DUPed review at Sweet Grassmarket, Edinburgh – ‘twisting narrative of Northern Irish politics’
When there’s nothing but a bible and megaphone by way of set or stage dressing in a performance about the DUP, you know for sure that both will be used.
Not that John McCann needs either, in his informative narrative about his own engagement with those who have been directly effected by the Democratic Unionist Party. This is the DUP which rose from political extremism to UK-wide political power on the back of its 2017 supply and confidence deal with Theresa May.
He needs no megaphone to be heard. It is there for DUP founder Ian Paisley, whose hard-line attitudes need to be understood to understand the DUP.
McCann draws on interviews recorded in Portadown, where he was born. We hear those who have come up against the DUP’s prejudices on issues of gender and of birth control, gradually revealing a political movement that has become stuck, unable to move beyond Paisley’s narrative.
McCann doesn’t need the bible either, to quote from it. But when he moves it aside he is removing a blockage to further engagement. And it is engagement to which McCann reveals he is really addressing himself – not with the DUP itself, but those who it has had in its thrall.