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“A Better Boy” sets sail for Brussels

Monday 2nd December 2013 at 1pm 0 Comments Drama , International Arts

Pictured is Ian McElhinney as Lord Pirrie in A Better Boy. Image: Pictured is Ian McElhinney as Lord Pirrie in A Better Boy.

Acclaimed stage and screen actor, Ian McElhinney, takes on the role of Harland & Wolff’s Lord Pirrie in John Wilson Foster’s drama A Better Boy at the world renowned Bozar Theatre in Brussels later this month as part of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Brussels Platform (16th + 17th December).

The Brussels Platform collaboration between the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Executive Office in Brussels involves local musicians, writers, dancers, theatre practitioners and visual artists showcasing their talents at a series of events in the city of the European Parliament to promote the culture and creativity of Northern Ireland.

Described as “Beautifully written, frank, uncompromising and fascinating” by Irish Theatre Magazine, A Better Boy is set in 1917, five years on from the sinking of the Titanic.  Lord Pirrie, Chairman of the world’s greatest shipyard, Harland & Wolff, embarks on a soul searching journey into his own past.  Will the most successful industrialist of his era take responsibility for the disaster? Are we about to witness an admission of blame, shame, of pride coming before a fall?  Questions hang heavy in the air.

Damian Smyth, Head of Drama and Literature with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said:

“We are delighted that Ian McElhinney is able to join us in Brussels to perform Belfast-born academic John Wilson Foster’s monologue play.  Ian’s acting credentials are widely celebrated so it is wonderful to have him here as an ambassador for Northern Ireland in this important year for arts and culture but also to represent the wealth of talent that hails from these shores.  This is the first time A Better Boy has been performed outside Northern Ireland and it is an honour to be able to share it on such an acclaimed international stage as the Bozar.”

Gerry Mulligan, Head of Office in Brussels, said:  "Given the success of ‘The Boat Factory’ by Happenstance Theatre Co and Maggie Cronin’s ‘Greenstick Boy’ in the Bozar in the last few years, both of which were also part of the Brussels Platform, I’m really looking forward to seeing A Better Boy in the same venue.  Showcasing our up and coming talent in Brussels reinforces the region's international reputation as a centre of excellence in the arts and A Better Boy will bring a very busy 2013 to an apt close.”


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