Sam Shepard looks forward to City of Culture 2013

Sam Shepard
Image caption Sam Shepard said he can feel something in the Derry air

The Academy-award nominated actor and playwright Sam Shepard has spoken of his excitement at being involved in Londonderry's year as UK City of Culture.

Mr Shepard, whose work has received international acclaim, will stage the world premiere of his working of 'Oedipus' in Derry's Guildhall next year.

He is in the city this week for an actor's workshop.

He is is looking forward to the play.

"The material we are using is pertinent to the situation here.

"It's not as though we are doing something just for culture, we are doing it for a reason.

"The notion of 'place' is very strong here, this is where something happened.

"We explore destiny, fate, murder, exploitation, origins.

"The fact there is a wall round the city is part and parcel of what is going on in the play.

"I don't think there is anybody who cannot see there are repercussions with what is happening here."

Mr Shepard said it is very important to have art and culture in a society going through transformation.

"Putting this type of play here takes on a different significance than say if we are going to New York.

"Where strife has been in the foreground it is bound to have repercussions, or is bound to have meaning."

Sam Shepard is on his second visit to Derry and said he loves being involved at such close quarters.

"I love being right in the middle of this place with the historical aspect of it.

"I love the people here.

"It's a funny sensation being in a place where you kind of have to tip toe around certain subjects, it's like being in East Germany or something.

"But there is definitely a feeling that something is taking place here, something still is up for grabs.

"It's not like any other place where things where things are just going on.

"Something is happening here, you can feel it."