Three chairs sat in a line across the small stage in the Black Box. Three actors walked out and sat down. A spotlight illuminated each as each took a turn to speak.
Elizabeth Cosgrove was shopping for vintage denim jacket for her birthday. She remembers the quiet, the weight lying on top of her, and the confusion of trying to piece together what had just happened.
“When I realised that everyone wasn’t just lying down … I stopped screaming then because I started to understand.”
Conor McKeating plays one of the two fictional brothers caught up in the bombing. There’s a feeling of tension in the audience as his character’s back story unfolds.
His next door neighbour, Mari Jennings, was waiting for her husband to return home. It was their 33rd wedding anniversary. Having checked that her friends were ok, she still couldn’t get through to her husband. Watching the pictures on the news, she sees his car.
As the three interwoven monologues developed, the lunchtime audience learned about the lead up to the afternoon of 15 August 1998 and its aftermath.
Ross Dungan’s play Minute after Midday is a dramatisation of the Omagh bombing. It borrows much from the real story of that day, but changes timings, characters, shops. Most of the fiction rings true.
It’s hard not to shed a tear at points in the play.
Not too late to buy a ticket for tonight’s performance at 8pm.