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Fire Below (A War of Words) was a companion piece to Quietly commissioned by the Abbey Theatre Dublin and produced as a joint production with the Lyric Theatre Belfast.

What happens to reconciliation when there is no one specific act of violence to reconcile?

Gerry & Rosemary and Tom & Maggie are neighbouring couples who have lived through conflict from a distance. Now, nearly 20 years on from the Belfast Peace Agreement, they sit on Gerry and Rosemary’s deck having a glass of wine on a nice summer’s evening, putting the world to rights while waiting for the 11th night bonfire to be lit in the estate below. Yet there is something missing – the truth. What they actually think about each other is only ever one unguarded comment away. And who knows when and from where that comment will come.


Directed by jimmy fay


Cast includes

Gerry: Frankie McCafferty

Maggie: Ali White

Tom: Ruairi Conaghan

Rosemary: Cara Kelly

Director: Jimmy Fay

Assistant Director: Emily Foran

Set Design: Paula McCafferty

Costume Design: Una Hickey

Music & Sound Design: Conor Mitchell

Lighting Design: Sinéad McKenna

Production Manager: Cliff Barragry

Stage Manager: Anne Kyle

’deeply thought provoking and irresistibly enjoyable’
— Arts Review

Meet Steve Johnston. He’s always wrestling with compromises. He’s constantly under the spotlight. He’s a stand-up comedian.

As his career takes off, the stages get bigger and the choices get tougher. Will he get everything he wants, or lose everything he has?

Death of a Comedian was a co-production between the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Soho Theatre, London, and the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and was first performed on the Danske Bank Stage of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, on 7th February 2015.

Directed by Steve Marmion

Cast includes

 Shaun Dingwall - The Agent

Brian Doherty - The Comedian

Katie McGuinness - The Girlfriend

Set & Costume - Michael Vale

Sound Design - Tom Mills

Voice Director - Andrea Ainsworth

Casting Directors - Kelly Phelan, Nadine Rennie

Lighting Design - Ben Ormerod

Assistant Director - Sara Joyce

Costume Supervisor - Sarah June Mills

Production Manager - Marty Moore


Lyric Theatre, Belfast  - 7th February - 1st March

Abbey Theatre, Dublin - 10th March - 4th April

Soho Theatre, London - 14th April - 16th May




McCafferty’s most accomplished work to date
— Belfast Telegraph

Can relationships withstand the brutality of betrayal? Joan and Tom, Tara and Peter; two couples struggling to comprehend their roles as lovers, partners and individuals. As Tom and Tara face the tedium of daily life, how far will they go to feel their hearts beat again? When their paths cross, the emotional fall-out will be explosive.

A stark and searing glimpse into the reality of our relationships - the unspoken desires, the piercing regrets, and the postponed conversations that mark us all.

Unfaithful was first performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, on 3rd August 2014


Cast included:

Tom - Benny Young

Joan - Cara Kelly

Tara - Amiera Darwish

Peter - Owen Whitelaw

Designer - Gary McCann

Lighting Designer - Kevin Treacy

Composer & Sound Designer - Debra Salem

Assistant Director - Rob Jones

McCafferty casts a careful, noticing eye over what betrayals of thought, deed and omission long-term relationships can withstand
— The Sunday Times

Northern Ireland are playing Poland on the TV. Jimmy and Ian, two middle aged Belfast men are meeting tonight for the first time. They have a shared past. They need to talk. 

Quietly is a powerful story about violence and forgiveness.

Quietly was first performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on the Peacock Stage, as part of the Great Irish Writers Season, in November 2012.



 Ian - Declan Conlon

Jimmy - Patrick O'Kane 

 Robert - Robert Zawadzki

Set Design - Alyson Cummins

Costume Design - Catherine Fay

Lighting Design - Sinead McKenna

Sound Design - Philip Stewart

AV Design - Neil O’Driscoll

Voice Director - Andrea Ainsworth

Winner of

Best Play at The Writers’ Guild Awards 2013

Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 Best Actor for Patrick O’Kane at the Stage Awards for Acting Excellence.

This is a play that lives up to its title in the best possible way. It is spare, unshowy and it feels utterly truthful.
— The Guardian

At 11.40pm on 14 April 1912, the RMS Titanic, on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, struck an iceberg. At 2.20am the following morning, the ship sank. 1,517 people died.

In response to the disaster the British Government ordered an immediate inquiry and Lord Mersey was appointed commissioner. The British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry sat from 2 May to 3 July 1912. It took testimony from 97 witnesses.

Owen McCafferty's Titanic retells the survivors' stories, using dialogue taken word-for-word from the hundred-year-old accounts. 

Titanic ( Scenes from the British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry, 1912 ) was first performed at the MAC, Belfast, on 22nd April 2012. 

