Connecting Creativity with Community

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Crimea Square – The Amazing Story of the Shankill Road

Months of hard work and dedication for members of the Greater Shankill Community are finally coming to fruition as the community play ‘Crimea Square’ prepares for an 11 night run at the Spectrum Centre.

The play originated from a series of creative writing classes at the Centre which has inspired a group of residents to come together and become playwrights. With professional direction and support from Jo Egan, they have now written ‘Crimea Square’ and wait with anticipation for the opening night.

The Shankill, 1953. photo credit: Paul Carson

The Shankill, Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation 1953. photo credit: Paul Carson

The play, which features 35 members of the community in the cast alongside professional actors including Marie Jones, Matthew McElhinney and Jo Donnelley, charts 100 years in the life of the Shankill using an intriguing mix of performance, film and sound. Inspired by pivotal events, the script has been informed and shaped by the real stories and recollections of the community obtained by the playwrights through interviews and conversations.

The play is set to have a profound effect on its audiences – it will invoke inspiration, challenge, laughter and tears – and will vividly convey the resilience and strength of the Shankill and its people. Promising an immersive experience it will invite the audience to consider what they can do to contribute to the present, and to the next 100 years.

The play will open on the 17th October and will run Thursdays to Sundays over a three-week period – 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31 October and 1, 2 November. Shows start at 7.30pm. Tickets are available directly from the Spectrum Centre ( 028 90504555 ) or through the Belfast Festival ( www.belfastfestival.com or 028 90971197 ).

Tickets are priced £10 (£8 concessions) with group rates available on request.

This is a Spectrum Centre production supported under the Belfast PEACE III Plan by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the PEACE III Programme, and by National Lottery Funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Mervyn Bell, General Manager at The Spectrum Centre said:

This is a not to be missed event. Starting from scratch, members of the community have produced an inspired work that deserves to be seen and appreciated. Their portrayal of an iconic community is touching and insightful.

See also An Exhibition Responding to Crimea Square: A Play Showcasing 100 years of Shankill Road History