‘Beyond Belief – The Life & Mission of John Hume’ is the start of a partnership between the John & Pat Hume Foundation and The Playhouse.
It will form the second part of a trilogy for peace following “The White Handkerchief”, the powerful dramatization of the events of Bloody Sunday which premiered on the 50th anniversary of the atrocity. The late statesman’s life will be honored by Damian Gorman (writer), Brian O’Doherty (composer) and Kieran Griffiths (director).
John’s daughter, Mo, said: “Our family truly admires the peacebuilding work that Pauline Ross [Playhouse founder] and the Playhouse team have created. Both of my parents were hugely impressed with the creativity, openness and international reach of The Playhouse’s work over many decades. We are confident that The Playhouse will honor my father and present his life and work with great integrity, but also with joy. My father’s career had many triumphs, many difficulties, but he was a warm, kind and funny family man, a man who loved to sing. He was a very proud Derry man and I know it will be moving to see his presence on the Guildhall stage.
Playhouse CEO Kevin Murphy said, “The difference The Playhouse and The John & Pat Hume Foundation make is that we bring people together to effect meaningful change creatively, peacefully and with hope. We each strive to support positive changemakers, nurturing their creativity and confidence. Moreover, when we work together, the possibilities only grow and through this partnership, we can help keep the peace in societies around the world as well as here in our hometown.
Director Kieran Griffiths, said: “While John Hume has been described as a ‘Titan’, a ‘Giant’ and a ‘Hero’ of peace and reconciliation, ‘Beyond Belief’, in his lyrics and music , will reach the man: the man who accomplished all he did not casually, without a struggle or alone, but as a human being. In representing John Hume, his life and his mission – a mission never hampered by shibboleth, dogma or fossilized principles – Beyond Belief will seek to inspire these generations through words, music and song.
Truth, justice and equality campaigner Sara Canning told the ‘Journal’ how John was a big part of her life when she was growing up.
“He was always a part of my life. He was constantly mentioned in my house. My parents knew him. He was always on TV. He was the figurehead of Derry. It’s really nice to recognize him in this town This will tell his story to a generation.
Sara, whose partner Lyra McKee was shot by a Republican gunman in Creggan in 2019, said John’s message was particularly relevant today.
“Peace has always been fragile, but we see how fragile it is right now. People can’t forget all the hard work that was done to bring us to the relative peace we had in the 1990s and 2000. Telling this story, I think it will stimulate people.
Monica McWilliams, co-founder of the Women’s Coalition and co-signer of the GFA, said: ‘I am thrilled to support this because John was the person more than anyone who brought us to this table and said that was the only way we were going to see our way out of 30 years of conflict. His patience, perseverance and courage paid off. I’m impressed with what he’s done and it’s the least I can do to give something back to his and Pat’s memory, because Pat inspired me too. Back when I was feeling very lonely and discouraged, I would meet Pat – it was almost like serendipity – and she would say, “Go on girl. We have to make it work. Continue’. I cherished her for doing this given what she experienced through herself.
Mark Durkan, a close confidant of John throughout his life, said: “As a foundation, we are committed to ensuring that there is not only a commemoration of the towering contribution of John and Pat, but also that future generations be encouraged to imitate their commitment to peace. construction, change and peace and solidarity.
‘Beyond Belief – The Life and Mission of John Hume’ will take place in the Guildhall from Friday 31 March to 7 April 2023, the 25th anniversary of the GFA.
Tickets at derryplayhouse.co.uk
The anniversary performance on April 7, 2023 will be streamed live via derryplayhouse.co.uk and available to stream for 7 days after.