DIRECTED BY Charlotte Westenra


Clerk of the Court - Ian McElhinney

Lord Mersey - Paul Moriarty

Sir Rufus Isaacs - Michael Hadley

Sir John Simon - Ben Caplan

Thomas Scanlon MP - Caolan Byrne

Mr W D Harbinson - Rufus Wright

Reginald Lee - Timothy Chipping

Charles Joughlin - Kevin Trainor

John Hart - Jack Beale

George Symons - Thomas Howes

Sir Cosmo Duff Gordan - Jay Villiers

Lady Duff Gordan - Andrea Irvine

Charles Lightoller - James Tucker

Joseph Ismay - Patrick O’Kane

Sir Ernest Shackleton - James Hillier


Set & Costume Design - Richard Kent

Lighting Design - Conleth White

Sound Design - James Kennedy

Casting Director -  Georgia Simpson

Vocal Coach - Peter Ballance

It is a sign of Owen McCafferty’s stature as a playwright that he can step away so effectively from his usual muscular, Belfast vernacular-driven narrative style to assume here a quasi-curatorial role, sifting through almost 100 witness statements
— Irish Theatre Magazine

Gerry and Iggy, two labourers from Belfast face the end of their lives in a London hostel talking of the present and thinking of the past. They argue about who has the biggest liver, the names of tube stations and whether they should go back to Belfast or not.

But where are the women in their lives?

The Absence of Women is a funny and poignant play about the journey of two ordinary and lonely Belfast men. It’s a tale of life and its endless possibilities, missed opportunities and how one man’s choice, in one instant, can alter the path of his life forever.

The Absence of Women was first performed at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, on 8th February 2010.

Directed by Rachel O’Riordan

Cast includes

Gerry - Karl Johnson

Iggy - Ian McElhinney

Dotty - Alice O’Connell

John - Conor McNeill

Artistic Director - Richard Croxford

Lighting Designer - James Whiteside

Set & Costume Design - Stuart Marshall

Vocal Coach - Peter Ballance

A fine example of theatre at its small-scale best...
— Evening Standard

Both Antigone's brothers lie dead, having killed each other in single combat, one attacking Thebes, the other defending the city. Creon, ruler of Thebes, has forbidden the burial of Polyneices, because he was the attacker. Antigone is determined to bury him. The resulting conflict ends in a bloodbath of suicides.

Antigone was first performed in the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s on 24th October 2008 by Prime Cut Productions.

DIRECTED BY Owen McCafferty



Old Man - Walter McMonagle

Antigone - Katy Ducker

Ismene - Rosie McClelland

Creon - Ian McElhinney

Guard - Conor MacNeill

Haemon - Paul Mallon

Tiresias - Harry Towb

Young Boy - Eoin McCafferty

                  - Tom Loane

Messenger - Chris Corrigan

Eurydice - Julia Dearden

Soldiers    - Cat Barter

                 - Barry Etherson

                 - Matt Faris


Set Design - Lorna Ritchie

Lighting Design - Ciaran Bagnall

Sound Design - Kevin McCullagh

muscular, tender, pragmatic
— The Irish Times

Kevin Toner returns to Belfast to confront his father after a 15-year absence. He has a bone to pick, and he is determined to have a conversation that will leave no stone unturned. There's only one problem. His father is dead. And lying in a coffin in the front room.

Cold Comfort was first performed at the Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast in May 2005.

Directed by owen mccafferty

Cast includes

Kevin Toner - Patrick O'Kane

Set & Costume Design - David Craig

Lighting Designer - Tina McHugh


a performance of extraordinary intensity and containment...
— The Guardian

Days of Wine and Roses was a 1962 black and white movie directed by Blake Edwards and starring Jack Lemmon in his first 'dramatic' role as a young alcoholic who drags his much-loved wife with him into the swamp of addiction - from which eventually only he escapes. Northern Irish writer McCafferty has relocated J.P. Miller's screenplay to London in the 60's, centring it on a young couple just arrived from Belfast

Days of Wine and Roses was first performed at the Donmar Warehouse, London, on 17th February 2005

Directed by Peter gill

Cast includes

Mona - Anne-Marie Duff

Donal - Peter McDonald

Set Design - Alison Chitty

Lighting Design -  Hartley T A Kemp

Music - Terry Davies

Sound Design - Matt McKenzie

The play explodes the consoling myth that drink is simply a liberating tongue-loosener: McCafferty shows, with clinical accuracy, the lies, self-deceptions, desperation and violence of the confirmed alcoholic.
— The Guardian

City life in one of the most troubled cities in the world.  Twenty one characters’ lives are interwoven to produce a slice of life in Belfast; another day in a city full of stories that are crying out to be told.  The stories of fighting siblings, cheating husbands and resistance in the face of adversity could originate from any inner city the difference here is that a backdrop of violence is never far away

 Scenes from the Big Picture was first performed at the Cottesloe Theatre of the National Theatre, London, on 10th April 2003.

