Theatre Preview: Observe the Son of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme – Lyric Theatre
July 1, 2016 Laura Caldwell 1 Comment
A major new production of Frank McGuinness’ iconic play Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme begins a two-week run at the Lyric on July 5, before embarking on a tour which takes in Derry-Londonderry, Armagh, Coleraine and Letterkenny.
A powerful portrayal of mortality, love and loss, the play focuses on the experiences of eight unionist Ulstermen who volunteer to serve in the 36th (Ulster) Division at the start of the First World War. The soldiers go on to fight in the Battle of the Somme, the first day of which – July 1st – is also the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne, and this coincidence allows the play to reflect on the significance of these two battles for Unionism.
Executive Producer Jimmy Fay said,
“2016 marks the centenary of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme, and our programme this year allows us to reflect on these two monumental events. Earlier this year we staged Tom Murphy’s The Patriot Game which examines the background to the Rising, and we’re now delighted to present Frank McGuinness’ incredibly moving portrayal of the Northern Irish soldiers who fought at the Somme. I’d encourage anyone interested in the first world war and great theatre to come and see this production.”
Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme is a co-production between the Abbey, Headlong, Citizens Theatre and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, and is copresented with the Lyric Theatre. The production will be at the Lyric from July 5-16 before touring to the Millennium Forum in Derry-Londonderry (July 19-21), the Market Place Theatre in Armagh (July 23), the Riverside Theatre in Coleraine (July 26) and An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny (July 29-30). The tour is supported by the Irish Government’s Reconciliation Fund and the International Fund for Ireland.