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30 September 2014
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Claire Harkins, who played the bride, tells her story Image of Claire Harkins

I played Nicola and she was the bride, the Protestant bride, and she was just determined to go ahead with this whole thing regardless of the views of either side of the family. So she was just a very determined, very feisty character.

There was five community groups - they all came together in a series of meetings, and as well as that there was a weekend to Lisnaskea where all the community groups went, and there was a series of workshops and improvisations. And through that, that’s where some of the story-lines for the play actually came up.

Well, it was basically myself, Nicola, met Damian at the U2 concert in Belfast. I was from Templemore Avenue and he was from Short Strand, which is a matter of minutes down the road. And the whole thing was if it hadn’t have been for that U2 concert, we never would have met because you would never have seen somebody from the Short Strand walking down Templemore Avenue or vice versa.

There’s a whole big issue with the families - they were worried about us, where we were going to live, you know, what issues we were going to face. They just had this sort of idea that because it was a mixed marriage it was going to be more difficult than any normal marriage because of the different issues, you know.

When you consider the way Belfast is now, the whole big division between Catholic and Protestants, to me the play conquered that, you know, showing normal people out there that it can be done.

For me this was actually my first time working in a cross-community project and to start off with, I was slightly wary - you know, not so much I was wary of em, people of the opposite religion, but what they were going to think of me, and whether you were going to get treated any differently, but as I say, when we started our workshops and our improvisation sessions and that, you just…all those barriers were done away with, everybody just got on so, so well. It was brilliant.







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