Playography is currently undergoing an essential rebuild, technical update and maintenance. All updates are on hold until the rebuild is complete. We are continuing to work hard in the background and are still accepting submissions which will be complete in Autumn 2023. For more information visit ITI's website.


Printer Friendly

The Sparrow's Fall

A New Ulster Play.


  • Playwright

    Patricia O'Connor 

  • Setting

    The living room behind the Conovan's shop in the little town of Gleneden. The present.

  • Synopsis

    Obsessive, controlling teacher Rosina Sweeney exercises rigid authority over her primary school pupils in a small town Catholic school, believing that the sins of the father should be visited on their children. When Nellie Donovan, daughter of a Catholic convert, inadvertently breaks Miss Sweeney's rules over the length of a confirmation dress, the incident becomes the catalyst for a series of far larger events, spiralling until the whole community is involved in the dispute. Only when the local bishop is called can the situation be resolved.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female



Original Cast  
Miss Rosina Sweeny Doreen Hepburn
Miss Mary Sweeny Catherine Gibson
Father McCartan Maurice O'Callaghan
James Donovan James Ellis
The Bishop R.H. MacCandless
Mrs. Smith Elizabeth Begley
Dr. Kelly John Reid
Jessie Donovan Irene Bingham
Josie Mulligan Kathleen Feenan
Nellie Donovan Denise McKenna
Bernie Smith Hilary Hewitt
Jo Heaney Colin Blakely
Production Team  
Director R.H. MacCandless
Manager Ellen Andrews
Director of Productions James Ellis
Stage Manager Joan Keenan
Resident Stage Director Dan Fitzpatrick
Secretary Ellen Andrews


  • Contact

    Theatre and Performing Arts Archive of Northern Ireland

  • Address

    The Linen Hall Library, 17 Donegall Square North
    Belfast BT1 5GB
    Northern Ireland


No Information Available. ITI's researchers have examined this play entry with care and no further information has yet been found. If you have further details on this entry please contact us.


Information for this entry was taken from the published script, from press cuttings, and from the original production programme held at the Theatre and Performing Arts Archive of the Linen Hall Library, Belfast.