The play also received its Irish Premiere at the Waterfront Hall Studio, Belfast in 2007. Presented by Primecut Productions and directed by Conall Morrison.



Bop Torbett  - Darren Healy

Maggie Lyttle - Elaine Cassidy

Maeve Hynes - Aoife McMahon

Joe Hynes - Patrick O’Kane

Sammy Lennon - John Normington

Connie Dean - Kathy Kiera Clarke

Betty Lennon - June Watson

Theresa Black - Frances Tumelty

Dave Black - Dermot Crowley

Frank Coin - Harry Towb

Robbie Mullan - Chris Corrigan

Shanks O’Neill - Karl Johnson

Bobbie Torbett - Ron Donachie

Sharon Lawther - Eileen Pollack

Helen Woods - Michelle Fairley

Paul Foggarty - Ruairi Conaghan

Cooper Jones  - Gerard Jordan

Swiz Murdoch  - Packy Lee

Harry Foggarty - Stuart McQuarrie

Spilo Johnston - Breffni McKenna

Rat Joyce - Andy Moore


Set Design - Alison Chitty

Lighting Design - Hartley T A Kemp

Sound Design - Terry Davies and Rich Walsh

McCafferty’s ability to show not just the way individual lives intersect, but the collision of private and public worlds, is striking.
— The Guardian

An old old man and an old old woman who have been married for ages have lived on an island for years. The Old Man could have made his mark on the world and been a great thinker, philosopher, even a scholar, however he hasn’t been able to articulate his great words of wisdom even though they are on the tip of his tongue. But tonight, he is taking the plunge.

Tonight is the night when a famous Orator has been hired to speak the Old Man’s incredible message. The finest audience you can imagine has been invited to listen – the property owners, the scholars, the celebs, the DNA, the UDA, the IRA, the bankers, the shrinks and the pop stars… It will be a big crowd and they’ll need somewhere to sit so the old Woman starts to set out the chairs…

Slap-stick, music hall, absurdism and paranoia clash in a comedic, frantic and physical theatrical affair. Owen McCafferty has taken Ionesco’s play a created a new, vibrant, linguistically dynamic version, spoken in our own tongue.


The Chairs was first performed at the former Northern Bank Building, Belfast on 25th March 2003 by Tinderbox Theatre Company.


Directed by jIMMY FAY

Cast includes

Old Man - Sean Kearns

Old Woman - Carol Scanlon

Orator - Ronan Leahy

Set Design - Stuart Marshall

Composer - Connor Mitchell

Lighting Designer - James McFetridge

Musicians - Conor Mitchell

                   -  Kevin Lawless


McCafferty has a wonderfully poetic ear for language... very good acting and lovely writing
— The Guardian

Vera, feisty but fading, and Ronnie, washed up and permanently half-drunk, preside over a grubby pub/hotel in present-day Belfast. We watch them - and their variously inadequate 'regulars' - through one long day in which Ronnie fails to secure the pub's financial future and Vera looks set to run off with the feckless Iggy.

Closing Time was chosen as one of the plays to open the National Theatre's new Loft season, a new studio space carved out of the Lyttelton foyer. It also represented Owen McCafferty's London debut.

Closing Time was first performed at the National Theatre, London, on 9th September 2002.

Directed by james kerr

Cast includes

Vera - Pam Ferris

Iggy - Patrick O’Kane

Robbie - Jim Norton

Joe - Lalor Roddy

Alec Kieran Ahern

Set Design - Rae Smith

Sound Design - Rich Walsh

Lighting Designer - Steve Barnett

Costume Design - Sharon Robinson


It may be closing time in the province itself, but the existence of a writer as good as McCafferty induces a perverse, paradoxical hope.
— The Guardian

A physical, often comic and deeply affecting drama about two boys (Mojo and Mickybo) aged 9 and 10 whose friendship begins at a chance meeting in a park and is cemented by their obsession with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Set both in 1970’s Belfast and the present day Mojo Mickybo is an exhilarating whirlwind adventure through the streets of this colourful city. Two actors play a host of 14 characters ranging from local bullies Gank and Fuckface to Uncle Sidney the Cinema owner, the Old Major who lives in the bonfire and the gossiping women at the top of the street.

Directed by Karl Wallace

Cast includes

Mojo/Narrator - Niall Shanahan

Mickybo -  Fergal McElherron

Set Design - Terry Loane

Sound Design - Stephen Handson

Lighting Designer - John Riddell



Wonderfully affectionate and entirely unsentimental re-creation of childhood. So vividly realised that it is impossible not to fall for its exuberant charms.
— The Guardian

An endearing, yet hard-hitting comic portrait of how work gets in the way of life, "Shoot the Crow" tells the story of one Friday at the end of a long week for four Northern Irish tilers on the scam. Ding-Ding wants a bucket to start his own window-cleaning business. Randolph dreams of escaping on a motorbike. They have a plan as to how to raise the cash. But then so - unbeknownst to each other - do their workmates, Petesy and Socrates. 

