New Burgess drama tells the story of UDR members

A quietly developed research and drama project examining the heart-breaking impact of the Troubles on former members and families of Tyrone based Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) personnel reaches a wider public with performances of ‘Inconspicuous Gallantry’ in the Strabane District Council area between November 6 and 11.

‘Inconspicuous Gallantry’ will be performed in Castlederg on November 6 at 8pm (venue to be confirmed), at Newtownstewart 2000 at 8pm on November 7, in the Alley Theatre, Strabane at 8pm on November 10 and in the Sollus Centre on November 11, also at 8pm.

The work is a series of five short dramatic scenes interspersed with discussion facilitated by staff of the Londonderry based peace-building organisation, Towards Understanding and Healing.

These scenes, set during the last 40 years of our Troubles, poignantly explore different aspects of life for Tyrone based UDR men, women and families. These scenes seek to give a voice to these previously unheard men and women.

The scenes scripted by Jonathan Burgess have been directed and produced by Blue Eagle Productions.

“Through these scenes we explore different themes such as anger, loss and bereavement. We also look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the sense of betrayal that many of those who served within the UDR feel about how they were treated,” said Jonathan.

Audiences will be familiar with previous work of Blue Eagle Productions which has included ‘Exodus’ and ‘The Pride.’

Training Director of Towards Understanding & Healing, Eamonn Baker said, “It is necessary to get all voices from all sides of the conflict into the public forum.

“Our organisation is committed to assisting the building of a strong and lasting peace and projects such as ‘Inconspicuous Gallantry,’ where previously unheard stories can be brought to all our attention can be very valuable.

“This process is not about bashing people over the head with ‘a big dramatic stick,’ as it were, but about hearing the human stories of people from the UDR community who engaged with us and with Blue Eagle, people who certainly deserve to be heard.

“We have welcomed the support of both Peace III and Strabane District Council and in particular the support of local Good Relations Officer Amanda Biega in developing this project.”

The performances are followed by facilitated discussions where the audience is invited to respond to what they have seen.

There is free admission.

Please contact the venues directly/or Carol Wright at 02871267519 for further information.

‘Inconspicuous Gallantry’ is funded jointly by SEUPB Peace III and Strabane District Council through its Good Relations grant aid programme.