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The Dead School


  • Playwright

    Patrick McCabe 

  • Author Notes

    Adapted from his own novel of the same name.
  • Synopsis

    Raphael Bell, the old-style national school teacher whose life is haunted by images and memories from his past, has devoted his life to upholding his school's rigorous core curriculum. By the late 1960s, however, parents and students have begun to question Bell's inflexibility on such issues as corporal punishment and mandatory school prayer. Bell attributes all such criticism to the baleful influence of television, rock music, and American movies. His rage finally finds a focus in Malachy Dudgeon, a first-year teacher who seems to embody all the worst features of the counterculture. The two are soon locked in a power struggle that can only end in disaster.

  • Play Type


    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female


Original Production

  • Date of First Production

    21 July 1998

  • Producer

    Produced by Macnas

  • Original Venue

    The Black Box

Original Cast  
Malachy Dudgeon Frank Laverty
Fr. Stokes Pat McGrath
Raphael Bell Mick Lally
Nessa Conroy Billie Traynor
Marion Keenan Muirne Bloomer
Jolly Beggarman Gary McSweeney
Production Team  
Director Joe O'Byrne
Designer Tom Conroy
Lighting Designer Paul Noble
Costume Designer Monica Ennis
Composer Laura Forrest-Hay
Musician Paul Leech
Mask Design Petra Breathnach
Production Manager Eamonn Fox
Stage Manager Roisin Kearney
Assistant Stage Manager Michelle Daly
Sound Operator Mike Ryan
Set Construction Alan Clarke (1)
Scenic Artist Jim Grindley
Production Photography Gita Turda
Production Photography Amelia Stein
Casting Maureen Hughes

Unpublished Scripts

  • Contact

    Charles Walker, Peters Fraser and Dunlop

  • Address

    Drury House, 34-43 Russell Street
    London WC2B 5HA

  • Phone

    + 44 (0)20 7344 1000

  • Email

  • Website

Rights Information

  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    Marianne Gunn O'Connor Literary Agency

  • Address

    Morrisson Chambers, Suite 17
    32 Nassau Street
    Dublin 2
    Republic of Ireland

  • Email

Source Of Information

The information for this entry was taken from the original production programme.