Richard III

1st Mar 2019 - 25th May 2019

Book Tickets

All My Sons

15th Apr 2019 - 8th Jun 2019

Book Tickets

Missing Branding Image 120x40

Actor's Diary

Chris McCurry

Chris McCurry talks about the rehearsal process for Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme

Irish Poets of the First World War - John Hewitt

The YCVS and the Ulster Division

Surprised one day, I watched Belfast’s Lord May

borne on gun-carriage, when Young Citizen

Volunteers in grey first took the air,

mere lads they looked, too soon they would be men.

And, some months later, we went down to see

our khaki soldiers marching to the docks

to sail away for France to keep us free;

our cheering then my memory often mocks.

 

For later still, as days limped past or flew,

the newsboys yelled hoarse tidings down the street

of Jutland’s victory, Dardanelles’ defeat,

and, propped on crutches, men in sloppy blue,

approached with awe, would tell us stories from

the shell-ploughed fields of Passchendaele and Somme.

Irish Poets of the First World War - Thomas MacDonagh

 

On a Poet Patriot

His songs were a little phrase
Of eternal song,
Drowned in the harping of lays
More loud and long.

His deed was a single word,
Called out alone
In a night when no echo stirred
To laughter or moan.

But his songs new souls shall thrill.
The loud harps dumb,
And his deed the echoes fill
When the dawn is come.

Thomas MacDonagh

Paul Kennedy talks war, poetry and language

Souncloud

Irish Poets of the First World War - Tom Kettle

By Sarah Grochala

To My Daughter Betty, The Gift of God

In wiser days, my darling rosebud,blown
To beauty proud as was your mother's prime,
In that desired, delayed, incredible time,
You'll ask why I abandoned you, my own,
And the dear heart that was your baby throne,
To dice with death. And oh! they'll give you rhyme
And reason: some will call the thing sublime,
And some decry it in a knowing tone.
So here, while the mad guns curse overhead,
And tired men sigh with mud for couch and floor,
Know that we fools, now with the foolish dead,
Died not for flag, nor King, nor Emperor,—
But for a dream, born in a herdsman's shed,
And for the secret Scripture of the poor.

Tom Kettle

Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme - Somme Diary

By Bryony Shanahan

As this year marks 100 years since the Battle of the Somme, there was always the hope that we’d be able to perform the play in France as part of the centenary commemorations. We knew how special this opportunity would be, but making it happen was always going to be really difficult. Headlong and the Abbey Theatre had been doing site visits for over a year, talking to the French Embassy, the Irish Embassy, figuring out practicalities and sorting through some really complex logistics.

Jeremy Herrin Interview

Observe The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme

We sat down with Director Jeremy Herrin to ask what makes Observe The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme so relevant today.

Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme - Tech Diary

by Bryony Shanahan

We have all spent the last week living in the dark of the Citizen’s auditorium as we tech the show. It’s brilliant to be here, to see the set and space in context after imagining it for the last month.

Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme - Rehearsal Diary Week 4

by Bryony Shanahan

And that's it! Our four week rehearsal process in Brixton has come to an end. It's gone so quicklt and looking back we've packed so much into it. From beating the lambeg drum to doing our first runs and playing lots of volleyball!

Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme - Rehearsal Diary Week 3

by Bryony Shanahan

 We are officially over the half way point! It's amazing how quickly rehearsals go, and before we knew it we are about to head into our final week. This stage of the process is always exciting as everything begins to gear up and move at a much faster pace.


Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme - Rehearsal Diary Week 2

by Bryony Shanahan

This week was all about rolling our sleeves up and diving head first into the play, getting it up on its feet. It’s always a really exciting moment when we take that step, leaving behind the safety of the table work and chats, and seeing what happens when it lives and breathes in front of us.

Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme Rehearsal Diary - Week 1

By Bryony Shanahan

The first day of rehearsal at our Brixton base was the usual mix of excitement, nerves, biscuits and tea. What was incredible, however, and a nod to the journey we are about to embark on, was the number of people in the room! Along with the cast and creative team, there was writer Frank McGuineess, the whole Headlong gang and co-producers from the Abbey Dublin, Glasgow Citizens Theatre and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. The room was buzzing with so many different people and so many different accents. Straight away, we had a sense of the scale of this project and all the different communities we will bring the work to.

Irish Poets of the First World War - Francis Ledwidge

Francis Ledwidge (1887-1917)

Francis Ledwidge was an Irish poet from County Meath. His poetry is infused by the natural beauty of the countryside in which he grew up.