'Strike', a play by Paddy Devlin, is brought to the stage for the first time.

Paddy Devlin (1925-1999) was one of the most prominent politicians in Northern Ireland during the 1970's, as one of the founders of the SDLP and a minister in the ill-fated power-sharing executive.

In 1984 he brought to the stage his first play 'Strike'. RTÉ News visited the City Arts Theatre in Belfast as preparations were under way for opening night.

In the 1980s Paddy Devlin held a position on Belfast City Council and was regional secretary of the Irish Transport Union. He was also an active member of the arts community in Northern Ireland. Having already published two books, he now brought to the stage his first play at the City Arts Theatre.

Written by Paddy Devlin and directed by Roy Heayberd, 'Strike' is set in the Belfast docks in the seventies. The play is based on the story of one docker's arrest and detention by the police in Liverpool. The other dockers go on strike to secure his release.

This report shows rehearsals in progress at the City Arts Theatre for the play which opens on 4 September for a three week run. Devlin describes the play as having a lot of humour, history and philosophy. For Devlin the docklands offer a great setting for a play due to the "rich characterisations" and traditions that exist there.

Devlin also refers to the dialogue of the docks that lends itself to colourful turns of phrase which work well in theatre. He feels that the play will enable people from all walks of life to understand the North better.

This RTÉ News report by David Ross was broadcast on 28 August, 1984.