BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
‘Twas on an August morning, all in the dawning hours.”
The New Theatre is delighted to have the opportunity to re-stage The Laughing Boy, by Jack Harte. First performed in 2021, The Laughing Boy delighted audiences with its depiction of renowned playwright Brendan Behan.
Set in Dublin 1963 when Brendan Behan’s song The Laughing Boy has become the inspirational anthem of the political Left in Greece. Alexandra, a student and political activist, has travelled here to seek out the writer of the song and invite him to Greece to boost the struggle for Socialism.
Her search comes to an end in a Dublin pub but what she finds there bewilders her. This is not the Brendan Behan she was expecting. In fact she finds two characters, both claiming to be Brendan Behan, each with a different take on the legendary writer.
The Laughing Boy is an imaginative and absorbing tale of theatrical and political history. It draws on Jack Harte’s engagement with Greece. In 1974 he was there to witness the fall of the Military Junta. Forty years later when back in Athens for a production of his play – in an ancient amphitheatre – Jack discovered the huge impact of Behan’s song The Laughing Boy.
Previous work by Jack Harte: Language of the Mute (The New Theatre, 2015), The Mysterious History of Things (Viking Theatre, 2016), Lugh and Balor (Ancient Theatre of Maroneia and Theatre of Komotoni, Greece 2016), Killing Grandad (The New Theatre, 2020), The Pleasureometer (Fight Back Festival 2020) and Outside the Club of Culture (Push Forward Festival 2021).
Gerard Lee is delighted to return to The Laughing Boy, having directed the successful run in 2021. He also directed Jack’s play Killing Grandad in March 2020. Gerard is also a playwright and author. Previous work includes A New Day and Mangan’s Last Gasp (Bewley’s Café Theatre), One is Not Oneself (The New Theatre), Unlucky for Some (Theatre Upstairs) and This Old Man (The Viking Theatre).
Cast and Creatives
About the Playwright
Jack Harte’s fiction – novels and short stories – have been published in 13 languages. As a playwright, he made his debut in 2015 with Language of the Mute in the New Theatre. It toured the following year to many of the major theatres around Ireland. This was followed by The Mysterious History of Things (Viking Theatre, 2016) and Lugh and Balor – performed in Greek translation at the Ancient Theatre of Maroneia and the Theatre of Komotini in Greece, also in 2016. Killing Grandad, premiered in the New Theatre in March 2020. The Pleasureometer, a short play, was streamed online as part of the New Theatre’s Fight Back
Festival in 2020, and another, Outside the Club of Culture, was presented at the theatre’s Push Forward Festival in July, 2021.
About the Director
Gerard Lee is an actor, writer, director and script development mentor. He has an M.Phil. in Creative Writing from the Oscar Wilde Centre in TCD. His novel Forsaken is published by New Island, and his plays have been produced by Bewley’s Café Theatre – A New Day & Mangan’s Last Gasp; The New Theatre – One Is Not Oneself; Theatre Upstairs –Unlucky for Some, and The Viking – This Old Man. Gerard directed Killing Grandad by Jack Harte at the New Theatre in 2020 and is delighted to be back at the New Theatre with Jack’s new play, The Laughing Boy. Twitter: @gerardlee10
About the Cast
Donagh Deeney Bio
Donagh was born in Dublin and went to school at Colaiste Mhuire. He joined the Abbey Theatre in 1981 two years after graduating as an engineer.
Donagh appeared in over 60 productions at The Abbey and Peacock including Da, Hamlet, The Plough and the Stars and Execution. He later played in multiple productions at Red Kettle, The Passion Machine, Corcadorcha and Poetry Ireland where he devised and directed shows on Joyce, Kavanagh and Beckett.
His TV and film work include Glenroe, Fair City, Ros na Run and Game of Thrones. He most recently played the role of Ted in Isobel Mahon’s play Ideal World.
Donagh is married to Linda and they have two wonderful children.
