Lish & Gerry at the Rock Bar

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:

[Original post at Mr Ulster:]






  • Chris Donnelly

    I haven’t seen the performance, Ulster, but heard it was very good.

    During the 2009 Feile, I attended the rededication of Elisha Scott’s grave in the City Cemetery. It was a great event, well attended by family and followers of the old Belfast Celtic.

    Glad to see the Blues flag flying in the Rock Bar there, too. Perhaps a Celtic banner may one day adorn the walls of a drinking den on Sandy Row eh? ;>

  • Dullypicker

    Sounds like a great play, covering a very interesting topic, I would hope this has a few more outings as I would love to catch it. You mentioned that you hoped there would be “more local-based dramas that can instil and develop positive attitudes towards our shared future”. I would encourage you to look out for a play I have seen which will be doing the rounds again in September. “The Exodus” is a play which attempts to tackle a story which has been long since tucked under the carpet and ignored, but with a view to mutual acceptance and tolerance within our “Shared Society” and why the events it covers were ever allowed to happen. It has already played in several places like Strabane, Donegal, Omagh and Ballymena, including the Creggan Estate in Derry, accompanied by a discussion session much like you have mentioned above.

    Below is an excerpt from the flyer and the remaining tour dates:

    “Over 95% of the Protestant people living on the west bank of the River Foyle moved away from the cityside between 1969 and 1973. This movement, referred to by many as ‘The Exodus’, is one of the most significant and yet untold stories of Northern Ireland’s recent past.

    Set in the early 1970’s, new drama THE EXODUS attempts to look at how and why this movement happend and examines the extreme pressures the Protestant community was placed under during one of the most turbulent periods of The Troubles.”

    Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen. Saturday 10th Sept.

    Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey. Wednesday 14th Sept.

    Marketplace Theatre, Armagh. Friday 16th Sept.

    Riverside Theatre, Coleraine. Thursday 22nd Sept.

    Millennium Forum, Londonderry. Monday 26th Sept.

    Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast. Friday 30th Sept.