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The Portable Theatre
The Portable Theatre

The Portable Theatre 1968

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The Portable Theatre 1968

24 mins Northern Ireland

The McCormick Family find themselves in a hinterland as they compete with Bingo, showbands and TV. Thanks to Terence McDonald we can enjoy their variety show, see behind the scenes and hear their stories. Puppetry, melodrama, songs and sketches will keep you entertained between the family’s moving reflections on this vanishing tradition. The film was reportedly pulled from the RTÉ schedule as the Apollo crash put Burt’s song ‘You’ll Never Reach the Moon’ in a new light.

A Derry teacher by trade, Terence McDonald was an innovative and prolific amateur filmmaker. His remarkable body of work includes sensitive documentaries, dystopian fiction, slapstick comedy and promotional films for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the Northern Ireland Resurgence Trust. The Portable Theatre is just one of many gems by Terence McDonald that you can watch on the BFI Player. This material is courtesy of his son Peter Mc Donald.

Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive is a free public access resource for teachers, students, historians and anyone who has an interest in moving images. Spanning from 1897 to the present day, the films in the Digital Film Archive cover all aspects of life in Northern Ireland and includes everything from dramas to documentaries, newsreels and features, animation to amateur footage.

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