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Letterkenny Music and Drama Group performed the Chronicles of Long Kesh to the largest crowd yet at Newry Drama Festival on Sunday night.

The Chronicles of Long Kesh is performed at Newry Drama Festival. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
The Chronicles of Long Kesh is performed at Newry Drama Festival. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

The Martin Lynch play is set in Long Kesh prison between 1971 and 2000 and depicts the lives of the ordinary prisoner, police officers and families and how they deal with the events both within and outside the prison.

As the Adjudicator Michael O’Hara remarked “Here are men fighting to survive, cut off from the realities of everyday life, strangers to their wives and their children, because of beliefs and committments but against all the odds the simple simple staging and the solid performances here blended, I think with an acute understanding of the human cost of armed struggle.”

The sparse set was made up of just four large wooden blocks that were moved to form beds, walls, barricades etc. Commenting on the stage the Adjudicator said it was “So simple a setting, useful arrangements to allow maximum focus on the characters and their conditions. The Director opened up all this space and it was used to advantage.”

Riot underway during Chronicles of Long Kesh. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Riot underway during Chronicles of Long Kesh. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

The players were commended on their pace and how they made full use of the set.

The story is told through the eyes of prison guard, Freddie who links the entire show together, Michael commented on the genial gentle easy going manner that he had “Freddie gave us a nice feeling for this character”

Concluding the Adjudicator said the play was “A fast paced engaging piece depicting an imaginative set of contemporary events delivered by a very enthusiastic and a very energised cast.”

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