developing friendship between a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer and An Garda Síochána (Irish Police) officer on the Irish border at the height of The Troubles will be making its Birmingham and Liverpool premieres this October, before a series of debuts across the USA.
‘Green & Blue’, produced by Belfast theatre company Kabosh, will be staged at MAC Birmingham on October 24, followed by performances at Chester Lane Library, St Helen’s on October 25, and Hope Street Theatre, Liverpool on 26 – 28 October, as part of Liverpool Irish Festival
The show then heads across the Atlantic for a run of American dates, including shows in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, New York City, and Boston.
This critically acclaimed production has received rave reviews after a recent run in London, and Dublin. The Irish Independent declared it ‘a highly moving piece of social theatre’, with the Irish Times awarding four stars.
Paula McFetridge, Artistic Director of Kabosh said they were thrilled to be invited to perform this already well-travelled piece in England and America:
‘Green & Blue’ suitably sparks conversations about what we expect from our police forces. Although set on the Irish border, these conversations transcend nations and oceans. The play is incredibly relevant at a time when high-profile cases have put police standards in NI, England, and the USA under the microscope of public opinion. This beautifully created play provokes audiences across the globe to reflect on the societal structures we deserve.
The play stars two of NI’s finest actors, James Doran and Vincent Higgins, reprising their roles from the original production which premiered at Girdwood Community Hub as part of the 2016 Belfast International Arts Festival.
James Doran plays Garda officer Eddie O’Halloran, originally from West Cork, patrolling the Monaghan side of the border while Vincent Higgins is David McCabe, an RUC officer whose experience of patrolling the Fermanagh side is vastly different from his southern counterpart.
Set in 1994, just before the IRA ceasefire, the pair recount their experiences, taking in the history of the conflict in Ireland, how they joined their respective organisations and the day-to-day life of working in a disputed territory. The play is laced with humour, insight, and lots of touching moments.
Despite their different backgrounds, Eddie and David strike up a common bond and learn more about themselves, their similarities, as well as their differences. David’s experiences are harrowing, steeped in violence and the threat of violence, while Eddie’s are much more ordinary except for his occasional run-ins with the local IRA commander.
But there is a brooding sense of what happens on one side of the border affects the other side. The two areas share a mutual dependence. With that air of comradeship felt by two people doing the same job, the pair meet in a farmer’s field straddling the border and find out that the ‘grass is no greener’ on the other side of this invisible divide.
“Every line of the play is loaded, each scene redolent of the overall tragedy of Irish history and its wasted lives. These two ordinary men represent all of us and our place in a divided land. It allows us to glimpse the human beings behind the uniform. It eloquently explores the human cost of man-made borders’ Paula McFetridge said.
It was inspired by Diversity Challenges’ ‘Voices from the Vault’: oral histories from former RUC and An Garda Síochána officers recalling their experiences as police officers during the Irish conflict.
Green & Blue will be shown at Hope Street Theatre, Liverpool, from Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 October.
For more information see here
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This tour is presented with funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund and Culture Ireland.