New play tells Visteon workers' story

Published Friday, 09 November 2012
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Former trade union rep John Maguire has penned a play telling the extraordinary story of the factory workers during the 2009 Visteon Ford Occupation.

New play tells Visteon workers' story
Visteon workers protest back in 2009. (© Pacemaker)

The events of the occupation were covered at the time by UTV Business Editor Jamie Delargy.

The play transports the audience back to the day when the workers were given an ultimatum and faced with redundancy without pensions.

The main protagonist Sean Mallon, played by Thomas K Lappin from Lurgan, is based on the play's creator John Maguire who poignantly delivers the line: "Your life in ruins all in three short minutes."

The Lurgan actor described the process as 'hard work but rewarding'.

The occupation itself lasted seven weeks where around 210 jobs were lost in Belfast, with around 600 more in Basildon and Enfield.

The creator of the play felt that it was a story that needed to be told, although he acknowledged that with so much to recall, he could "never fit everything into a play".

John Maguire first approached playwright Martin Lynch with the idea, but Lynch encouraged him to do it himself, and so Maguire did just that.

His first attempt at playwriting was snapped up by John Dunne, artistic director of the London Irish Theatre, who commented that his first attempt had gone "extremely well".

"It has a strong storyline, strong characters and themes. There is everything for everyone," the director added.

The play features a cast of 18 with professional actors from Belfast, London, Dublin and Manchester.

The play, which will resonate with many, runs from Nov 20-24 at the Emerald Roadhouse Theatre. There is a keen interest in the play with the last night being sold out already.

Tickets for the Visteon/Ford occupation are available from London Irish Theatre.

© UTV News
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