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The Arts Council Playography Na Gaeilge


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At Swim-Two-Birds


  • Playwright

    Alex Johnston 

  • Adapted / Translated From

    Flann O'Brien

  • Author Notes

    An adaptation of Flann O'Brien's original novel of the same name.
  • Setting

    Set in Dublin and the Student's imagination.

  • Synopsis

    A drink-addicted, bed-addicted student is writing a novel about a man who is writing a novel; the characters include an invisible fairy, a couple of cowboys from Ringsend and a mad airborne king from ancient Ireland. Under the influence of drink, tea and general ill-will, a group of characters go in search of their author in order to give him a good kicking. But it seems that the author in one story may be only a character in another.

  • 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  
Mr. Corcoran Brendan Conroy
Lamont Ronan Leahy
Kelly Anto Nolan
Shanahan Anto Nolan
Uncle Mick Nolan
Trellis Mick Nolan
Sweeny Tony Flynn
Verney Wright Tony Flynn
Fergus McPhellimey, a Pooka Ned Dennehy
Fionn MacCool Johnny Murphy
Brinsley Karl Shiels
Furriskey Karl Shiels
Peggy Maeve Coogan
Lover Maeve Coogan
Student Ronan Leahy
Lover Robert Price
Linchehaun Robert Price
Jem Casey Brendan Conroy
Shorty Andrews Kevin Hely
Small Man in a Coat Kevin Hely
Moling Kevin Hely
Slug Willard Niall Ó Sioradáin
Christian Brother Niall Ó Sioradáin
St. Ronan Niall Ó Sioradáin
Teresa Catherine Walsh (1)
Cow Catherine Walsh (1)
Newsreader Catherine Walsh (1)
Hag Catherine Walsh (1)
Good Fairy Catherine Walsh (1)
Orlick Robert Price
Prostitute Maeve Coogan
Production Team  
Director Jimmy Fay
Designer Johanna Connor
Lighting Designer Trevor Dawson
Costumes Abbey Theatre Wardrobe Department
Sound Dave Nolan
Stage Director Audrey Hession
Assistant Stage Manager Angie White
Set Construction Abbey Theatre Workshop
Photography Amelia Stein
Programme Total Print and Design
Voice Coach Andrea Ainsworth
Video Director Jimmy Fay
Video Editor Marc-Ivan O'Gorman

Unpublished Scripts

  • Contact


  • Address

    Republic of Ireland

Rights Information

  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    Rights for original material

  • Contact

    A. M. Heath & Co. Ltd.

  • Address

    6 Warwick Court,
    London, WC1R 5DJ

  • Phone

    +44 (0)20 7242 2811

  • Website


  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    Adaptation rights

  • Contact


  • Address

    Republic of Ireland

Source Of Information

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