19 May 2022

Playhouse to showcase life of John and Pat Hume in new musical drama

Production will reflect seriousness of the issues and challenges faced by the Humes says former SDLP MLA, Sean Farren

Playhouse to showcase life of John and Pat Hume in new musical drama

Chief executive of The Playhouse, Kevin Murphy (third from left) at the launch of Beyond Belief with directors of the Hume foundation, (l-r) Monica McWiliams, Brid Rodgers, Mark Durkan and Sean Farren

A musical celebrating the lives and works of John and Pat Hume will reflect the seriousness of the issues they faced insists former SDLP MLA, Sean Farren.

“Beyond Belief” will be a drama presented by The Playhouse in Derry next year to mark the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

Written by Damian Gorman, the story of John and Pat Hume will be told through the medium of music theatre, and is the second part of a peacebuilding trilogy by The Playhouse, following the phenomenal success of “The White Handkerchief”, which premiered in the Guildhall on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, earlier this year.

Although musicals are usually associated with light-hearted productions, Sean Farren, who is the Chair of The John and Pat Hume Foundation, says he has every confidence the play will reflect the serious issues and challenges that the Humes overcame.

He said: “Of course the Good Friday Agreement is a very serious subject. I have no doubt that given the record of The Playhouse – particularly with their 'White Handkerchief' production – I've every confidence the play/musical will be presented in a appropriate manner and that it will reflect the seriousness of the issues as well.

“I'm sure it will reflect the man and the woman that were John and Pat Hume in terms of their humanity, their family and their relationship with the local community. I'm sure all of that will be captured.

“While the book, the lyrics and the whole production remains to be developed, there's no doubt that the people involved will be very aware of the serious messages that John and Pat's lives conveyed not just to this generation but to future generations.

“Damian Gorman has stressed the need not just to look back over those lives but to point to the inspiration that their lives can have for leaders in this generation and to the next.

“The Good Friday Agreement was, I suppose, long years in gestation and in preparation. One of the key characteristics of the process that John constantly emphasised was the need to be as inclusive as possible in terms of various parties and interests that would be represented in the negotiations.

“The process was a lengthy one. Sadly, and tragically, it was one that saw many lives lost unnecessarily. But John, through his interventions, helped to guide the process towards the ceasefires that enabled an atmosphere for discussions to take place and became the chief architect of the framework within which the Good Friday Agreement is set.”

“Beyond Belief” will be showing at The Playhouse from March 31 to April 7, 2023. Tickets are on sale now at:

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