Take the trip of a lifetime on the Coleraine-Derry train this summer, with a ticket for a live performance of ‘The Farmer and the Fisherman’, a unique theatre experience supported by Foyle Port and Translink as part of the Derry~Londonderry City of Culture 2013 celebrations. The show will run from 3rd – 9th June and tickets go on sale on Tuesday 16th April at www.eleven-eighteen.com
“The audience get on the regular train at Coleraine, and take part in the show using headsets to hear the narrative and music”, says Charlotte Hodkinson, of London based theatre company, 11:18, who are staging the show. “Then live performances take place at selected sites alongside the track as they make their journey to Derry.”
“Travelling by train between Derry~Londonderry and Coleraine was described by travel writer Michael Palin as ‘one of the world’s great railway journeys’ featuring breathtaking scenery that has delighted passengers over the decades,” says Lynda Shannon, Translink Communications Manager. “11:18 have created a unique passenger experience that will bring the local landscape to life through some captivating performances that are sure to thrill audiences.”
“With the railway line recently re-opened following major engineering work, and as the official public transport partner of the UK City of Culture, we are looking forward to contributing to the success of the UK City of Culture by supporting innovative events such as ‘The Farmer and the Fisherman’, which showcase the very best in local heritage and natural beauty,” adds Lynda.
In developing the project on the ground, 11:18 have been working closely with Foyle Port, who are also sponsoring the event. The theatre company, formed in 2011 by MA graduates from Goldsmiths College, creates its shows by working in collaboration with the local community.
“As a key part of the local landscape, Lough Foyle and its harbour have played a major role in shaping 11:18’s approach to this project,” says Charlotte. “Foyle Port is instrumental in managing and maintaining the Lough and has a fascinating shared history with the city of Derry which has deeply inspired us in the creation of this performance.”
Foyle Port Chief Executive Brian McGrath says The Farmer and the Fisherman performance is a superb way to celebrate both the past and the present of Lough Foyle, and to mark the connection between sea and rail transport into the city. “We are delighted that this project will involve the local community and their experiences of the port and the Lough, and that these experiences can be shared with a wider audience through the show.”
The company will be based on the North Coast throughout April and May and is interested in hearing from local people who live or work along the train line- whether that is to volunteer to lend a hand, to give local knowledge or even to offer the roof of their house as a performance space! 11:18 will also be working with four Derry Primary schools to create part of the show, as well as giving pupils a structured opportunity to tell their own stories connected to the Port or the railway.
“11:18 aims to create work that pushes the definition of site-specific performance, while being accessible, engaging and thrilling for its audiences. We are very excited to be staging ‘The Farmer and the Fisherman’ in conjunction with City of Culture 2013, Translink and Foyle Port and to bring this unique experience to the people of the region at such an exciting time for the Arts in Northern Ireland. Thank you to City of Culture for having the foresight to programme our innovative work. It couldn’t happen without them”, Charlotte said.
The project will officially launch with a press conference at Londonderry Train Station on Monday 15th April at 10:30am. Representatives from 11:18, Translink, Foyle Port and City of Culture will be available for photographs and interviews. Performances of ‘The Farmer and the Fisherman’ will run from 3rd – 9th June.