Belfast Telegraph

It's Undertones the musical for Derry's year of celebrations

By Donna Deeney

A punk musical featuring the classic hits of Londonderry band The Undertones will form part of a £1m investment by the Arts Council into Derry’s City of Culture celebrations.

Written and produced by acclaimed author Colin Bateman, Teenage Kicks is one of three projects revealed as part of a wider programme of 18 new arts events for the year.

Alongside the Bateman work, details of the largest ever exhibition of works by Derry's own Turner Prize-nominated artist Willie Doherty and the first international contemporary dance festival organised by Echo Echo are included in today's announcement.

Bob Collins, Chairman of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said it is just a taste of what people can expect from next year’s cultural festivities.

He explains: “As the first ever UK City of Culture, expectations are high for Derry to deliver an outstanding programme in 2013.

“Today’s announcement confirms that there will be much to look forward to.”

Bateman is currently in the early stages of developing his script for the musical which will be set in Derry during the 1970s.

It will be produced by the Millennium Forum in association with the Nerve Centre and is based around the music of the world famous Derry band.

Teenage Kicks will be the second work for stage by the Co Down man and follows the success of National Anthem which debuted at the 2011 Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens.

He said: “Even those too young to remember The Undertones will be familiar with their music.

“They have become synonymous with Northern Ireland and Teenage Kicks will use their distinctive sounds to tell a story about the punk generation.”

‘Unseen’ will be the biggest ever exhibition of photographic and video works by artist Willie Doherty who has had a range of international shows to his name.

Towards the latter part of the celebrations planned for 2013 is the Echo Echo Dance Festival which is the first dedicated dance and movement festival in Northern Ireland created by one of the island's leading companies.

Martin Bradley, Chair of Culture Company 2013 added: “The three top class events that have been announced today give an indication of the Arts Council’s commitment to our celebrations in 2013.”

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