TheLiberty is a local paper for Dublin's south inner city

February 2001

Taking Liberties

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When it comes to finding inspiration for his scripts, Peter Reid has a wealth of facts and folk tales to draw on, namely the colourful history of the Liberties where he has lived for the past nine years. His last play, entitled One Of Our Own, was a comedy drama set in Pimlico and focused on the lives of an inner city family. As Peter points out, "It began as a small scale production but ended up being huge. It was originally supposed to be a small family drama but the end result was a group of about 15 people". The cast was made up of members of the local drama group, "Taking Liberties".

According to Peter a lot of his inspiration for the play came from another Dublin playwright who also focused on family drama, namely Sean O'Casey. "I can't deny I did look at Juno and the Paycock a few times but if you're going to do a family drama play then who better to look at."

The play One of Our Own was a great success according to Peter, "Usually when you do a production using professional actors the best turnout you can expect is 60 or 70 at the shows. But when it is an amateur play all the family and friends of those involved want to come and support the person. This really adds to the atmosphere and overall enjoyment of the whole thing, having nearly two or three hundred people watching your show is a great buzz for everyone involved".

The "Taking Liberties" group, now seven years old, has a core of seven people including Peter Reid (writer), Damien Gray (director) and Avril Gannon (producer). Peter says, "We meet once a week when we are doing a production but usually we take a break after each play to recharge the batteries".

At the moment the group is on a break but Peter adds, "I met with Damien last week and there was talk of our next production, but as of yet no one is sure what it will be about". The group will meet again soon in the Lamplighter Pub in the Coombe to start work on a new play and according to Peter, "all going well we should be able to see the group in action on stage by the end of the year".