Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Stage drama set to focus on life in a loyalist flute band

A drama production aimed at demystifying loyalist bands is to be staged in Londonderry.

The Pride looks at life behind the uniform of a Northern Irish flute band, and will run for two nights at the Waterside Theatre in Derry on July 3 and 4.

The play by Blue Eagle Productions aims to educate people about the motivation and impact that a band has on a local community in Northern Ireland.

It also claims to offer “for the first time on stage”, an accurate and sincere interpretation of the life of a loyalist flute band. The production has been specially commissioned by The Pride of the Orange & Blue Flute Band from the Newbuildings area the city.

The Pride tells the story of the highs and lows, the comradeship and the tensions, the tears and laughter of life as a bandsman.

The play centres on founding member Robbie, who lives for the band, and his best friend Davie. Amanda is the proud mother of Robbie's two sons who have followed their father into the band and the household is completed with Dessie, Robbie's grumpy father-in-law, who thinks the band is a waste of time.

It's coming close to the start of the marching season and the house is busy as plans are made for them to travel to the May Rally in Glasgow, as well as planning to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

The Pride was originally commissioned in 2010 as a means of creating positive debate and engagement across communities in Northern Ireland.

The project has been resurrected for UK City of Culture 2013 and is seeking to take this engagement to another level.

Aside from staging the play again, facilitated workshops based on scenes from the play will be staged in places where the loyalist band tradition could be seen as being most divisive.

These will be hosted by the play's writer Jonathan Burgess and a local peace and reconciliation facilitator.

Story so far

There are currently more than 700 flute bands in Northern Ireland with a combined membership of approximately 30,000 people. This makes band membership the largest cultural activity in Northern Ireland. Despite this, band members have raised concerns that the rationale and voice behind band membership remains largely unheard and unexplored.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Leo:

You are outgoing and energetic. People are receptive to your ideas. This is a wonderful time to share your knowledge and know how, make a presentation or work on collecting support for an idea. Having a clear, concise outline will attract lots of support. Don't waste valuable time hemming and hawing. If you fail to get someone's attention within the first thirty seconds of your pitch, you'll lose their interest. Making an intriguing proposal and then support it with compelling statistics.More