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Partisan Productions reimagines the Edwardian story of a well-known Belfast Spiritualist Family

Thursday 5th April 2018 at 4pm 0 Comments Drama , Community Arts

A young medium played by Carla Bryson hosts a strange array of visitors, but which ones are truly of this realm and which are the ‘operators’? Image: A young medium played by Carla Bryson hosts a strange array of visitors, but which ones are truly of this realm and which are the ‘operators’?

Partisan Productions reimagines the Edwardian story of a well-known Belfast Spiritualist Family in new play ‘A True and Attested Account’ at the Engine Room, Portview Trade Centre

When playwright Fintan Brady first heard the stranger than fiction events surrounding a family of renowned spiritual mediums, the Golighers, from South East Belfast, he knew it was a story he couldn’t let rest in peace.

His theatre Company, Partisan Productions, empathetically re-imagines the tale into a new fictional play ‘ A tried and Tested Account of Certain Mysterious Events which have recently occurred in Mersey Street’. The show opens on the 11 April for a four-day run of performances at the Engine Room in Portview Trade Centre, Belfast.

Partisan collaborator, Reggie Chamberlain-King, had researched the story of the Goligher family for his book ‘Weird Belfast’.  Kathleen Goligher, held séances which were regularly observed and investigated by a Doctor of Engineering at Queen’s University, Dr W J Crawford from 1914.  Crawford attributed levitating tables to the physical force of rods of ectoplasm, exuding from the young lady’s person, which he wrote about in three books that are in circulation to this day.

Brady explains how he was “intrigued by the story and the need for injured personalities to collude in comfortable self-delusions “. Using the Goligher tale as a starting point, the plot fast forwards to a 1920's Belfast emerging from the Spanish Flu pandemic and blighted by Sectarian riots.  James Lecky plays the role of Dr Dawson whose  life is in chaos, as he embarks on a relentless mission to explain the strange phenomena occurring in a small house on Mersey Street.  A young medium played by Carla Bryson hosts a strange array of visitors, but which ones are truly of this realm and which are the ‘operators’?  Above all, if there is deception at hand, who is deceiving who and where might it lead?

Brady describes the piece as an investigation of generosity and explains that “the great thing about stories of the supernatural is that they should always offer more questions than answers”

Partisan Production’s principal funder is the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Lizzie Devlin, Arts Development Officer, Arts Council, added, “The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support Partisan Productions through National Lottery and public funding.  This company has continually produced high-quality work, often engaging with marginalised communities in the creation and staging of new productions.  This latest play tells a gothic tale based on fascinating local history and is simply not to be missed!” 

In the true spirit of community arts, admission to the show is free, thanks to other supporters including the  Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and the  Community Relations Council.

Performances will be in the Engine Room of Portview Trade Centre, from 11th April to 14th April at 7.30pm. Designer Conleth White and Musical Director Reggie Chamberlain-King have transformed the cavernous room with deep red lighting, steampunk effects and original music performed by a live band to create an immersive Edwardian tale offering a timeless exploration of human loss, yearning, regret and the need to connect.

Free admission.  Booking advised.  Contact Karen on 07701008852 or partisanproductions@hotmail.com to reserve seating.

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