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Screen revival: '70s Troubles play selected for DVD showcase

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Classic drama: a scene from the 1976 Play for Today, Your Man from the Six Counties

Classic drama: a scene from the 1976 Play for Today, Your Man from the Six Counties

Classic drama: a scene from the 1976 Play for Today, Your Man from the Six Counties

A 1970s television play charting the life of a young boy during the Troubles has been selected for a new collection by the British Film Institute.

First broadcast in 1976 as part of the BBC's long running series Play for Today, Your Man from the Six Counties will now be released on the BFI's new Blu-ray compilation, showcasing the best of the series from the 1970s.

The story follows the life of young Jimmy after his father is killed by a bomb in Belfast.

Sent down south to live on his uncle Danny's farm, he becomes "marooned among prejudice and pity" and caught between his freethinking uncle and his father's old friend Pat, a seemingly fierce republican.

Written by actor and screenwriter Colin Welland, who later won an Academy Award for Chariots of Fire, the drama starred Donal McCann in the leading role.

In a review of the BFI collection, Robert Hanks said: "The acting is wonderful, especially by Donal McCann and Brenda Fricker as Danny."

The famous Play for Today drama series ran from 1970-84, broadcasting over 300 original and often hard-hitting plays made for television and adaptations of classics.

Play for Today later provided Belfast actor Sir Kenneth Branagh with his breakout role in the trilogy of Billy Plays by Graham Reid.

A documentary marking the 50th anniversary of the first Play for Today is now available on BBC iPlayer.

Belfast Telegraph