"I will walk away a better man"
Prestigious audience moved by New Theatre of Witness production in Utrecht and London
Guests from Human Rights Watch, a number of MP's, MLA's and a member of the House of Lords, as well as representatives from the Irish Embassy were among an audience moved to tears by the latest Theatre of Witness production this month.
‘From The Rubble', a unique, multi-media Theatre of Witness production, premiered at St. Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in London. The production is created from the true stories of men and women from Northern Ireland and was built from the three previous Theatre of Witness Productions, ‘We Carried Your Secrets', ‘I Once Knew a Girl', and ‘Release'. The purpose of Theatre of Witness's work is to find the medicine in stories of suffering and pain and to bring together people who might have beforehand seen each other as enemies.
The atmospheric event was attended by several dignitaries who were very moved by the premiere performance of The Playhouse Theatre of Witness project. One audience member said "What comes from the heart, goes to the heart. I will walk away a better man".
A garden reception after the event facilitated a discussion about the continuing efforts of peace building projects on the ground throughout Northern Ireland.
The production then travelled to Utrecht, Holland, where the performance was the highlight of a major International Peace conference. The conference showcased innovative peace projects throughout the world, and the international audience were inspired by the bravery, redemption, accountability, healing and wisdom being shown on stage by Theatre of Witness performers.
The production brings together; male and female ex-combatants, a retired British soldier, a man blown up in a car bomb when he was a child, and the widow of one of the worst human atrocities of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Each shared their true stories on-stage, illustrating the significant Northern Irish contribution to International Peace.
"It's such an honour to bring this new production to such a sacred space as St. Ethelburga's Centre and such a prestigious conference as Utrecht" Emma Stuart, Theatre of Witness co-ordinator said.
"Both these event highlighted the innovative on-the-ground work that continually helps peace blossom. The events also strengthened international peace networks, with Theatre of Witness being invited to future tours to Rwanda."
The Theatre of Witness Programme is supported by the PEACE III Programme, managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the Community Relations Council/Pobal Consortium.
Theatre of Witness' participation in the event at St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in London in funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland.
For more information on The Playhouse Theatre of Witness Programme visit www.theatreofwitness.org. To book a place at St Ethelburga's, please contact Susan Whitehead at firstname.lastname@example.org.