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Meadowbridge Primary School, Hillsborough,...

26 March 2010

On Thursday 25 March 2010, Key Stage 2 pupils of Meadowbridge Primary School, Hillsborough launched Dan Gordonís play, A Lemonade Bottle for Clabberiní Hitler in front of school staff, parents and invited guests, as part of the Lyric Theatreís education and outreach project with primary schools.

The Pat & Plain project, commissioned by the Ulster-Scots Agency and co-funded by the Lyric Theatre, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Agency 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.


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 Northern Ireland.

Richard Croxford, Artistic Director, Lyric Theatre said “Education is at the heart of our work and we are delighted to collaborate with the Ulster-Scots Agency and the Arts Council to bring this opportunity to Primary School children across Northern Ireland.”


Participating schools have been given fifteen sessions with a Lyric Theatre mentor who provides 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.


Michael McCullough, Director of Corporate Services in the Ulster-Scots Agency said “The plays provide an opportunity for children to learn more about their history, culture and heritage, along with some familiar Ulster-Scots words and phrases, in an energetic and fun production. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the schools, their pupils and teachers for making this project such a huge success for the Agency and its funding partners.”


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.


Philip Crawford, The Lyric’s 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.”


Other Primary Schools presenting the play, A Lemonade Bottle for Clabberin’ Hitler include:

  • Beechfield Primary School, Belfast
  • Braniel Primary School, Belfast
  • Brookeborough Primary School, Enniskillen
  • Kilkeel Primary School, Kilkeel

Wheatfield Primary School, Belfast