The two men on stage look identical. Both in police uniforms, with identical moustaches, they stand side by side. The only difference is that one uniform is a shade of green, the other blue.
The green is for the Royal Ulster Constabulary, blue for Garda Síochána. During the height of the conflict these two men patrol the borders and become friends.
Laurence McKeown’s play for Kabosh, a Belfast-based company whose work has often explored the conflict and involves local communities, is based on interviews with RUC and Garda officers, distilled into this heartbreaking story.
Through their walkie talkie chats Eddie and David – played with static dignity by James Doran and Vincent Higgins – become friends. Paula McFetridge’s directing keeps everything so quiet and still. We don’t need any more turmoil in this place.
There are two chairs, and otherwise no props or obstructions, certainly no sign of a border.
Just as McKeown’s script allows some humour to trickle in – Eddie is planning a booze cruise to the north because there’s a deal in an off-licence in Enniskillen – violence erupts.
On top of its quiet melancholy and twinkling beauty, the show is responsible for one of the most politically profound moments at the fringe: the two men, who’ve been standing side by side facing the audience, finally decide to meet. They turn towards each other and shake hands.
“D’you think it will ever end?” asks Eddie in his thick Cork accent. We’ve got hindsight to tell us about the Good Friday Agreement, and relative peace. As for the future in those countries, and that area, well we’re not there yet.