Director  David Parnel

Cast includes

Socrates   David Ganley

Petesy      Anthony Brophy

Ding-Ding  Patrick Waldron

Randolph  Fergal McElherron

Set Design - Paul McCavley

Lighting Designer - Tina MacHugh

Shoot the Crow received a London West End transfer in 2005 to Trafalgar Studios. The cast included James Nesbitt, Conleth Hill, Jim Norton & Packy Lee.

uniformly excellent
— The Irish Times

No Place Like Home 

“Mob rule on the streets. They say you can’t live in this area. It’s not for your ‘kind’ anymore. The authorities are powerless to intervene. Should you stay or go? You only have a matter of minutes to decide. Your family is asleep. What do you do next?” No Place Like Home is about the displaced – people who have been forced to move, who don’t know where they are going or what they’ll find when they arrive. In the early 1970s, huge numbers of people were forced out of their houses in Northern Ireland. All over the world, people are being forced to leave their homes and their land.

No Place Like Home was a devised drama created by some of Ireland’s leading theatre practitioners. Movement and drama mix with video and installation art to create a visually rich, grotesque and entertaining performance piece.

No Place Like Home was first performed at the former Northern Bank Building, Belfast on 27th October 2001 by Tinderbox Theatre Company



Steve Blount

Liz Keller

Andy Moore

Christina Nelson

Tara Lynne O’Neill


Set Design - Marcus Costello

Composer - Connor Mitchell

Lighting Designer - John Riddel

Choreographer - Sandy Cuthbert


Courtroom No. 1 - Convictions

In a radical new site-specific work Tinderbox presented seven new dramas by some of Northern Ireland’s leading playwrights. Audiences were taken on a journey through the courthouse, visiting the locations of many past dramas – The Civil Court, the Jury Room, the holding cells, toilets, Judges Room, the Criminal Court and the main hallway. Each writer had been asked to explore the themes of justice and the act of passing judgement.

Convictions – Courtroom No. 1 was first performed at Crumlin Road Courthouse on 30th October 2000.





Administrator   Stella McCusker

Victim               Lalor Roddy

Lighting Design - James McFetridge

a unique piece of theatre
— The Independent


He works in a burger bar; she is in a dead-end university course. They want some excitement, an adventure. They steal a car. The horrors they imagine could never match the horrors they encounter in real life. They foul-mouth their way through a Belfast version of a film noir, crossing the frontiers of gutter idiom and travelling the roads of timeless Irish drama, with echoes of Bonnie and Clyde and Natural Born Killers. Produced by David Grant and Paul Boyd.

Freefalling was first performed at the Ardowen Theatre, Enniskillen, on 2nd February 1996.



HER - Anne Bird

HIM - Miceal Murphy


Director   Karl Wallace

Set Design   Alison K Butler

Lighting Design   Susan P

Music   Michael O’Suillehbhaih

Musicians   Scott Herrin, Leslie Herrin

The Private Picture Show

Iggy is a writer whose search for the truth has left him isolated and blocked. The other tenants of the rented house where he lives reveal pieces of themselves which Iggy hopes to add to the jigsaw of his story. Meanwhile, his estranged girlfriend, a photographer, returns to record her own version of the truth in a series of posed images.

The Private Picture Show was first performed at the Lyric Players Theatre, Belfast, on 22nd November 1994.

 DIRECTED BY robin midgley



Iggy   Peter O’Meara

Lizzy  Barbara Adair

Beanpole   Niall Cusack

Jimmy   Birdy Sweeney

Linda   Paula McFetridge

Eileen   Helen Trew


Designer Stuart Marshall

Lighting Designer Wallace McDowell

Costumes Anne Whittaker

Movement Director Denni Sayers


The Waiting List

 The dystopian nature of Belfast at that time is revealed in the reflections of a man who is waiting to find out if his name is on a paramilitary hit list.

The Waiting List was first performed at the OMAC, Belfast, on 18th April 1994

 DIRECTED BY david grant


Performer - Lalor Roddy

I Won’t Dance Don’t Ask Me

An insomniac middle-aged man attempts to come to terms with unemployment.

I Won’t Dance Don’t Ask Me was first performed at the Ulster Arts Club, Belfast, on 15th November 1993.

DIRECTED BY sean caffrey


Gus - Sean Caffrey

Winners Losers and Non-Runners

Winners Losers and Non-Runners was first performed at the OMAC, Belfast, in 1992.