Leapfrogging the Walls - The Rehearsal

“Buddy, if you really wanna know what’s going on round here, then watch what dem kids are playin’ on the sidewalk”

Humphrey Bogart in “Angels with Dirty faces”

Street games are a tradition that has passed from generation to generation. Almost by osmosis each child seems to know the rules, the conventions, the dos and especially the don’ts. These street games are as old as the walls themselves. Stage Beyond would like to show you how to play some street games that were played on the walls over the past 400 years. But somehow, I have a feeling you will know these games already.

Stage Beyond is an award-winning Theatre Company for adults with learning and developmental disabilities. We offer professional accredited OCN arts training in a variety of disciplines. Our aims are to encourage self-esteem, sociability and life skills. In November last year the group embarked on a project to discover the games and pastimes of people living on or near the walls over the last 400 years. This included visits to museums, a course of history workshops and some creative and imaginative devising.

We have looked specifically at 4 time periods – The Plantation of Ulster, The Siege of Derry, The Victorian Era and World War Two. We thought that it would help bring history to life for our members if we focused on the games and pastimes from each era.

We hope people will come out on to the walls and play the games with us. We will be performing on the 1st and 2nd of July at Church Bastion on the Walls (focusing on the Plantation and the Siege) and again on the 29h and 30th of July (looking at the Victorians and World War Two)

All of this has been made possible by the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund NI and, by extension, all lottery players. We have also been supported on this project by Derry and Strabane District Council

Here's a few pictures of the members on a research trip to the Tower Museum and Leapfrogging info 

The Performance

Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Derry and Strabane District Council, Stage Beyond has been able to perform “Leapfroggin’ the Walls – 400 years of street games on the walls” on the Derry Walls.

We were out on the Walls on the 1st and 2nd of July, performing our plays and playing the games with the public. We had great crowds and played the games with people from America, Australia, Germany, Holland, Israel, England and ROI (and a few more). We had the Playtrail up to see us and a few youth groups from Rosemount. Great fun was had by all!

That’s the Plantation and the Siege done. 

Next it’s the Victorians and World War 2 on the 29th and 30th of July