Ireland's most radical priest
A play about one priest's refusal to abandon those who needed him most, even when the established church turned its back on them, is set to open in Belfast at the end of March. Penned by former An Phoblacht editor Brian Campbell at the behest of DubbelJoint theatre company, the play, which takes the form of a reflective soliloquy stars Jim Doran as Father Des Wilson, who ministers to the people of West Belfast.
Doran previously appeared in the role of James Connolly during last summer's West Belfast Festival performance of `Forced Upon Us'. More recently, he has won critical acclaim for his role in RTÉ's series `Rebel Hearts'. ``The role of Des is my biggest challenge to date,'' he says.
The production is directed by Pam Brighton, whose previous successes include `Mother of All the Behans' and `Binlids', a story of West Belfast resistance. The essence of this latest play, says Pam, is the story of a man who gave the people of West Belfast hope. More then a reflection of faith, the play reflects the relationship between the people of Ballymurphy and Des Wilson.
`Des' opens on Wednesday, 29 March, and will run until 1 April at Amharclann na Carraige (The Theatre on the Rock) at BIHFE on the Whiterock Road, West Belfast. Tickets are available from the Art Shop, Conway Street, the Flower Bay, Kennedy Centre and the Ardoyne Fleadh Office. The play is then set for a two-week tour at nine different venues, including shows in Newry, Omagh, Ballybofey and Derry.
BY LAURA FRIEL