Carrigallen celebrates its heritage through a new cross community drama production – The Other Place
03 July 2012
In September 2011 two local community groups in Carrigallen - The Margaret of New Orleans Group and The Bredagh Old School Heritage Committee jointly engaged in the Integrating Communities programme.
The two groups have worked diligently together over recent months to develop an active cross community partnership and with the support of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council have undertaken a number of study visits, joint capacity building activities as well as good relations discussion workshops.
This has now culminated in a joint project in the form of a drama production, entitled ‘The Other Place’. Three packed houses at the Corn Mill Theatre enjoyed a unique experience when a cast of 60, aged from 5 to 75, performed in the play “The Other Place”. Written and directed by local playwright Maura Williamson the play was also enhanced by songs and poems written specially for the production by local song writer and singer Tony Fahy.
The drama tells the story of two people who spent part of their lives in Carrigallen, namely Margaret (Gaffney) Haughrey AKA Margaret of New Orleans and Percy French, who had written his famous song Phil the Fluter’s Ball in the town. Through the play the two individuals concerned meet in a special place (The Other Place) and talk about their lives, their links with Carrigallen and stories from the past.
As part of the project, people from the wider Protestant and Catholic community in Carrigallen were brought together to engage in story-telling sessions about their knowledge of Percy and Margaret and the wider area. This led on to a series of drama workshops in four local national schools, educating the children about Margaret and Percy, introducing them to script-writing and contributing that script to the play.
The finishing touches to this fantastic cross community production were delivered by the committee members of both groups who stood on the stage and narrated a specially written POEM OF PEACE at the end of each performance.