Punk is Re-energized at the Playhouse Theatre

Playwright Gary Mitchell joins forces with The Undertones for new production at The Playhouse, Derry~Londonderry

Playwright Gary Mitchell, theatre director Conall Morrison, and John and Damian O’Neill of The Undertones, share a love of punk music. Their passion for the genre will come together at The Playhouse, Derry~Londonderry this month, to produce Mitchell's new play, Re-energize.

The play is a sequel, of sorts, to one of Mitchell's earlier works, Energy, which was first performed in the same venue in 1999. Pauline Ross, founder and director of The Playhouse, believes it is a landmark production during the UK City of Culture year.

'The original production of Energy reflected the punk era, in a very vivid and real way, and showed the machinations of a band as they quarrel about their act with the Troubles and the hunger strikes ominously in the background.

'Now, set 30-years on, Re-energize reunites these men, now aged in their 50s, and with various broken marriages, depressions and drug debts to paramilitaries behind them. They come together again to do one last gig to prove to themselves, their communities, each other and their annoying teenage children that they could have been somebody.'

The Playhouse have announced that the show will go on tour to the Lyric Theatre, Belfast for a two week run in September. Conall Morrison, whose theatre work has been celebrated around the world, will direct the production, which will stars actors Jo Donnelly, Michael Liebmann, Gavin Pedan, Niomi Libernte, and James Doran, as well as original cast members, Chris Corrigan and Andy Moore.

Brothers and members of the mighty Undertones, John and Damian O’Neill, have written the original score for the play, which will mark the fourth major Playhouse 2013 UK City of Culture production.

Noirin McKinney Director of Arts Development at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland said: 'If City of Culture is about celebrating local talent on a world stage, the Playhouse and Gary Mitchell can most certainly take their bow. Work of such a high calibre, which pays homage to part of our musical history, will indeed beat the drum for future generations.'

Re-energize runs at The Playhouse, Derry~Londonderry from May 13 – 18, and will tour to the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, from September 9 – 23.