Belfast comes to London next month with two solo shows - Belfast Blues and Protestants - hailing from either side of the religious divide in Northern Ireland’s capital city.

In Belfast Blues, Geraldine Hughes draws from her memories of growing up in Catholic Belfast in the 1970s and 80s. The one-woman show runs from 4 June to 3 July 2004 (previews from 1 June). From 8 June (preview 7 June), it will run concurrently with Protestants, which also continues until 3 July, with evening performances at 9.15pm.

In Protestants, Rachel O’Riordan directs Paul Hickey (pictured) in the one-man play exploring the essence of Protestantism on a global and historical scale. The first play by Irish novelist Robert Welch (Groundwork), Protestants is the latest production from Belfast-based Ransom Productions, which had a hit at Edinburgh, Soho and in the West End with Hurricane, another one-man play, about snooker champion Alex Higgins.

Further ahead in the summer, Soho will present Lin Coghlan’s new play Mercy, in which a group of mismatched characters are thrown together by the decisions they face as they leave a city ravaged by unexplained flood and fear. Paul Miller (Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads) directs Soho Theatre Company production, which runs from 13 July to 7 August 2004 (previews from 8 July).

- by Terri Paddock