Michelle Lucy Bio
Michelle is an actress based in Dublin. Michelle received a BA in Performing Arts in 2014, and since then has worked with some of Ireland’s leading directors including Gary Keegan of Broken Talkers, and Louise Lowe of Anu Productions. Michelle premiered her self- written one woman play ‘All The Way’ at Smock Alley Theatre’s Scene + Heard Festival, and most recently worked with Barnstorm Theatre Company playing ‘Krysia’ in their production ‘Boy with a suitcase’.
Within film Michelle appeared as ‘Breffini’ in ‘Coco dreams of Blue’, which premiered at The Galway Film Fleadh. Michelle has also written and directed her own short films, including stop motion animation ‘Marnie & the moon’ and live action short ‘Apple’.
Owen O’Gorman Bio
Owen wrote and directed the short film “The Lions Share’ which has been shown in many film festivals in Ireland and worldwide.
Owen’s acting debut was in 1986 playing the lead role in “Fear of the Dark” for CH4/RTE Directed by Tony Barry.
He directed “Amber’s story” which was performed in the New Theatre in 2019
Film roles include Mick Cafferty in “Into The West”; “The Commitments”, “Mystics”, “On the Nose” & “Angela’s Ashes”.
T.V. Roles include “Vicious Circle” for BBC; “Echoes” for Ch.4: “The Clinic” & “Fair City” for RTE and the role of Butty Sugrue in “Sceal Na Rialta” for TG4.
His Theatre work includes a Welsh tour of “The Playboy of the Western World”;
In 2019 he played Mick in “The Last Corner Shop on Misery Hill” (Smock Alley) Tom in &”Book of Condolences” other theatre work includes Ken in “The 3 Kings” (Theatre Upstairs), Mickey Moe in “The Deal” (National tour) “Semi-Private” (Tivoli ) Going Places (Passion Machine) “Goodbye to the Hill”; “Talbots Box” (Watergate theatre, Kilkenny); “Pericles”; “King Lear”; “Hamlet”; and “Fireraisers”:
He has co-written “The Silver Branch” for radio and & “Fractures” for Uncut Diamonds which he also directed as part of the Five Lamps Festival.
He was awarded a bursary for his short play “As the Rising Rising Roared On” at the Sean O’Casey Theatre. He is also founding member of Reactors Agency.
About the Designers
Pete O’ Neill – Sound Design
Pete achieved a City & Guilds Level 5 Diploma in Sound and Music Technology (2015) and BTEC Level 7 HND Diploma in Music Production (2017) – both with distinction. He is the assistant sound technician at the Whale Theatre, Greystones. Previously Pete toured extensively as the chief sound and lighting technician with Show in a Bag’s production of Phelim Drew’s Down and Out in Paris & London (2015-2018) and Joxer Daly Esq. by Eddie Noughton (2019). He is an active member of NoWiFi (North Wicklow Film Makers). Credits: Joxer Daly Esq. – Bewleys Cafe Theatre (2018). Juno and The Paycock – Greystones Players/Whale Theatre (2018). The Tide – The New Theatre (2019). Killing Grandad – The New Theatre (2020). Arsenic & Old Lace (Radio Adaptation) – Greystones Players/Whale Theatre (2021)
Cathy O’Carroll – Lighting Design
Cathy O’Carroll Cathy O’Carroll is a Dublin based theatre and performance lighting designer whose work has
engaged with a wide variety of performances locally and internationally. She trained at Middlesex University and
Goldsmiths college, London and has an M.A. in Art in the Contemporary World from N.C.A.D.(Dublin). Recent
Lighting includes, The Gods of the Ozarks (2021) by Mathew Cole Kelly – Filmed theatre – with AboutFACE
theatre company, Jackie (2020) by Gerard Humphreys, Tatty (2020) by Christine Dwyer Hickey, adapted by Audrey Devereux, dir. Mags Keohane, The Tide tour 2019) by Tara Maria Lovett dir. Pat Nolan, The Plot (2019) by Paula Lonergan, dirs. Norah Kelly Lester and Deidre Murphy, Raven and the Crone (2019) dir Deirdre Molloy, The Olive Tree by Katie O’Kelly, dir. Davey Kelleher, (2019).