Crows on the Wire will be performed in Newry on the 20th of November.On Wednesday the 20th of November at 8pm the Verbal Arts Centre will launch the `Crows on the Wire` project, which centres on the transition of the RUC to PSNI.  

Part of the project is based on a newly commissioned play which will lift the lid on the human story behind the changeover.

The new play commissioned by the Verbal Arts Centre from writer Jonathan Burgess, is set on the eve of the night that the RUC was disbanded and became the PSNI.  The play gives a human voice to the `unheard stories` of serving officers whose personal lives and families became severely fractured through the turmoil of the troubles.  

The play focuses on three characters, all with a different perspective.  Jack is a long-serving  RUC officer who has just come off his shift. David is a new recruit looking forward to the change-over, he has high hopes for what the new service will bring. The conversation between the two men leads to the examination of personal feelings and projections of the future, not only of the service but of the individuals who gave their lives to the policing of Northern Ireland during the Troubles. 

Ruth, a former colleague of Jack’s arrives in the station, drawn to it by the significance of the evening and a desire to be with those, with whom she shared so much during her time in uniform. This, only serves to complicate the situation as the past rushes in upon all sides.

Writer and producer Jonathan Burgess said that he felt it was an important story to tell.

“The motivation behind the creation of the script was to tell the story of the ordinary men and women who served the RUC and were present at the time of its disbandment – how they felt, their reaction to it and the impact upon their personal lives,” he said. “The play has been researched with ordinary rank and file officers from that time and the play is an attempt to represent the human emotions behind the events.”

Verbal Group Chief Executive James Kerr said thatsays he is delighted to be working with sponsorship from SEUPB to deliver Crows on the Wire. He said that the project reflects the central value of the Verbal Arts Centre, a place and space that provides all members of the community regardless of age, background or ability with the opportunities, to tell their story using creative means and to experience and engage with the stories of others. 

“Crows on the Wire is a hugely important piece of theatre,” he said.“From the perspective of peace- building and community relations, the work seeks to provide an authentic voice to add to the on-going work towards a peaceful and normalised society within Northern Ireland. “

“This play is based on the real life experiences, real life feelings of officers at the time of the changeover. 

“Crows on the Wire - aims to engage with individuals and groups from both main traditions affected by the themes of the play, creating opportunities to both listen and to recount experiences through a programme of community engagement.”

The project is an innovative and creative `Peace III` initiative funded under SEUPB - Peace III Programme by the consortium of SEUPB, Pobal and Community Relations Council. 

Tickets are FREE and are limited.  To book your tickets contact The Sean Hollywood Arts Centre on Newry 028 3031 3180.

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