One from the archives #2: ‘Just Another Saturday In the City’

To Scotland this time for a comparison of depictions of the Protestant working class in Glasgow and Belfast through a brief examination of the classic ‘Play for Today’ installments by Peter McDougall, and the plays of Rathcoole playwright Gary Mitchell. This article appeared in the now defunct ‘Fortnight’ magazine in December 2007.



EDIT: I’ve linked to ‘Just Another Saturday’ below. Bear in mind however that the DVD is available and is well worth purchasing.



  1. Rathcoole Playwright Gary Mitchell, who was ran out of Rathcoole on a proverbial rail after the “lads” failed to see the good side of his plays or commentary in “As the Beast Sleeps”. Currently writing and supported by An Culturlann, no? Chalk another one up for the cultural identity of Loyalism I guess…

  2. The “lads” you refer to are not going to see anything other than their own narrow worldview. They exist on the republican side as well. I say that as someone from a Catholic background, just in case Jude Collins is reading.

    Also, I remember hearing an interesting diatribe from a woman in her 60s (whose Irish was so diabolical I can only assume she had just started learning it) the last time I was in An Culturlann, slating the Protestant community and loudly making it know that they were all knuckle-dragging sectarian buffoons. Of course, the delicious irony is that she was sitting in a former Protestant church which was an Irish centre because the Protestant church-goers who had attended for many years were no longer welcome in the area once the Troubles broke out.

    I guess it’s only the Prods that can be sectarian though. Or at least, thinking that makes it easier for people like JJ Magee and Gerry Adams sleep better at night.

  3. I’m not entirely sure what you said has to do with anything there. Certainly not some old girls Irish, or lack thereof. I found it ironic that Mitchell, when supposedly artistically depicting loyalism, and doing it extremely well (especially in the impossible to track down As the Beast Sleeps) should be so unceremoniously cast out from those within his own community.

    It has nothing to do with being sectarian, or bigoted, and can’t really be extrapolated on: but it’s an interesting factoid when you bring in the old Sinners were reading Gramsci/Loyalists were lifting weights story. It lends it more weight that loyalism would ostracise their own (only?) great playwright. A fairly shameful, and odd carryon I’m sure you’d agree.

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