New musical drama to tell story of John Hume’s life

The production honouring the long-time SDLP leader and key architect of the 1998 agreement will premiere next spring
New musical drama to tell story of John Hume’s life

By David Young, PA

A new musical drama based on the life of late Nobel laureate John Hume is to be staged to mark the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement.

The production honouring the long-time SDLP leader and key architect of the 1998 agreement will premiere next spring.

Beyond Belief will be performed in Hume’s native Derry to commemorate the 25 years since the deal that largely ended years of violent conflict was signed.

The play will be staged at Derry’s Guildhall and will be presented by actors from the city’s Playhouse Music Theatre Company.

A pair of glasses belonging to John Hume and a signed copy of the Belfast Agreement

The drama will tell the life of Nobel Peace Prize winner Mr Hume and his wife Pat, who both died within the last two years.

It is being made in partnership with the John and Pat Hume Foundation.

It will run over eight nights with the final performance on April 7th, 2023, screened live to a global audience as part of a series of events to mark the 25th anniversary of the agreement.

Beyond Belief will bring together writer Damian Gorman, composer Brian O’Doherty and producer and director Kieran Griffiths.

Writer Damian Gorman at the Playhouse in Derry

The Humes’ daughter Mo Hume said the production would be a fitting tribute.

“We are confident that The Playhouse will honour my father, and present his life and work with great integrity, but also joy,” she said.

“My father’s career had many triumphs, many hardships, but he was a warm, kind and funny family man, a man who loved to sing.

“He was a very proud Derry man and I know it will be emotional seeing his presence step on the stage of the Guildhall.”

Beyond Belief is the second part of a peacebuilding trilogy of works planned by The Playhouse.

It comes after its successful White Handkerchief production in January, which marked the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Derry.

Director Mr Griffiths said: “While John Hume has been described as a titan, a giant and a hero of peace-making and reconciliation, Beyond Belief, in its words and music, will reach for the man – the man who achieved all he did, not glibly, without struggle or alone, but as a human being.”

For more information visit derryplayhouse.co.uk

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