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The Arts Council Playography Na Gaeilge


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  • Playwright

    Tommy McArdle  Eugene McCabe 

  • Author Notes

    Adapted by Tommy McArdle from two television plays, 'Cancer' and 'Heritage', by Eugene McCabe.
  • Setting

    The border area of Co Fermanagh.

  • Synopsis

    The Thompsons are a Protestant family whose Catholic neighbours include the McMahons. Joady McMahon is dying of cancer. The Thompsons' son Gordon is cajoled by his mother into joining the UDR, and is put on an IRA deathlist, drawn up on information probably supplied by neighbours. Five civilians die in an explosion meant for the army. The brother and father of Gordon's girlfriend are murdered, and two innocent Catholics are killed in retaliation. Finally Gordon himself is killed.

  • Play Type


    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female


  • Cast Notes

    Cast doubling is possible. See original production for details.

Original Production

Original Cast  
Willie Reilly John Hewitt
Joe Kieran Montague
Rachel Aingeal Grehan
Bar Woman Eleanor Methven
British Soldier Dermot Boyd
Robert Willie Thompson Michael Duffy
Sam Heuston George Shane
Martin Boyle John Keegan
Tom Robinson Jack McQuoid
Sarah Thompson Trudy Kelly
Dinny McMahon Bill Hunter
RUC Inspector Pat Brannigan
Doctor Pat Brannigan
Colonel Armstrong Maurice O'Callaghan
Joady McMahon Louis Rolston
George Hawthorne Joe McPartland (1)
Maggie Reilly Stella McCusker
Gordon Ian McElhinney
British Soldier John Patrick-Deery
Production Team  
Director Deirdre Friel
Designer Brian Collins
Lighting Designer Trevor Dawson
Sound Rose Morris
Stage Manager Trevor Dawson
Deputy Stage Manager Mike Blair
Assistant Stage Manager Dermot Boyd
Assistant Stage Manager Rose Morris
Set Construction Francis Morgan
Wardrobe Jacqueline Lamont
Wardrobe Jean Crawford

Unpublished Scripts

Rights Information

  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    A.P. Watt Ltd.

  • Address

    20 John Street
    London WC1N 2DR

  • Phone

    + 44 (0)20 7405 6774

  • Email


  • Website


Source Of Information

Information for this entry was taken from the original production programme and from contemporary press cuttings.