New play will mark 40th anniversary of Birmingham pub bombings
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New play will mark 40th anniversary of Birmingham pub bombings

A NEW play will see actors speak the words of those affected by the Birmingham pub bombings for the first time.

The verbatim theatre show will commemorate the victims, the injured and the men wrongly accused of the crime on the 40th anniversary of the bombings, which took place in two Birmingham pubs, The Mulberry Bush and the Tavern in the Town, on November 21, 1974.

Insight Theatre, the company behind the play was set up recently by Gráinne Lydon.

Lydon is second-generation Irish, the first of her family, who come from Co. Monaghan, to be born in Britain. She works as a teacher, has a BA in Drama and plans to write and produce the play herself.

“We are looking for anyone who might want to share their memories about the tragedy and the aftermath. The subject will be treated with great sensitivity and respect,” Lydon said.

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The show will be staged at The Hexagon Theatre at the MAC in Birmingham with curtains up the week commencing November 17 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the tragedy.

As well as remembering the victims, Lydon hopes to draw attention to the campaign for the Birmingham Pub Bombings case to be reopened. It is still unknown who was responsible  for the bombings that killed 21 people and injured 182.

Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine died in the bombings, and a survivor have already agreed to take part.

Lydon has also made contact with one of the wrongly accused and convicted Birmingham Six, Paddy Hill and the daughter of Richard Mcilkenny and hopes they will be involved.

Hill, McIlkenny and four other men from the North of Ireland were wrongly convicted of the attack in 1975 and not released until 1991.

Lydon would like to speak to those who remember the bombings, members of the emergency services who responded, or those in the Irish community who recall what it was like to be Irish in Britain at the time.

“We are looking for lots of different perspectives on this, so even if you were not directly affected but feel you may have something to share, please get in touch,” she added.

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If you wish to be involved email [email protected] gmail.com or get in touch via the Insight Theatre Company Facebook Page.