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Primary Schools to present new play by Dan Gordon

11 March 2010

Following on from the huge success of The Boat Factory in six Primary Schools in Belfast and surrounding areas during 2009, two new plays from the Pat and Plain series by Dan Gordon will be presented during March and April 2010 by twelve Primary Schools across Ulster.

The Pat & Plain project, commissioned by the Ulster-Scots Agency and co-funded by the Agency, the Lyric Theatre and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland will involve workshops over 10 weeks in the chosen primary schools leading up to the production of a series of twelve plays.  This year the primary schools will be focusing on one of two themes – the Blitz and the Linen industry.


The play will be performed by children as part of an innovative, joint project between the Lyric Theatre and schools. The project supports teachers in encouraging children to plan and produce a play following a professional theatre company model. It is structured either as an after-school activity or a stimulating framework through which to deliver the curriculum.


Participating schools are given fifteen sessions with a theatre practitioner mentor and opportunities to consult with costume, set and lighting designers. Together these various elements of theatre production harness the talent and imagination of the children, not only in acting and technical work, but in marketing, design, research and managing a budget.


Primary Schools presenting A Lemonade Bottle for Clabberin’ Hitler include: 

  • Beechfield Primary School, Belfast
  • Braniel Primary School, Belfast
  • Brookeborough Primary School, Enniskillen
  • Kilkeel Primary School, Kilkeel
  • Meadowbridge Primary School, Hillsborough
  • Wheatfield Primary School, Belfast

Primary Schools presenting Kissing the Shuttle include: 

  • Culcrow Primary School, Aghadowey, Ballymoney
  • Derryboy Primary School, Killyleagh
  • Edenbrooke Primary School, Belfast
  • Fountain Primary School, Londonderry
  • Markethill Primary School, Markethill
  • Millisle Primary School, Millisle, Co Down

A Lemonade Bottle for Clabberin’ Hitler…it’s 1939 and in Belfast, neighbours Aggie and Maggie hear the Prime Minister announce that the country is at war with Germany. As the politicians debate the issue in Stormont, citizens like wee Hughie Speers have their own ideas on defence!

It’s business as usual, as children continue going to school and play games in the street, but everyone must learn to cope with blackouts, sirens, gas masks & rations. Then, in 1941, the city is devastated as the threat of attack becomes reality.


Kissing the Shuttle…for 13 year olds Katy, Marie, Sadie & Hetty it’s their first day as full-timers in the mill. Woken at half past five by the Rapper-up, they make it past the Timekeeper and the new Foreman before meeting their Doffing Mistress, Lizzie Longley. As they take new doffer, Agnes Roberts, under their wing we get a fascinating insight into the lives of the 90,000 men and women who worked in the Mills of Ulster.


This innovative project – part of the Lyric’s off-site Education programme – offers schools the opportunity to engage with professional directors, designers and composers in order to enhance the expertise of teachers and pupils working in drama.


Philip Crawford, Project Director, said: “We want to promote the idea that acting is a craft, involving skills that need to be practised and honed. The children are encouraged to follow the model of a theatre company, exploring all aspects of production from performance and design to marketing issues and the management of a budget.”