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Enjoy some ‘Green & Blue’ in the Strule Arts

Green & Blue playwright Laurence McKeown with James Doran (actor playing the Garda officer) and Vincent Higgins (actor playing the RUC officer). 	Photo: Neil Harrison

Green & Blue playwright Laurence McKeown with James Doran (actor playing the Garda officer) and Vincent Higgins (actor playing the RUC officer). Photo: Neil Harrison

A NEW play chronicling the experiences of the men and women of the security forces who patrolled the border at the height of The Troubles will be centre stage at the Strule Arts Centre on Wednesday, October 26.

‘Green & Blue’ is the latest piece by playwright Laurence McKeown and explores the pain and humorous realities faced by individuals who patrolled frontiers such as Strabane’s Camel’s Hump during the 1970s and 80s.

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Based on an oral archive of serving RUC and An Garda Síochána officers, the new production fuses theatre and film to look at the person behind the uniform and the different experiences of two individuals on either side of a line in the ground. Directed by Paula McFetridge and performed by James Doran and Vincent Higgins, the production challenges assumptions about policing and aims to open a discussion on the future of policing in Ireland.

Green & Blue will be centre stage at the Alley Theatre on November 2 and the performance will be followed by a facilitated discussion.

Playwright Laurence McKeown, said, “Very often we are defined, and we define others, by the role they play or even the uniform they wear. And yet we all have lives, families, loves, desires and dreams. Others are oblivious to them and often we ourselves suppress them. And maybe to survive it is safer to do so.”

The testimonies of those featured in Green & Blue were collated by Diversity Challenges, a project set up to promote integration among communities in Northern Ireland. Co-ordinator of Diversity Challenges, Will Glendinning, said that as the North continues to develop post-conflict, it is important that everyone impacted by The Troubles is allowed a voice.

“Those who were in the police or the army are often the last people to tell their story.

“If we are to have a full account of the impact of any conflict and to learn from the tragedy to help us build a peaceful future, it is important that as many differing voices are heard and all stories acknowledged,” Mr Glendinning said.

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Artistic director of Kabosh, the Belfast-based theatre group bringing Green & Blue to life, Paula McFetridge, added, “I am interested in creating new theatre that gives a voice to those we often don’t hear from and through hearing that voice the audience is challenged to reassess their own presumptions of fellow citizens. There are still many stories from our violent past that Kabosh draws inspiration from.”

Green  & Blue will be staged at the Strule Arts Centre, Omagh on Wednesday, October 26 at 8pm. Tickets priced £10/£8 can be purchased at the venue, online at www.struleartscentre.co.uk or by phone on 028 8224 7831.

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