The King Of East Belfast

The King Of East Belfast

Can you really make your money out of a working man’s vices and still call yourself a good man?

The epic story of Clark Groves returns Saturday 12 November.

Jim swore he would never come back. For him, Belfast was nothing but ghosts and bad memories. He had to get away, from his family, from everything that had happened. From him…

Too many things said; too many things left unsaid. Ran away across the sea and kept running for over 30 years; but he’s finally come home…to say a last goodbye.

Explore the binary of being a notorious bookie and a generous man and the real histories that unraveled on the Newtownards Road. The King of East Belfast returns to the MAC Belfast for this for this true-life story, inspired by Stephen’s own family history.  

Date: Saturday 12 November, Upstairs, The MAC Belfast

Time: 8pm

Cast & Crew

Director: Paula McFetridge

Written & Performed: Stephen Beggs

More from Stephen Beggs:

“My father-in-law is called Clark Groves and ‘The King of East Belfast’ is based on the true life story of his grandfather, also called Clark Groves.  

Before gambling was made legal in Northern Ireland, Clark Sr. was a legendary East Belfast bookmaker who strived to be both a successful bookie and a good man.  Through his generosity to local people from what he called ‘this deadly business’, it was said that Clark Sr. ‘married and buried them on the Newtownards Road’.  

Clark’s funeral in 1957 was one of the biggest seen before or since in Dundonald Cemetery as hundreds of people came out to pay their respects and to thank him for his help. 

I’ve been really fascinated by the stories I have heard about Clark Sr. from my family for many years and I’m looking forward to breathing life into a forgotten period in the history of East Belfast.” 

In The Press