Arts

Peace and Beyond Arts Fringe marks Belfast Agreement anniversary

Green & Blue is a new Paula McFetridge-directed drama based on oral accounts by RUC and Garda officers who patrolled the Irish border during the Troubles

THE Peace and Beyond Arts Fringe will offer a programme of arts events next week to mark the 20th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement.

Running from April 10 to 13 as part of the British Council's Peace and Beyond conference, it will include works by local and international talents.

Green & Blue (April 10) is a new Paula McFetridge-directed drama based on oral accounts by RUC and Garda officers who patrolled the Irish border during the Troubles.

Performed by actors James Doran and Vincent Higgins, the play is written by former IRA man and hunger striker Laurence McKeown.

"Green & Blue is a powerful play looking at the person behind a police uniform," explains Paula McFetridge.

"Based on gathered stories from officers across Ireland who served during the conflict, it provokes a post conflict audience to consider what guardians of the peace they want."

The Peace and Beyond Arts Fringe will also see the launch of journalist Stuart Bailie's new book Trouble Songs (April 10), "a reflection of the story of music and conflict in Northern Ireland since 1968" featuring interviews with musicians including Bono, Christy Moore, The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers and others.

"I wrote Trouble Songs because I thought music was a tool for opening minds and agitating for better fixes to the conflict," the author explains.

"It felt like an important story and the last 20 years have allowed us the distance to appreciate this. My faith in musicians remains strong; they played a significant part."

Other highlights include Raymond Watson's Hands of History +20 exhibition (April 10 to April 12), featuring casts of the hands of the people who negotiated the Belfast Agreement, and Poetry Jukebox (April 10 to 13) featuring Belfast's Maria McManus and Deirdre Cartmill.

Peace and Beyond Arts Fringe is non-ticketed with admission to events granted on a 'first-come-first-served' basis.

:: See Britishcouncil.org/peace-and-beyond for full programme information.

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