Nettle Horse – By award winning writer, performer & musician, Little John Nee

Nettle Horse is a theatrical odyssey, set in the future... weaving storytelling, song, and satire inviting the audience to untether their imagination and gallop into a parallel universe

It’s 2035. Hundreds of dispossessed families travel west after winning a lottery orchestrated by an unscrupulous local councillor at the behest of Dandelion Ní Houlihan, a mysterious 103 year Bostonian benefactor seeking beatification.

All roads lead to Gortnapuca where gangs of carpenters sleep ten to a tent in anticipation of a building frenzy, Mink Devine is selling edible beetles, and a small boy finds solace amidst the chaos by befriending a horse in a circus field.

“Nettle Horse” invites the audience to step into a parallel universe and witness the magic of their own imaginations in creating the future.

The Irish Cultural Centre is delighted to present the UK Premiere of Little John Nee’s “Nettle Horse”! It comes to the ICC Hammersmith, straight from is its recent SELL-OUT Tour of Ireland, where every night it received rapturous applause and standing ovations!

This show promises to bring you a magical, unforgettable night of storytelling, musical theatre!

Sat 01 June - Sun 02 June 2024

Doors 7.30pm, Starts 8.00pm

Tickets: £16/14



Based in the west of Ireland Little John Nee is an award-winning writer, performer and musician. He has developed a unique style of musical storytelling theatre that can be simultaneously hilarious and heart-breaking, winning him both national and international recognition.

His play ‘Sparkplug’ won an Irish Times Theatre Award, the RTE radio version won a Special Mention Prize at the Prix Italia 2013. He has published a book of Haiku ‘The Apocalypse Came on a Friday’. His books ‘A Donegal Trilogy’ was published by An Grianán Theatre. He has released albums of songs from his theatre shows, recorded with The Caledonia Highly Strung Orchestra, ‘Songs from the Lough Swilly Delta’.  Little John has been commissioned to write plays for Barabbas Theatre Company, Axis Ballymun, Scottish Touring Theatre Consortium, An Grianán Theatre, Earagail Arts Festival, Donegal Co. Council, Leitrim Co. Council, and Galway Arts Festival.

A prolific creator of work for Irish theatre, in recognition of his contribution to Irish arts, Little John Nee was elected to Aosdána, (the distinguished group of artists whose work has been deemed by the Government of Ireland, to have made an outstanding contribution to the creative arts in Ireland).

What The Press say About Little John Nee’s “Nettle Horse”.

“A masterpiece of storytelling” – The Guardian

 “A mesmerising piece of theatre balanced somewhere between the stories of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and a zen meditation session. The evening made me feel as if I was a child again, enthralled by a magical story [about Sparkplug]” – Michael Harding, The Irish Times

“I don’t think I’ve seen anything this funny in years – Brigid McLaughlin Sunday Independent. 

What  Little John  Nee Says….

“In June 1983 I toured the length and breadth of the island with the Grapevine Touring Theatre Co. in a show for young audiences about time travel; here I am forty years into the future with a greater grá than ever for touring. In the intervening years I performed on top of phone boxes (Macnas) in Garda Stations (Pearse St “old folks” party) in libraries, street corners and in Áras an Uachtaráin.

On islands; Arranmore, Inis Mór, Inis Oírr, Inisbofin Co. Galway and Inishbofin Co.Donegal. I performed  in almost every theatre in the country of Ireland, venues of all shapes and sizes from Ardara to the Zoological gardens.

 I toured internationally, Amersfoort to Zagreb, nominated for a Helen Hayes Award in Washington DC.  had two sell out runs in the Citizens Theatre Gorbals Glasgow, a Prix Italia Special Mention Award for the radio adaption of Sparkplug, I won an Irish Times Best Sound Designer Award for the theatre show. “Rural Electric” was described as “a masterpiece in storytelling” by the Guardian and garnered a five star review there. In 2016 I had the privilege of being elected to Aosdána. I’d be mithered trying to squeeze 40 years into two paragraphs considering some the best shows are those that happened in the middle of nowhere and are recorded only in the imaginations of the audiences. I tell you all this to let you I’m celebrating 40 years “on the road” (50 if you include Donegal dancehalls), by going on the road with “Nettle Horse” a story told by a man selling edible beetles at a horse fair.

This is an independent production produced by myself; please come along and see the show at The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith;  your support will be greatly appreciated”.

Little John Nee’s website: