Belfast Blues

Production Photo: Jonathan Christman

Nick Lowe once, famously, asked: what's so funny about peace, love and understanding? The answer is: nothing, really. Because however famous you are or might aspire to be, you've really got to work hard for it. Especially if you emerge from a challenging and particularly troubled community.

That's at the heart of Geraldine Hughes' Belfast Blues, written, produced by and starring Hughes and directed by Carol Kane of Taxi and Scrooged fame – a well-paced, funny, timely and adroit reminder that the foundations of this still relatively brand new Belfast have come at a price and we should never take them for granted, even while we enjoy the story emerging and evolving before our eyes.

Originally performed sixteen years ago, Hughes' true-to-life tale of family, conflict, religion and film earns high praise from its exceptional presentation of stark reality and starry eyed dreams from the eyes of young idealism. As, I find, in life itself, the best things about the play are the small things, the little moments we remember that take a traditionally-structured magnum opus of memories associated with a certain type of family, and a certain kind of city, and lift it into the pantheon of uniqueness.

And that goes for every astounding nuance in Hughes' performance also – the simple changes in expression and tone of voice that transform her into a multitude of characters close to home and away from it. She's an absolute treasure, and so is her life – a timeless depiction and reflection of Belfast past, present and future to forever learn from and remember.

Simon Fallaha

A Brassneck Theatre Company production with Geraldine Hughes, Belfast Blues runs at Belfast's Lyric Theatre until Sunday August 11. For more information click here.