An ensemble cast including Alex Murphy (one half of The Young Offenders), Aisling Kearns (Asking for It, Darklands), Cillian O’Gairbhi (Blood), Don Wycherley (Bachelors Walk, Sing Street) and Paul Mescal (lead of the upcoming TV series Normal People) are currently starring in the Gaiety Theatre’s production of Martin McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore.
Directed by frequent McDonagh collaborator Andrew Flynn, the play is running now until March 14. While the Gaiety have a long history of co-producing plays, this is the second adaptation of the playwright the theatre have produced on their own, following early 2019 smash hit The Cripple of Inishmaan.
“The Cripple of Inishmaan did incredibly well,” said Caroline Downey, owner of the Gaiety, at the cast announcement on October 21 of last year. “It was a remarkable piece of theatre. It was beautifully directed and acted. The staging alone got an applause on opening night. So, we thought to continue on in the Gaiety producing our own plays.”
Summing up the plot of the 90s set The Lieutenant of Inishmore, director Andrew Flynn said: “It’s a hilarious savagely funny play about Mad Padraic who has left Inishmore to become one of the head men in the IRA. But he’s too mad for the IRA and the one thing in the world he loves most is his cat. When his cat gets ill, Padraic makes a return to Inishmore and, in typical Martin fashion, everything goes kind of wild.”
Newcomer Paul Mescal stars as Mad Padraic. Director Andrew Flynn was effusive in his praise for his leading man, an actor who just recently finished filming with Oscar-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson. Mescal will star in the filmmaker’s TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s acclaimed novel Normal People.
“Martin wrote Mad Padraic as a 21-year-old man. Somewhere along the line, the role seemed to be played by people in their thirties,” said Flynn. “When we started, we said: ‘Let’s go back to where Martin started.’ Luckily, this young man [Mescal] came into the room and blew us apart. He’s a fantastic actor. I can’t wait to work with him.”
Joining Mescal is Aisling Kearns, another star on the rise. She plays Mairead, a feisty teenage girl in love with Padraic. Kearns appeared on the Gaiety stage in the leading role for Asking for It and in Virgin Media One’s TV series Darklands in 2019. On top of the actors mentioned above, Cillian Lenaghan, Desmond Eastwood and Padraig O’Grady round out the cast.
Tickets cost from €18.50 and are on sale now. They can be bought in person at the Gaiety Theatre box office and at Ticketmaster outlets, over the phone by calling 08 18 719 388 and online by visiting Ticketmaster.ie.