‘The Laughing Boy’ – A New Irish Play About Brendan Behan by Jack Harte

'The Laughing Boy' is an absorbing tale of theatrical and political history, as well as an imagined portrayal of Brendan Behan at the end of his life!

A New Irish Theatre Play by Jack Harte

Presented by ‘The New Theatre’ Dublin & Parthalonians Theatre Productions

“T’was on an August morning, all in the dawning hours.”

While some people are heading up to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Irish Cultural Centre brings to London a gem of a Fringe show, straight from its run at Dublin’s renowned ‘New Theatre’.

‘The Laughing Boy’ is an absorbing tale of theatrical and political history as well as an imagined & moving portrayal of Brendan Behan at the end of his life! 

It’s Dublin 1963 and Brendan Behan’s song ‘The Laughing’ Boy has become the inspirational anthem of the political Left in Greece.  Alexandra, a student and political activist, travels to Dublin to seek out the legendary writer of that song, the great Brendan Behan, to invite him to Greece to get him to help boost the struggle for Socialism – but what she finds is not quite what she was expecting!

This powerful and moving play, which features two characters playing Brendan Behan, draws on the playwright, Jack Harte’s engagement with Greece.

In 1974 Jack Harte was there to witness the fall of the Military Junta, and 40 years later he was back in Athens and discovered the huge impact of Brendan Behan’s song – ‘The Laughing Boy’.

What the Press Say about “The Laughing Boy”..

 “Donagh Deeney as the Celebrity Brendan is a pub charmer and has an uncanny resemblance to the real man. Owen O’Gorman’s portrayal of Behan creates a much darker and moodier version of the writer, depicting the bitter reality of his alcoholism. Michelle Lucey captures the unbreakable idealism of the young Greek patriot” – The play shines an interesting light on how far and wide the reach of Behan and Irish writers are in the wide world”  Kate Hayes. IRISH INDEPENDENT

These two performance of ‘The Laughing Boy’ are dedicated to the memory of our set and costume designer – Rowena Cunningham.

Fri 02 September - Fri 02 September 2022

Doors 7.30pm, Show starts 8.00pm

Tickets: £15/13


Playwright Jack Harte: 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.

Director Gerard Lee:  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


Donagh Deeney:
Donagh was born in Dublin and joined the Abbey Theatre in 1981. 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:
Michelle is an actress based in Dublin. She 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 own 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’.
In 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:
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.

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 worked 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).

The Irish Cultural Centre would like to thank the Producer of ‘The Laughing Boy”, Anthony Fox, who is the Artistic Director of The New Theatre in Dublin