RUC/Garda play performed in Armagh before going to Prague Fringe Festival – Armagh I

James Doran (left) as Garda officer Eddie O’Halloran and Vincent Higgins (right) as RUC officer David McCabe in green and blue presented by Kabosh. photo creditNeil Harrison

An award-winning play about a friendship that develops between an RUC officer and a Garda officer on the border during the height of the Troubles will be performed in Armagh before becoming one of the star attractions at the Prague Fringe Festival this autumn .

Green and Blue, produced by Belfast theater company Kabosh, will be presented at the Divadlo Inspirace Theater located in the Liechtenstein Palace in the heart of the Czech capital from September 27 to October 1, 2022.

But before that, the acclaimed play written by Laurence McKeown and directed by Paula McFetridge will have its first run at the Lyric, Belfast from September 14-18 before going to Strule, Omagh on September 19, the Ardhowen, Enniskillen on September 20 september, Market Square, Armagh September 21 and the Old Church Centre, Cushendun on September 22.

It will be the first time Green and Blue has been shown since a highly successful residency at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 where it won the Lustrum Award for Best Theatrical Moment.

Paula McFetridge, Kabosh’s artistic director, said they were very happy to be invited to the prestigious Prague Fringe, which is now in its 20th year: “It’s a great honor for us. We are delighted to finally be back on the road after two years of delay! The piece is highly relevant at a time when borders in Ireland, Britain, Europe and beyond are such a hotly debated issue. It’s a beautifully written piece about what it means to be human under extraordinary circumstances.

The play features two of Northern Ireland’s finest actors, James Doran and Vincent Higgins, reprising their roles from the original production, which premiered at the Girdwood Community Hub as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival 2016.

James Doran plays Garda officer Eddie O’Halloran, 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 very different from its southern counterpart.

Set in 1994, just before the IRA ceasefire, the couple recount their experiences, taking into account the history of the conflict in Ireland, how they joined their respective organizations and daily working life in a territory disputed. The play is full of humor, insight and many touching moments.

Despite their different backgrounds, Eddie and David forge a common bond and begin to 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 far more ordinary, save for his occasional run-in with the local IRA commander.

But there is a worrying feeling that what happens on one side of the border affects the other side. The two domains share a mutual dependency. With that air of camaraderie felt by two people doing the same job, the pair decide to meet in a farmer’s field straddling the border and discover that “the grass ain’t greener for sure” than other side of this invisible divide.

“Every line of the play is charged, every scene evokes the global tragedy of Irish history and its wasted lives. These two ordinary men represent us all and our place in a divided country. He allows us to glimpse the human beings behind the uniform. It eloquently explores the human cost of man-made boundaries,” said Paula McFetridge.

James Doran (left) as Garda officer Eddie O’Halloran and Vincent Higgins (right) as RUC officer David McCabe in green and blue presented by Kabosh. photo creditNeil Harrison

It was inspired by Diversity Challenges’ “Voices from the Vault”: oral histories of former officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and An Garda Síochána recalling their experiences as police officers during the Irish conflict .

Kabosh is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council. This Green & Blue tour is presented with the support of Culture Ireland and the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council.

Gilly Campbell, director of arts development for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said she was delighted to support the Northern Ireland regional tour of Kabosh’s powerful production of Green and Blue.

“It’s also incredibly exciting that Kabosh is presenting Green and Blue at the Prague Fringe Theater Festival this fall. It is essential that our artists and arts organizations have the opportunity to present their work to audiences outside Northern Ireland, helping to highlight the inherent talent in the region and putting Northern Ireland on the card for all the right reasons,” she added.

Green and Blue will be presented at the Lyric Theater, from September 14 to 18; Strule Arts Centre, Omagh on September 19, Ardhowen, Enniskillen on September 20; Market Square, Armagh on September 21 and Old Church Centre, Cushendun on September 22. It will then go to the Divadlo Inspirace Theater in Prague from September 27 to October 1, 2022.

There will be a post-production discussion at each of the regional venues and at the Lyric Theater on September 17.

To book tickets, visit this link.

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Berta D. Wells