A man, a banana and a tape recorder. …and a bomb.
Donie Burris has a whole heap of troubles facing him: with his girlfriend, her son, Albanian gangsters, the Longford mafia and a very overbearing mammy. How can he get them all off his back? He imagines himself as the star of his own gangster movie, and he won’t go down without a fight…
Fight 2Flight Theatre presents Patrick McCabe’s play Country and Irish, a hilarious but savage portrait of a man at the end of his rope, starring Peter Gowen. It is a wild joyride that pays homage to film noir, Samuel Beckett and even the Teletubbies – a startling, provocative fever dream. Featuring a soundtrack of terrific music worthy of the title, Country and Irish is like nothing else you’ll see this year.
Written by Patrick McCabe
Direction/Sound Design by Conor Hanratty
Lighting Design by Eoin Lennon
Set and Costume Design by Medb Lambert
Performed by Peter Gowen
Produced by Claire O’Connell
COUNTRY AND IRISH
Nationwide Tour April/May 2023
Click on Venue Names for Tickets
Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin – Tues 18 – Sat 22 April, 7.30pm
Matinee 3pm Sat 22 April
Town Hall Theatre, Galway – Mon 24 April, 8pm
The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton – Tue 25 April, 8pm
The Linenhall, Castlebar – Wed 26 April, 8pm
Backstage Theatre, Longford – Thurs 27 April, 8pm
Ballina Arts Centre – Fri 28 April, 8pm
The Source, Thurles – Sat 29 April, 8pm
Youghal Town Hall – Tue 2 May, 8pm
Aghada & District Community Centre – Wed 3 May, 8pm
Belltable, Limerick – Thu 4 May, 8pm
St. John’s Theatre, Listowel – Sat 6 May, 8pm
Birr Arts Centre – Sun 7 May, 8pm
Roscommon Arts Centre – Tue 9 May, 8pm
Riverbank Arts Centre, Kildare – Wed 10 May, 8pm
Town Hall Theatre, Cavan – Thu 11 May
Wexford Arts Centre, – Fri 12 May, 8pm
Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny – Sat 13 May, 8pm
Lyric Theatre, Belfast – Tue 16 – Wed 17 May
An Tain Arts Centre, Dundalk – Thu 18 May, 8pm
Garter Lane, Waterford – Fri 19 May, 8pm
Nenagh Arts Centre – Sat 20 May, 8pm
Background to the production
Country and Irish by Patrick McCabe was written as a radio play and was broadcast on BBC3 Radio in March 2014. The play found its way into the hands of Andrew Flynn, Artistic Director of Decadent Theatre. Peter was working on a new show with him: an adaptation of There Are Little Kingdoms by Kevin Barry for GIAF 2021. Andrew didn’t have space in his programme to produce the play and suggested that Peter take a look at it. Having worked with Patrick McCabe on Butcher Boy, the film, and a workshop of his play The Big Yum-Yum, Peter was very taken with the potential of the script. He approached Patrick, who generously allowed Peter to adapt it for stage as a one-man show. The play is a brilliant example of absurdist writing that manages to be topical and funny and yet make some very important points about the nature of being Irish.
Conor Hanratty | Director
Conor Hanratty is a theatre and opera director from Dublin. Recent productions include An Lár for Glass Mask Theatre, Colm Tóibín’s The Master for Wexford Opera Festival, Country and Irish by Pat McCabe, Persians | The Podcast – Unplugged at the Peacock Theatre and tours of both King Lear and Romeo and Juliet for Festival in a Van. During the pandemic he directed Ghost Apples, a film for Irish National Opera with music by Irene Buckley and words by Jessica Traynor, completed The Hamlet Podcast and wrote War Paint, a short film for Fishamble’s 24/7 project.
Eoin Lennon | Lighting Design
Eoin began his career in lighting design while studying at Trinity College Dublin. He quickly became embroiled in theatre as a challenging creative outlet. Since then he has enjoyed a colourful experience working around Ireland on a variety of projects from dance and devising to music and performance art. Recent credits include Up Til Dawn’s Pucked (2022) and Hunchback of Notre Dame (2021, Faoin Speir), Lianne O’Hara’s Fluff (2022, DFF), No Dessert’s Nursey (2022), Fight2Flight Theatre’s Country & Irish (2022), Ballet Ireland’s Nutcracker Sweeties (2021), The Lir Academy’s The Unreturning (2020). Eoin has previously associated with the Gate on Piaf (2022), The Snapper (2019), and Rape of Lucrece (2019).
Medb Lambert | Costume Design
Medb Lambert is a theatre maker, creator and designer and co-Artistic Director of Asylum Productions. From 2006 – 2022 Medb worked at KCAT Arts Centre where she was a founder and Artistic Coordinator of Equinox Theatre Company. Her new play The Local (in collaboration with Emma O’Grady and Clare Monnelly will be presented at Kilkenny Arts Festival 2023. Recent design work includes: Daughter of God by Roderick Ford (Asylum, Cork Opera House, Theatre Dept UCC 2023); Everything Must Go! By Aideen Wylde and Donal Gallagher (Asylum/Clonmel Junction/OnceOff 2022); Julius Caesar (TU Dublin Conservatoire 2022);
Peter Gowen | Actor
Peter Gowen began his career while in TCD. During his 45 years as an actor he has played with almost every theatre company in Ireland and many of the major theatre companies in the UK including The Royal National Theatre, RSC and Royal Court. He has also toured extensively, including two tours to Australia and a six month run on Broadway. He is also a playwright, and hopes to present his next play The Letters Of St Declan in the autumn with Fight2Flight Theatre in association with Smock Alley Theatre Dublin. Recent credits include Hangmen by Martin McDonagh, with Decadent Theatre at the Gaiety Theatre.
Claire O’Connell | Producer
Claire’s background is in accounting, but she found it wasn’t exciting enough for her so she went and followed her dream to work in theatre and TV/film! Claire has worked for some of Ireland’s leading companies and venues including Graffiti, The Everyman Theatre; and The Cork Opera House. Recent producing credits include Country and Irish for Fight2flight and Tadhg Hickey’s In One Eye, Out The Other.
Claire was a co-owner of production company ‘CCCahoots’ producing viral online comedy sketches and work for the national broadcaster, RTE, including the sitcom The School and critically acclaimed TV pilot Sketch!.