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As the city's factories come out on strike, John Rainey, the respected head of a Protestant family, acts to calm the sectarian tension being stirred up by politicians for their own ends. On the streets, Rainey successfully unites Catholic and Protestant against the machinations of the factory owners, the nationalists and the Orangemen. But at home, it is a different matter altogether when Rainey discovers that his son wants to marry the beautiful, innocent Nora, a Catholic.
Passions rise with Rainey demanding that his son put country ahead of his own personal happiness, an ultimatum that threatens to tear apart not just the Rainey household, but also the two young lovers whose engagement struggles to take the strain of such divided loyalties.
Set in Belfast on the eve of the Ulster Covenant, Mixed Marriage is a poetic tragedy – leavened with earthy humour – which dissects class and religious sectarianism through the breakdown of one ordinary family. Acclaimed director Jimmy Fay helms a brilliant new production of this rarely performed masterpiece. First staged over a century ago, but with echoes for today’s generation, locally and globally, Mixed Marriage was a ground-breaking success in its time and established Ervine as a great Irish writer who would later pen another Ulster classic, Boyd’s Shop.
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Venue: Lyric Theatre
55 Ridgeway Street
BT9 5FB 54.577171, -5.932526
Bookings: 028 9038 1081