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“Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme”
September 4 2014 @ 8:00 pm
Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme opens tonight at the Charity Randall Theatre, presented by PICT Classic Theatre. World War II’s older, oft-neglected counterpart, World War I, (aka the Great War) serves as the backdrop for the play. Its cast consists in eight Northern Irish Unionist men (boys?) who band together and leave their deep-seated religious strife at home. They are united as they train for and participate in the Great War against the Central Powers of Europe. (For those rusty on Irish history, Northern Ireland’s Unionists are a faction of ardent Protestants whose loyalty lies with the United Kingdom; opposing them were the Catholics, who sought independence from the United Kingdom. Thus, it makes sense that these eight young Unionist men would fight for Britain in the Great War. But Sons of Ulster, at its core, is more an interpersonal drama with themes of friendship, loyalty, and brotherhood than a political one, so no need to study too deeply before seeing the play.) As PICT notes, fans of the HBO’s miniseries “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific” will surely find Sons of Ulster to their liking. Directed by Matt Torney. 8 p.m. Through Sept. 20. 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland.