Troubles Over the Bridge

A First Hand Account of the Over the Bridge Controversy and its Aftermath

James Ellis

Belfast, 1959: James Ellis is approached by playwright Sam Thompson, who announces “I got a play you wouldn’t touch with a bargepole!”. Ellis provides an account of the attempts to censor ‘Over the Bridge’, and how these were overcome, allowing for the staging of a work that became a landmark in the cultural history of Northern Ireland.

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Description

Belfast, 1959: the young Group Theatre director James Ellis is approached by playwright Sam Thompson, who announces “I got a play you wouldn’t touch with a bargepole!”

The play was Over the Bridge, Thompson’s powerful portrayal of a sectarian dispute in the city’s shipyards. After its effective banning by the Group Theatre’s board of directors following representations from the Unionist establishment, Ellis resigned from his position as a matter of principle in order to direct the production of the play.

In this book, James Ellis provides a first-hand account of the strong and well-orchestrated attempts to censor Over the Bridge, and how these were overcome, allowing for the eventual staging of a dramatic work that would become a defining landmark in the cultural history of Northern Ireland.

Details

Format: Paperback / Softback

ISBN / EAN: 9781908188557

Published On: 3 November, 2015

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Lagan Press

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