Sive at The Gaiety Theatre

This January the Gaiety Theatre presents Druid’s major new production of John B. Keane’s most famous play, Sive, in a welcome return to The Gaiety Theatre. Following on from their award-winning productions of The Beauty Queen of Leenane in 2016 and 2017 and Big Maggie in 2016, Druid commence another busy year with this giant of the Irish canon. The production runs from 26th January until 3rd March.

Full details of the cast were announced recently at a reception in John B’s Bar at the Gaiety Theatre. The cast includes Gráinne Good as Sive, Andrea Irvine as Mena, Barbara Brennan as Nana, Tommy Tiernan as Thomasheen Seán, Brian Doherty as Mike Glavin, Seán Doyle as Liam Scuab, Bosco Hogan as Seán Dóta, Marie Mullen as Pats Bocock and Radie Peat as Carthalawn.

‘I love working on the plays of John B. Keane.’ says director Garry Hynes. ‘He has this potent mix of great characters, brilliant storytelling, the magic and the spiritual, which make his plays a joy for both audiences and actors alike.’

In the play Sive, Nana and Mena bicker and provoke one another in the small smoky cottage in which they live with Sive and Mena’s husband, Mike. While Nana dotes on her illegitimate granddaughter, Sive, Mena has other ideas and plots to marry the young innocent Sive off to an old local farmer.

John B. Keane began writing Sive in 1959 when he returned to live in Listowel after a period working in the UK. Settling by the fire of his pub in the wee hours, he crafted what would become one of the country’s most loved plays. Sive was an instant hit with amateur dramatic companies and was eventually given a professional production at the Abbey in 1985. It has long won a place in the country’s literary history, cited in The Irish Times’ ‘Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks’ in 2015.

Tommy Tiernan makes return to the stage in Druid’s Sive

Undoubtedly one of the star attractions of this production of Sive is Irish actor, comedian and writer Tommy Tiernan in his return to the stage as the matchmaker Thomasheen Sean.

In 1996, Tiernan won the Channel 4 “So You Think You’re Funny” award. Two years later he was awarded the prestigious Perrier Comedy Award at the 1998 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and won the Best Stand-Up Award at the British Comedy Awards. In 2003, he won the Nokia Best of the Fest Award and the Orange People Choice Award at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. In 2006, he won Ireland’s Funniest Living Person Award at the People of the Year Awards. In 2013, Tiernan performed in Vicar St, Dublin, for his 200th show, in front of an audience of 1000 people. To date Tiernan has released eight stand-up comedy DVDs: Tommy Tiernan Live, Cracked, Loose, Jokerman, Ok Baby, Bovinity, Crooked Man and Stray Sod. In January 2017, Tiernan presented The Tommy Tiernan Show on RTÉ One.

John B Keane

John B. Keane was born in Listowel in 1928. Keane had various jobs in the UK between 1951 and 1955 working as a street cleaner, and a bar man, living in a variety of places including Northampton and London. It was while he was in Northampton that Keane was first published in an unnamed women’s magazine for which he received £15. Upon returning from the United Kingdom, he was a pub owner in Listowel from 1955. He married Mary O’Connor in 1955 and had four children: Billy, Conor, John and Joanna. His most notable works are The Field and Sive.


Druid began as a bold idea: to create Ireland’s first professional theatre company outside of Dublin. There were few resources with which to build a theatre company in the west of Ireland in 1975, but, through sheer dedication, and with the support of the Galway community, founders Garry Hynes, Marie Mullen and Mick Lally made this bold idea a reality. That reality has since become an international success story of extraordinary dimensions.

The company has won four Tony Awards, several Irish Times Theatre Awards, Fringe First Awards and an Obie Award among others. Druid regularly tours both nationally and internationally playing to communities across Ireland and prestigious stages the world over. Upcoming tours include Waiting for Godot: Irish and US tour 2018.


Comments are closed.