The Irish Arts Center's production of "Agreement" paints a fascinating picture of how enduring peace in Northern Ireland was created on uneasy foundations 26  years ago.

The Lyric Theatre Belfast production of Owen McCafferty's "Agreement" tells the story of the four-day process of peace negotiations in Northern Ireland, in April 1998, that culminated in the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

McCafferty's work expertly blends comedy and drama, no small feat considering the play is essentially rooted in a protracted political debate featuring much jargon. 

To combat this, characters regularly break the fourth wall, providing the audience with humorous, interesting, and informative information about the ongoing political debate. 

A work of historical fiction, the play centers on the central figures of the peace negotiations. 

Bertie Ahern, the Taoiseach at the time, is magnificently played by Ronan Leahy, who perfectly captures the mannerisms of the former Irish leader. 

Martin Huston gives a similarly excellent performance as Tony Blair, exhibiting the clichéd self-importance that the former UK Prime Minister has become renowned for. 

Ruairi Conaghan and Chris Corrigan provide exemplary performances as David Trimble and Gerry Adams respectively, perfectly capturing the belligerence and obstinance of the unionist and nationalist leaders. 

Meanwhile, Dan Gordon's resemblance to the SDLP's John Hume is uncanny, while Richard Croxford's performance as US Senator George Mitchell - the chair of the negotiations - is equally realistic. 

However, the performance of Andrea Irvine as Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam is at the heart of this production. 

Irvine poignantly brings Mowlam's character to life, capturing the emotion of the Northern Ireland Secretary as she battles with a terminal brain tumor while trying to secure peace for Northern Ireland.

A memorable exchange between Mowlam and Ahern as the negotiations reach a crucial stage is a standout moment in the play, poignantly capturing Mowlam's battle with cancer and Ahern's grief at the death of his mother. 

"Agreement" highlights the many times that peace negotiations almost broke down during those four days in Hillsborough Castle, showcasing the "miracle" of the Good Friday Agreement. 

The play is a reminder of the hard-fought peace that endures in Northern Ireland and the precarious origins of that peace. 

It is a testament to the work of Hume, Ahern, and Blair, who compromised again and again to get the Good Friday Agreement over the line, while it also showcases the bravery of Trimble, who brought the agreement to the more hardline members of the Ulster Unionist Party despite knowing that it would make him deeply unpopular. 

The play showcases the huge trust required from all members of the negotiations and just how much of a miracle it was that the agreement has endured until this day rather than collapsing like many previous efforts at peace. 

"Agreement" is a play of many moving parts - literally - with actors skillfully transforming the stage at regular intervals. A highlight of the civic events in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, the play keeps audiences gripped from start to finish and is an absolute must-see. 

* Owen McCafferty's "Agreement", directed by Charlotte Westenra, opened at the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan on April 11 and runs until May 12. 

Watch the trailer for "The Agreement" here: