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The Quare Fellow


  • Playwright

    Brendan Behan 

  • Setting

    Set in an Irish prison

  • Notes

    It was subsequently produced by Joan Littlewood's company in the Theatre Royal, Stratford East in 1956.

  • Synopsis

    The Quare Fellow deals with a period between the arrival of a condemned murderer, and his execution, with which the play ends. The murderer is not named, and does not appear in the play. But the characters, his fellow prisoners and some of the warders, talk about him as "the quare fellow". He has been convicted of the murder of his brother, whose body he dismembered.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Notes

    Cast doubling occurs.


  • Date of First Production

    19 November 1954

  • Producer

    Produced by The Pike Theatre

  • Original Venue

  • Venue Notes

    First produced at the Pike Theatre, Dublin.

Original Cast  
Warder Crinnin Alan Barry
Assistant Hangman, Christmas Halliwell Gilbert McIntyre
Assistant Hangman, Enoch Jenkinson Patrick Clarke
The Chief Warder Robert Lepler
The Chaplain Alan Barry
The Recorded Singing Voice of the Prisoner in the Brendan Behan
The Other Fellow Patrick Clarke
Warder Donnelly Denis Hickey
A Medical Orderly Gilbert McIntyre
A Cook from the Hospital Gilbert McIntyre
Scolara, juvenile prisoner Art O'Phelan
The Voice of an Englishman on Remand Art O'Phelan
Prisoner C (The Boy from the Island) Derry Power
The Speaking Voice of a Prisoner in the Punishment Derry Power
A Hangman James Tinkler
The Governor Tom Willoughby
Prisoner A (Hard Case) Austin Byrne
Shaybo, juvenile prisoner Patrick Duggan
Second Warder Patrick Duggan
Neighbour Dermot Kelly
Mickser David Kelly (2)
Mr. Hely, an Official of the Department David Kelly (2)
Dunlavin John MacDarby
Prisoner D (The Embezzler) Geoffrey Mackey
First Warder Tom Nolan
Prisoner B (The Man of Thirty) Pat Nolan(2)
Warder Regan Gearóid Ó Lochlainn
A Principal Warder Liam Shanahan
The Lifer, a reprieved murderer Herbert Thomas
Production Team  
Director Alan Simpson
Set Designer Alan Simpson
Lighting Designer Alan Simpson
Manager Tom Willoughby
Assistant Producer Carolyn Swift
Stage Manager Gilbert McIntyre
Assistant Stage Manager Alan Barry
Assistant Stage Manager Derry Power
PR Rosamund Stephens
Resident Stage Manager Edmund Kelly


  • Title

    Behan: The Complete Plays.

  • Year


  • Published By


  • Address

    Head Office, 215 Vauxhall Bridge Road
    London SW1V 1EJ

  • Phone

    + 44 (0)20 7798 1600

  • Website

  • ISBN


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The information for this entry was taken from the original production programme and Carolyn Swifts's autobiography, Stage by stage (Poolbeg, 1985)