PLAYING the role of IRA bomber Patrick Magee in a new production depicting the Brighton atrocity of 1984 is proving actor Ruairi Conaghan’s “biggest challenge” to date.
Despite more than twenty years in the business, the Derry native has had to find new depths to channel the man who killed five people in the devastating attack, he told The Irish Post this week.
And he’s not expecting everyone to like it.
“I am not going out with this production looking for wonderful reviews and five stars and getting a transfer to the West End,” he admits.
“This is a genuinely controversial play,” he explains.
“It’s contentious and it’s challenging and people will have a reaction to it. It may be positive or it may be negative but what’s important is that we as artists, and the writers and directors, are approaching this with great truth and are trying to do a good thing.”
In The Bombing of The Grand Hotel, a co-production by the Wildspark Theatre Company and The Cockpit Theatre, Conaghan plays Belfast-born Magee, who was convicted of planting the device in an IRA attempt to assassinate then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was attending the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton.
The dramatisation is based around the unlikely friendship that has since formed between Magee and Jo Berry – the daughter of Sir Anthony Berry MP, who was killed in the blast.
See this week’s Irish Post for the full interview with Ruairi Conaghan