Lish & Gerry at the Rock Bar

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I managed to see the last encore performance of “Lish and Gerry at the Shrine”, a drama based around two Northern Ireland football legends — Elisha Scott (Protestant manager of Catholic supported Belfast Celtic) and Gerry Morgan (Catholic trainer for Protestant supported Linfield).

The drama was performed in the Senate Chamber at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, earlier this year, which was covered by the BBC (curiously, under the sport rugby!).

This proved popular, and the production was performed again this summer, at the John Hewitt Summer School and other venues for local football clubs.

There was an interested crowd of a couple dozen for tonight’s performance at the Rock Bar, Falls Road. The audience included Kate Turner (Director) and Dawn Purvis (Chair) of Healing through Remembering, a partnering organisation that facilitated a post-show discussion. This included contributions by Patrick Nelson (Chief Executive, Irish Football Association) and Kate’s father, who played in the Northwest and asked why the likes of Derry City can’t play against a Belfast team. (Indeed, why is that the case?)

Although she didn’t speak to the audience, Madame Oui reminded me that a distant cousin of hers — Norman Lockhart — played for Linfield for a few seasons (1944-45, 1946-47).

So, I may have been late to experience this drama, but I’m grateful for the extended productions, and hope there are more local-based dramas that can instil and develop positive attitudes towards our shared future.

After the workshop session, I briefly interviewed Pádraig Coyle, who authored the drama:

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