06 February, 2008

"Ulster playwright passing on tips of the trade at workshop"

Belfast Telegraph:

"One of Northern Ireland's top playwrights will be sharing his expertise with members of the public at a special workshop.

Martin Lynch, author of hit play The History of the Troubles (Accordin' to my Da), will be hosting a one-day class - entitled Anyone Can Write a Play - as part of the Castlereagh Verbal Arts Festival, which kicks off later this month.

"My belief is that everybody can write a play, they might all reach different standards, but I think almost anyone can have a go at writing a play and make a decent fist of it," he said.

Lynch first came to wide- spread critical attention with his 1981 play Dockers at the Lyric Theatre, which was attended by scores of real Belfast dock workers during its hugely successful run.

Since then he has produced an acclaimed body of work, including Castles in the Air, Minstrel Boys and the 2002 smash hit The History of the Troubles (Accordin' to my Da).

Many of his plays are inspired by events and experiences from his own life.

"I tell people you don't need to live in Paris or London or Dallas or New York to tell great stories," he said.

"Those are in your cul-de-sac, your house or your workplace.

"Sean O'Casey wrote about one block of flats in Dublin for about five plays. Brian Friel set most of his plays in a place in Donegal called Ballybeg.

"It depends on how you tackle the subject matter, it doesn't matter where you're from, the stories are there.

"If one or two people end up writing a full-length play after this workshop that would be fantastic."

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