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The Arts Council Playography Na Gaeilge


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I Can't Get Started


  • Playwright

    Declan Hughes 

  • Synopsis

    I Can't Get Started is a study of the complicated relationship between the writer Dashiell Hammett and the playwright Lillian Hellman. It is set during a time in Hammett's life when he was suffering from crippling writer's block and was attempting to break free of the detective genre, which he himself had practically invented. Haunted by the presence of hard-boiled detective Daniel Webster, whose story must yet be told, Hammett finds himself trapped in an imaginary world of his own making.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female


  • Cast Notes

    Cast doubling is possible. See original production for details.

Original Production

  • Date of First Production

    August 1990

  • Producer

    Produced by Rough Magic Theatre Company

  • Original Venue

  • Venue Notes

    I Can't Get Started premiered at The Pleasence Two during the 1990 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

  • Irish Premiere Notes

    The original production was subsequently presented at Project Arts Centre, Dublin on November 10th, 1990.

Original Cast  
Lillian Hellman Anne Byrne
Curtis Bryant Jonathan White
Albert Friedrich Jonathan White
Daniel Webster, Private Investigator Stanley Townsend
Sylvia Bryant Helene Montague
Nell Kilcoyne Bairbre Ní Chaoimh
Betty Friedrich Bairbre Ní Chaoimh
Dashiell Hammett Arthur Riordan
Bob Miche Doherty
Ethan Bryant Miche Doherty
Bill Jonathan White
Production Team  
Director Lynne Parker
Designer Barbara Bradshaw
Lighting Designer Stephen McManus
Costumes Marie Tierney
Music Composed by John Dunne (1)
Production Manager Padraig O'Neill
Stage Manager Marie Tierney
Assistant Stage Manager Annette Murphy
Lighting Operator Sinead Connolly
Sound Operator Lynn Cahill
Set Construction Galaxy Construction
Graphic Design The Graphiconies/ Public Communications Centre
Photography Amelia Stein
Hair by Moire O'Connell
Administrator Siobhan Bourke

Published Scripts

  • Title

    Rough Magic: First Plays

  • Year


  • Published By

    New Island Books

  • Address

    2 Brookside, Dundrum Road
    Dublin 14
    Republic of Ireland

  • Phone

    + 353 (0)1 298 9937

  • Email


  • ISBN


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Rights Information

Source Of Information

The information for this entry was taken from the original production programme. Additional information was taken from information contained in the company files.