The day Lisahally made naval history- in Theatre!

Posted on: 27th April 2015

Playwright Felicity McCall explores Derry Londonderry during WWII, and the surrender of the U-Boats at Lisahally

A new piece of theatre about Derry Londonderry during WWII will be performed at The Guildhall to mark the 70th anniversary of the surrender of the U-Boats in 1945 next month.

Derry City Council's Museum & Visitor Services will run a one day programme of events to mark the 70th anniversary of the surrender of the German U- Boats-in May on Saturday 16 May 2015.

As part of the special programme The playhouse has been commissioned to present a new piece about a Derry man in his late 70s / early 80s who, as a boy, was one of the hundreds of local people who thronged Lisahally on May 14, 1945 to see the surrender of the remainder of the German U Boat fleet.

Through a series of flashbacks, Derry man Peter will explore not only what happened on that day but the role of the U Boats and the key role played by Derry as a naval base in the Allied victory at sea. His story also looks at the impact on the city's economy, which flourished during WWII, and the multi-cultural influence of troops stationed there, especially the American GIs.

Directed by Nicky Harley the piece has a high energy, comedic style suitable for family audiences and in keeping with the "Horrible Histories" style of entertainment and information on location at The Guildhall. There will be several performances throughout the day on the hour, every hour from 10am- 5pm.

"This is a piece told in human terms, through short sketches and vignettes played by a variety of characters" Director Nicky Harley said.
"And the narrative will also include three pieces of music - a lively Glenn Miller dance tune with a dance sequence, a Vera Lynn type number - "We'll Meet Again" or "It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow"; and the chart topper of the month, Doris Day or Vera Lynn singing "My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time."

"We wanted to make a piece that recognises that the surrender has all but passed from living memory and younger members of the audience may know very little about it. Felicity has penned a beautiful script, that is fun and lively, and will reflect how the war and this one event impacted on Peter's family".

"We wanted to reflect on the huge changes in society post 1945; the establishment of the US base; what we remember, how we remember and above all why we remember the day Lisahally made naval history. Derry, through its key role in WWII, is forever changed and has a legacy to be proud of!"

The piece be performed as part of Derry City Council's Museum & Visitor Services programme of events on Saturday 16 May on the hour every hour from 10am- 5pm at Guildhall Square. All are welcome. For more information contact (028)71268027.


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