Those You Pass on the Street
Those You Pass On The Street is a hard hitting play presented by the group Kabosh, that explores the legacy of the 30-year "Troubles" in the north of Ireland. In the light of the recent developments around Brexit, Northern Ireland's conflict between unionist Protestants and nationalist Catholics around the country's independence from Britain gains new relevance.
Those You Pass on the Street is a play by Laurence McKeown that explores the complexities of dealing with the legacy of conflict, especially when that conflict is local and personalized. It contrasts party political positioning with individual needs and challenges the notion that any mechanism for dealing with the past is simply about ‘whose side gets what’.
In an interview with "Care for the Future" Paula McFetridge, the artistic director of Kabosh, the company presenting the play, says: "2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and the 100th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic at the GPO in Dublin – two key moments in our history that we, as a divided society in the north of Ireland do not have agreement on. What links these two events? The working class being deployed as cannon fodder, the loss of endless young lives, the grief of endless mothers, the victor and loser, oppression and liberation."
Those you pass on the Street explores those tensions. It begins when Elizabeth, the widow of a murdered Royal Ulster Constabulary policeman, walks into a Sinn Fein office seeking assistance with anti-social behavior in her area, she begins a friendship with community officer Frank. The developing friendship challenges their personal preconceptions and beliefs as well as their family and political loyalties. In approaching the perceived enemy her life is changed forever.
Thus the game challenges the boundaries between "us" and "them" and allows for a more balanced view of the events. In the same interview Paula says: "I believe the role of the artist should humanize the silent voices, the individual players within these violent events from our past: giving voice to the revolutionaries, the reactionaries, those impacted by the choices of others in order to create a multi-facetted, 3D re-examining of events."
You can read the whole interview with Paula here or watch another one on youtube here. Or you can watch the play's preview below.