ACCLAIMED play, “The History Of The Troubles (Accordin’ To My Da’)”, is coming back to Enniskillen after a 10-year hiatus.
Written by Martin Lynch, who scripted stage hits such as “Dockers”, “Castles In The Air” and last year’s big theatre success, “In The Name Of The Son” – “The History Of The Troubles” has packed venues to the rafters across Ireland.
After it’s last showing in 2010, Lynch and the cast decided to take a break and put the play to one side to write and perform other work.
However, “The History Of The Troubles” is making an eagerly-awaited return with the performance at Enniskillen’s Ardhowen taking place on Wednesday, February 1 at 8pm.
So what was the reason for the play’s return? To mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement or to remind a post-Brexit audience of what life used to be like and the desire not to go back to it?
The answer is a bit more simpler than that, admits Lynch.
He said: “I would love to say that we did bring it back for those reasons as that would make a good story. But that wasn’t in our thinking.
“We haven’t put the play on in ten years. We had been doing it every two years prior to that and it continued to be very, very popular. There was a wee bit of a fall-off on the last production and we thought, ‘you know what…we’ll just put it to bed for a while and see what’s what’.
“Things came together again with everybody’s diaries all fitting in and we thought it was time to bring it back. Unbelievably, the sales have been phenomenal.”
The play’s success has been put down to it showing a marker to show the audience that The Troubles were now in the past.
Lynch added: “When I wrote the play originally, it was about the ending of The Troubles. I was watching on the TV Long Kesh prisoners coming out and seeing that made me realise that The Troubles were over. So I wanted to write something that would kind of mark that.
“Maybe I’m only surmising but younger people will be able to place it into its historical context. They would have only heard of The Troubles but the play, even though for the most part it is a comedy, still shows all the key events, the mayhem and the mass murder.
“This play just gets standing ovations with every single performance. It’s a sure-fire crowd-pleaser – people will just love it. It has packed out the Ardhowen Theatre in the past and I’m sure it will sell-out again this time.”
Such has been the play’s success over the years, Lynch says people show both him and the cast how much of it has stuck with them.
He continued: “A woman once tapped me on the shoulder after a show at Belfast’s Grand Opera House and told me, ‘I bet I’ve seen this play more times than you’.
“People still quote lines from it years after seeing it which is a sign of a play that has legs and longevity. One of the actors, Conor Grimes who plays Fireball, was in Croatia before Christmas and someone across the street shouted at him, “Alright Fireball! How ya doing?’.”
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