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Council launches second series of commemorative events

15 September 2016

The next series of events under Mid Ulster District Council’s Remembering the Future programme commence this month with music, drama, interactive and film events taking place across the district.

This programme of commemorative events explores the significance of the Decade of Anniversaries (1912-1923), and considers aspects of the 1916 Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme and follows on from the series of talks that took place across the district in February and March as part of the initial series of events.

Events will take place from September to November. The programme kicks-off with Sean O’Casey’s play The Shadow of a Gunman at the Burnavon, Cookstown on Friday 16 September and at Ranfurly House Arts and Visitor Centre, Dungannon on Saturday 17 September.

Performed by Pomeroy Players, Mid Ulster’s leading amateur dramatic group, the play is set during the Irish War of Independence. Tickets are £10.

Philip Orr’s drama Halfway House, a play about an unexpected conversation between strangers, will then be performed at Ranfurly House Arts and Visitor Centre on Thursday 22 September. Admission is free but booking is essential.

Tina Noonan’s The Prodger is the final drama performance and will be brought to life by Craic Theatre, Coalisland on Saturday 1 October. Set in a pub on a wild winter’s night in Lismore County Waterford in 1964, this powerful one-act play is based on the life of Noonan’s Great-Uncle Johnny, a WWI veteran. Admission is free but booking is essential.

Screenings of renowned film The Battle of the Somme will take place on Friday 23 September at the Bridewell, Magherafelt and on Thursday 13 October at Ranfurly House Arts and Visitor Centre, Dungannon.

The Battle of the Somme is one of the most significant films in British cinema history, watched by 20 million people when it was released on 21 August 1916. Admission is free but boking is essential.

Interactive sessions exploring 1916 will take place on Wednesday 19 and 26 October and Wednesday 2 November at the Bridewell, Magherafelt.

The three-week programme will explore 1916 and its impact on society today. Interactive ibooks will form the basis of the sessions and iPads will be provided. Admission is free but spaces are limited so booking is essential.

The programme comes to an end with the musical/drama performance Blood Upon the Rose on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 November at the Burnavon, Cookstown.

Written and directed by well-known singer/songwriter Gerry Cunningham and presented by The River Tall Theatre Company, the musical is based on the love and marriage of Grace Evelyn Gifford and Joseph Mary Plunkett. Tickets are £10.

A World War exhibition entitled Seen and Told will be on display at the Burnavon, Cookstown from Thursday 22 September to Saturday 24 September. Times vary - 3pm-7pm on Thursday, 2pm-8pm on Friday and 10am-5pm on Saturday.

On display will be a huge collection of memorabilia paying homage to The Great War and World War II, including uniforms, weapons, medals, photos and vehicles. Admission is free.

Speaking at the launch of the programme of events, the Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Trevor Wilson said, “The previous Remembering the Future series of talks proved extremely popular and I have no doubt that this series of commemorative events will echo that success which is no surprise to me given the nature of the historical content they are addressing and exploring.

“This programme, and a diverse range of other events and activities emphasise the Council’s commitment to helping to promote a deeper understanding of our shared history.”

The programme is part funded by OFMDFM and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive through the Social Cohesion Programme.

For more information on any of the events visit www.midulstercouncil.org/remembering or to book a space contact Louise Devlin at Mid Ulster Council on 028 8676 4714 or email louise.devlin@midulstercouncil.org

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