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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Ballymena theatre group perform play as part of Holocaust Memorial Day event

A County Antrim-based amateur dramatic group is performing an abridged version of 'Judgement at Nuremberg' as part of the local Council's Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations.


Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, through its Good Relations Programme, has planned an evening of drama, poetry and talks to remember the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust and Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.


The event takes place in the Main Stage of the Braid Theatre, Ballymena on 26 January and is free to attend. Registration for the event is through the Council's website 


The Ad Hoc Theatre Group will perform the Abby Mann play, a fictionalised account of the Justice Trial of 1947, as part of the evening of commemorations. 


The play is set in the later stages of the Nuremberg Trials, where three German judges are accused of perverting the course of justice, and of playing a part in war crimes.


The director of Ad Hoc's production, Ciarán Hanna, explained:


"The theme of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day is ordinary people, and this is the ideal play to tease out this theme. As the main defendant, Ernst Janning says in the play: 'What about us who knew better? We who knew the words were lies and worse than lies? Why did we sit in silence? Why did we participate?'. This play helps bring out this theme and challenges us to ask what would we do in similar circumstances".


This production will be an emotional one for the drama group, given the recent deaths of their co-founders, Bob and Elza Margarin in November and December respectively.


Ciarán added:

"Bob was to play the part of Ernst Janning again as he had in our performance of this play in 2018. He played the part so well.  We will also miss his wisdom and his warmth and humour. PJ Davey has very kindly stepped in to play Bob's part. Although Elza was not in the cast for the production, she sewed the embroidered patch worn on the uniforms of the United States Army officer in this play, and this will be worn again in this production. Their loss is very keenly felt by us all at AdHoc. We dedicate this forthcoming production in their memory."

Mr Hanna thanked the Council for agreeing to include an abridged version of the play as part of HMD 2023. 

He also paid tribute to the Ad Hoc cast and technical team, who gave up all their time and skills to volunteer under the Ad Hoc umbrella. 

"Hopefully this event shows the value of amateur drama to the local community," concluded Mr Hanna.

The play is part of an evening of commemorations as part of Holocause Memorial Day - more details below:

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place each year on 27 January.


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