Local playwright Dave Duggan says he hopes his new drama, ‘Denizen,’ an exploration of the interior of ‘the last Irish republican militant dissident‘ is meaningful for audiences in Londonderry, across the island and everywhere where individuals face futures with violence on a daily basis.
Mr Duggan made the comments in advance of the official launch of the new work in the Central Library on Thursday (May 28).
Describing the work in his own words, Mr Duggan said: “It’s a courtroom drama, set in a court, where Denizen is the last Irish republican militant dissident.
“He gives a speech from the dock. He stands in front of an audience of citizens and there are guards guarding him as he makes this speech.
“There’s a table of evidence in front of him. Artefacts from his life, activities and actions, using violence to achieve what he wants, which is regime change.”
The author says that Denizen is by his own definition a violent man in a world of violence
Mr Duggan explains: “The sort of civil and international context of violence, all over the world, which we witness on our news programmes today, that’s really the background of the drama that Denizen’s life is played through.
“So, in the court, he faces the arguments with himself. Some of them are personal - about his son, about his grandchild, about his father - and also some of them are public - about how can you change the world using violence?
“He faces these public and personal arguments himself, effectively challenging himself in front of us, so we are brought before this dangerous man. Denizen.”
The new work will be launched in the Central Library at 7.30pm on Thursday, when broadcaster and journalist Paul McFadden will be a guest speaker.
Paul Hippsley, managing editor of Guildhall Press, said: “We are delighted to publish ‘Denizen’.
“It further extends the range of Dave Duggan’s award-winning work which, while rooted in the place where he lives, has already reached audiences and readers across Ireland and in Edinburgh, Liverpool, New York and Afghanistan.”
Mr Duggan said the work was the latest in a line of novels and plays he has written, which have tackled the conflict here.
He said it follows on from ‘Plays in a Peace Process,’ which were published by Guildhall Press in 2008.
“In a sense this play is a continuation of those plays and provides the last chapter, I hope, in that range of plays.
“I hope Denizen finds an audience here locally, in Derry, and much wider, across Ireland and intenrationally.
“I think it speaks to a local audience in a way that is rooted here but also, which reaches far beyond this city and this island and into places where individuals face futures with violence on a daily basis - the violence of poverty and discrimination and the violence of bombs and bullets,” he said.
Mr Duggan staged a public reading of Denizen in February and said the feedback was very positive.
“Numerous audience members indicated they would like the opportunity to read and explore the text further. Having it in print now means it can reach a wider audience, thanks to the efforts of Guildhall Press.
“I wrote the play in verse so that we would give attention to what the main character Denizen is saying and so that readers might enjoy the pleasures of language, rhythm and story,” he said.
Everyone is invited to come along to the launch. Refreshments will be available.