Ian Paisley drama set for Cookstown

A NEW all-star cast is set to take the Burnavon stage by storm next week in the second part of Greenshoot’s groundbreaking Ulster Trilogy, Paisley & Me.

Based on the life of firebrand politican Ian Paisley, the exciting drama written by Emmy Award-winning writer Ron Hutchinson comes to Cookstown on Wednesday 7th November at the Burnavon theatre.

Actor Dan Gordon will play the eponymous Northern Irish firebrand alongside a line-up which will also include local luminaries Stella McCusker, Lalor Roddy and Steve Blount.

The play followes on from last year’s republican drama Brothers in Arms and will focus on the Protestant experience.

Ron Hutchison, former writer-in-residence with the Royal Shakespeare Company, draws on his own childhood in Northern Ireland to explore the unique impact of Ian Paisley on the Protestant community.

Using a mother who loved Paisley and a father who was highly critical, the playwright shines a searching light on the life and legacy of one of the most influential men in Ulster’s history.

The riter told the MAIL: “I’m delighted to be back working in Northern Ireland for the first time in almost 20 years. This is a very personal play for me. I’m returning to confront a few old ghosts that have been following me about the world since I left Islandmagee as a boy.”

Director, Matt Torney added: “I have a feeling this could be a very important play. Certainly in Ron Hutchinson we have onboard one of the most distinct and poetic voices around today. Add that to an A Team cast list and I think Cookstown audiences are in for a treat.”

Greenshoot Artistic Director and Producer of Paisley & Me, Martin Lynch, said the drama was a perfect follow on from Brothers in Arms.

“After dealing with Belfast republicanism in the first part Green Shoot’s Ulster Trilogy with Sam Millar’s Brothers In Arms, this time it’s Ron Hutchinson’s turn to look at the current situation in the Northern Ireland Protestant community,” he said.

“Ron tackles this by examining the influence of Ian Paisley on his own family and I can say, without doubt, it will be a powerful play. It might be controversial - given the subject matter - but I know it will be honest, straight-from-the-hip, poetic theatre at its very, very best.”

Tickets are priced at £12. You can get further information and book for Paisley & Me, and more, from the Burnavon Box Office on the Burn Road, by phone on 028 8676 9949 or online at www.burnavon.com. Keep up to date with all the Burnavon news on Facebook and Twitter (#burnavontheatre).