Nadia Rasheed

Drama in North Belfast

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There’s some exciting stuff happening in Northern Ireland! YouthAction NI Rainbow Factory has been working in partnership with 174 trust and local author Tony McAuley to deliver a high quality youth arts outreach project in North Belfast. Young people between the ages of 13 and 24 have come together to produce the compelling drama: Capitulate. The piece is being directed by Sean Mullan and is sure to engage audiences as it highlights complexities of a society emerging from conflict.

One of the cast members, 18-year-old Curtis Ashqar, describes Capitulate as displaying the ‘ongoing unity with the nationalist and unionist community, however it pinpoints that the older generation are holding us back. This gives a strong message to the audience, that we need to forgive and move on.’ The production is interspersed with poetry, famous quotes and real news reports. Curtis sees Capitulate as a great chance to showcase the difference in perspective between generations. He believes ‘together we can move forward and remove the contentious barrier between our community.’ The young actors committed themselves to a series of workshops where they raised their cultural awareness. 14-year-old Caitlin Webb states that the most important thing she’ll take away from the experience is having learnt about the problems in her city and hearing other people’s varying opinions as well. She urges people to see Capitulate ‘as it can really open eyes to some of the problems in our society and make people think about them in a different way.’

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With a young cast hoping to pave their way to bright careers, Capitulate sounds like must-see drama for anyone in the area. Curtis spoke about how working with Sean Mullan was a tremendous experience. The relationship between actor and director was very respectful and the young performers were given license to make suggestions and play with their characters – ‘it ultimately moulded our ensemble.’

You can see Capitulate on 23 March at the Rainbow Factory Studio Theatre. The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets are just £3! To book tickets contact Diane 02890 240551 or email [email protected]

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