A “radical” Irish play exploring the impact of the Troubles on a struggling community returns to Liverpool next week.
Committed, by playwright Stephen Smith, had a successful run at the Liverpool Irish Festival in 2014, and will be back in full force at the Blade Factory (part of the Camp and Furnace complex) on March 8, 9 and 10 courtesy of Falling Doors Theatre, a new North West-based company aiming to “bring powerful and relevant theatre to Liverpool and surrounding areas”.
Set in a Catholic ghetto of Belfast in 1993, Committed tells the story of Dan McCrory, a republican ex-con sent to organise the people against a plague of petty crime. Where the police are not welcome, the ‘Concerned Residents Committee’ is judge and jury. However, as Dan finds to his cost, justice wields a double-edged sword….
Stephen Smith is a published poet and was a political activist and teacher around the time of the Troubles in Ireland. He actually wrote Committed in Liverpool, following his own experiences in the aftermath of the ceasefire. Committed will be directed by Sarah Van Parys, a graduate from LJMU, and the Young Everyman Playhouse Director’s Course. She recently completed a placement with the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme, assisting with English Touring Theatre.
“At the moment, more than ever, I believe that this play could be set anywhere, in any community that feels the pressure of the current political change in the world and how it is affecting their community,” she said.
“The play centres on a group of residents within a committee who don’t feel as though they are being protected as they should be, there is no work available for them and they are struggling to get by on a day to day basis. We live in a world where we are controlled by those above us, with the ‘little people’ suffering. In this play, the ‘little people’ find their voice.”
Falling Doors was set up by Sarah in 2014 to work primarily with local actors and writers developing and staging new writing. Committed is their second production, following Pipedreams back in the days of the Lantern Theatre.
The Blade Factory isn’t often used for theatrical performances, which is part of the reason it appealed as a venue for this production. Sarah said: “We didn’t want to use a conventional, high tech theatre space as we didn’t feel as though it would represent the community or the community house in the play. The lighting rig is basic and the stage is set up more for a comedy or open mic night. We wanted to find a building with character, and there is a real heart and soul about The Blade Factory which I believe will be the perfect venue for our production.”
Tickets are available from Eventbrite.