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Ballymena actress in ‘Blitz experience’

A Ballymena born actress is currently playing a starring role in W5’s new ‘Immersive Belfast Blitz Theatre Experience’.

Jo Donnelly is one of two narrator type characters that will play a cast of characters, based on real life witnesses to the Blitz.

No stranger to stage and screen, Jo has been performing and acting since childhood. Her television roles include hit TV cop dramas Line of Duty and The Bill.

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Her latest role will see her perform live in front of the audience, alongside multi-screen projection and state of the art 360-degree audio-soundscape technology for a truly immersive experience.

Ballymena born actress Jo Donnelly in her narrator role in W5’s Immersive Belfast Blitz Theatre Experience

Currently on a two-week run until April 23, the new immersive theatre production is presented at Belfast’s W5 in association with award-winning writer and director Dan Gordon, tells the story of the Belfast Blitz.

In April 1941, despite the destruction being wrought throughout Britain and Europe during World War II, the consensus of opinion in Belfast was that “It’ll never happen here!”.

The exciting new production, which coincides with the 81st anniversary of the Belfast Blitz, aims to bring that story to life, bringing audiences back to Belfast, painting a picture of life in the city leading up to the night of the first raid on 7th April 1941.

The story begins with a cast of characters, based on real life witnesses to the Blitz and performed by actors Jo (Rough Girls/Mimi’s World/Nova Jones, BBC) and Marty Maguire (Vikings, Amazon Prime/The Fall, BBC).

Jo plays characters based on real life witnesses to the Blitz

As the first distant siren begins to wail and the sharp cry of ‘put that light out’ echoes around the room, the audience is plunted into darkness for a unique acoustic experience.

Award-winning actor, writer and producer, Dan Gordon who has written and produced the show, said: “I’m proud to partner with W5 to present this exciting new theatre production, which will bring immersive theatre to a whole new level. Many people think of war as something that happens elsewhere. And whilst Belfast has had its fair share of troubles since, at the time of the Belfast Blitz there certainly was a feeling that ‘It will never happen here’.”