Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

A tough tale of life in Belfast

Adrian Dunbar

Waterfront Studio, Belfast , from Monday, April 12, 8pm

An incident at a bonfire prompted Olivier Award-winning playwright Marie Jones to put pen to paper and write Rock Doves, a play which observes post-Troubles Belfast.

Premiered in New York in 2007, it’s now to awe home crowds at the Waterfront Studio, with Adrian Dunbar (left) in the main role.

It’s been a busy time in Marie’s household. Her son, Matthew, had a leading role in Green Shoot’s revival of Over The Bridge, previously featured at the Waterfront. And Jones’ husband, Ian McElhinney, has only just put away his flat cap after starring in The Absence of Women at the Lyric. They’re both heavily involved in Rock Doves — Ian as director, and Matthew in the role of Boy.

The inspiration for the drama arose when Jones watched a young man clamber to the top of a bonfire, refusing to come down once it had been lit. “The whole concept of ‘king for a day’ stayed with me,” said Marie. “And Rock Doves is the result.”

The story is set in a derelict squat amidst a crime ridden Belfast estate and centres around four characters: a down-and-out tramp Knacker (played by Dunbar), and the Boy, who is on the run from paramilitaries. We also meet Bella (Carol Moore), who runs her house as a brothel, and her brother Lillian (Ian Beattie), a transvestite who performs a drag act as Tina Turner.

The play previews at the CRAIC Centre, Coalisland (tel: 028 8774 1100/ www.craicartscentre.com ) tonight and tomorrow. It runs in Belfast until May 1. For details visit www.waterfront.co.uk .

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