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The Arts Council Playography Na Gaeilge


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A Thief of a Christmas


  • Playwright

    Tom Murphy (1) 

  • Setting

    A pub-cum general store in a remote Irish village in the mid 1930's.

  • Synopsis

    The story of the laughing contest that would later become the subject of Murphy's 'Bailegangaire' (1986)

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female


  • Cast Notes

    In the original production an additional 19 actors played members of the community, four children and three musicians were also featured.

Original Production

Original Cast  
Josie Garrett Keogh
Musician Antoin Mac Gabhann
Musician Micheal Mac Aogáin
Peggy Eithne Dempsey
Tomás Rua Dónall Farmer
Musician Micheál Ó Briain
Stephen Micheál Ó Briain
Bina May Cluskey
Stranger Bob Carlile
Brian Paul Bennett
John Peadar Lamb
Stranger's Wife Joan O'Hara
Guard Niall O'Brien(1)
Costello Mick Lally
Anthony Darragh Kelly
John's Wife Bríd Ní Neachtain
Martin John Macdara Ó Fátharta
Production Team  
Director Roy Heayberd
Designer Chisato Yoshimi
Lighting Tony Wakefield
Sound Nuala Golden
Fight Director Mark Shelley
Musical Director Micheal Mac Aogáin
Director's Assistant Seamus O'Brien
Design Assistant Lian Callaghan
Production Manager John Costigan
Stage Director Rhona Woodcock
Stage Manager Stephen Molloy
Assistant Stage Manager Miriam Kelly
Lighting Operator Mick Doyle (2)
Set Construction Mark Darley
Set Construction Paddy Rose
Set Construction Robert Dent
Scenic Artist Angie Benner
Wardrobe Supervisor Anne Cave
Wardrobe Assistant Joanna Hehir
Wardrobe Assistant Jane McNally
Photography Fergus Bourke

Published Scripts

  • Title

    Murphy Plays 1

  • Year


  • Published By


  • Address

    Head Office, 215 Vauxhall Bridge Road
    London SW1V 1EJ

  • Phone

    + 44 (0)20 7798 1600

  • Website


  • ISBN


  • Purchase From Amazon...

Rights Information

  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    Alexandra Cann Representation

  • Address

    Box 116, 4 Montpelier Street
    London SW7 1EE

  • Phone

    + 44 (0)7796954969

  • Email


Source Of Information

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