Enlightenment comes to Belfast for a day

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Main image: Kabosh Theatre director Paula McFetridge giving a reading at the event

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan

The sound of the French national anthem La Marseillaise rang out at an event celebrating The Enlightenment and the French Revolution on 14 July 1792, in the First Presbyterian church in Rosemary Street, Belfast, recently.

Singers Jane Cassidy and Maurice Leydon performed a number of songs to mark the occasion.

And Paula McFetridge, artistic director of the Kabosh Theatre Company, and actor Vincent Higgins also provided a dramatic narrative to the event.

The group, Reclaim the Enlightenment, said they organised the performance to mark the 225th anniversary of the Belfast Volunteer Review and a celebration of the French Revolution on July 14, 1792.

“Our proposal is that we bring together a broader group representing all of civil society here, to re-engage with this period, to resurrect this history and to help to bring into popular awareness again the innovative and progressive thinking of the period. This was the era when Bastille Day parades were held in Belfast, where the merchants of the city were unique in refusing to establish a slaving company. This was the period of the Belfast Enlightenment,” said a spokesperson for the group.

For more details, contact Reclaim the Enlightenment at reclaimtheenlightenment@gmail.com

 

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