Republican News · Thursday 22 May 2003

[An Phoblacht]


A play that goes to the heart of our difficulties

What happens when a former RUC officer and his wife discover that the man working in their kitchen is an IRA ex-prisoner who killed a policeman? That's the scenario in Dubbeljoint Theatre Company's latest play, A Cold House, which opens on Tuesday 3 June in Amharclann na Carraige on the Whiterock Road in West Belfast.

Written by former IRA prisoners Laurence McKeown and Brian Campbell, this is a play which challenges both republicans and unionists alike and which goes to the heart of the current difficulties in the peace process.

It is a play which asks the hard questions and confronts its characters with the uncomfortable truths that must be faced if people are to go forward in a society riven with conflict. It is a deeply human drama which tears apart any cosy notions of what conflict resolution and reconciliation might mean.

Since their release from prison, Laurence McKeown and Brian Campbell have, separately and together, produced two books, two acclaimed stage plays, two radio dramas and an award-winning feature film (H3). A Cold House is their latest collaboration and it promises to be in the finest tradition of political drama which forces a society to hold a mirror up to itself.

In recent years they have engaged in dialogue with the unionist community and in their research for A Cold House, they interviewed a number of former RUC officers.

Director Pam Brighton has produced some of the most challenging plays to come out of the North of Ireland in recent years, such as A Night in November, Binlids, Forced Upon Us, Des and Laughter of Our Children. She describes A Cold House as "a very important play, possibly the most important DubbelJoint has done. It is a play that is intensely relevant to the current situation here, it is also a play that could be appreciated by an audience that knows nothing nor cares nothing about the situation in the North of Ireland, dealing as it does with how people begin to offload the loyalties and commitments that have enhanced their whole lives."

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