River Row Community Arts relives a moment of Omagh’s war years

River Row Community Arts Group caused quite a stir in Omagh this month, when they moved in to make a short film called ‘Under the Spires’. The film which creates a snap-shot of life in the Castle Street area during the war will be shown in Strule Arts Centre this Thursday evening at 8.00pm. The film itself is ten minutes in duration, however the atmosphere engendered in the area during the filming was completely infectious.

Many people may not be aware of just how much an impact the Second World War had on the town and the streets saw large contingents of British and American Troops, regularly processing through to various theatres of war. What is less well known, is that Omagh did have contact with the Germans, in the sense that some hundreds of German prisoners of war were detained here.

The production was filmed, edited and mastered by Soup Stone Productions, and the actors were from River Row’s theatre group and youth theatre. The film was made possible by the CAP This is Me Programme and the goodwill of the people of  the Jail Square area during the two days of filming.

Peter paid tribute to all of the actors who took part in the production, those who procured authentic artefacts; (particular thanks go to George McCrea), and to Dessie and Philip O’Neill for their kindness and hospitality which greatly facilitated the shoot. The White Ensign historical group provided the authentic military vehicle and a ‘detachment’ of  soldiers for the filming.

River Row are a dynamic community arts group which has staged a number of events over the past two years. Members are currently in rehearsal for their next project, a play called ‘Raisins Aren’t Sexy’ which will be staged in the Strule Arts Centre on 5-7 June.

Under the Spires
Under the Spires
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New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.