A cross-community bus run to Donegal, a newly formed Protestant flute band and the Iris Robinson scandal are just some of the incidents audiences can expect to see in comedy play The History of the Peace (Accordin’ to My Ma) which comes to An Grianán Theatre this May.
This is the follow up to the wildly successful comedy The History of the Troubles (accordin’ to my Da) and reunites Martin Lynch and comedy duo Conor Grimes and Alan McKee once again for another slice of riots, protests, bombs and the peace process. The History of the Troubles has, according to Lynch, been seen by 150,000 people since its original run and the many re-runs including several visits to An Grianán and now the team are hoping for similar success The History of the Peace.
The play revolves around Karen Reid (Maria Connolly), a Belfast community worker struggling to keep house and family together in the face of Northern Ireland’s unique form of peace. Through the 1994 ceasefires, the Good Friday Agreement, the Chuckle Brothers McGuinness and Paisley and the ‘fleg’ protests, she fervently believes in a new Northern Ireland.
Thankfully, Karen has the ‘total support’ of her loyal band of friends such as Fireball – now working in Roselawn Crematorium with his cousin Firebell – her dingbat best friend, Stacy (Tara Lynne O’Neill), incompetent flute band leader, Roberto, Pineapple the paramilitary, Claire, the secret lesbian, Aaron, the serial ‘fleg’ protester and many, many more.
While the History of the Troubles was set in west Belfast and looked at the Troubles from the perspective of the Catholic community, this new play, which is set 14 years later, takes place in the east of the city and tells the story of the working class Protestant community after the 1994 ceasefire up to present day.
As Lynch explains: “I think you can say that from 1921 to 1969 the Catholic community were treated, or felt that they were treated, like second-class citizens. If you look at the Troubles from 1969-1994, it was the Catholics who were acting out about their dissatisfaction. But since 1994 there’s a kind of feeling in the Protestant working class community that they have become underrepresented and ignored. And so this play hopefully will provide a voice for that as well.”