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The Arts Council Playography Na Gaeilge


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The Square Peg


  • Playwright

    Harry Sinton Gibson 

  • Setting

    The sitting room behind the shop of Joseph Cunningham, in the town of Cloughmany in Northern Ireland, in November 1930.

  • Synopsis

    J.C Cunningham, shopkeeper, turns hard and bitter when his father bequeathes the substantial family fortune to his sister Sarah, and leaves the shop business only to him. Determined to make sons George and Dick upstanding members of the community and the Calvinist church to which they belong, he thwarts George's ambition to become a horse-trainer, and decides that Dick will become a minister. As each rebels in their own way, wife Mary quietly despairs, and as the years go by the house becomes one of misery. J.C.'s refusal to change results in the slow collapse of the business, but as the facts of this emerge, Mary finds her voice. Through her efforts, a glimmer of hope presents itself for the future.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female


Original Production

Original Cast  
Charles Gorman Maurice O'Callaghan
Willie Dudgeon J.G. Devlin
Bessie Margaret Walker
John Fannon Ricky Matthews
Dick Cunningham Laurence Beattie
George Cunningham William Millar
Sarah Bannin Sheila Crawford
Samuel Graham Joseph Tomelty
May Cunningham Elizabeth Begley
Joseph Cunningham R.H. MacCandless
Rev. Alexander McCrea, B.A. Patrick Magee
Annie McQuillan Sheila McGibbon
Major Berkley James Connolly (2)
Production Team  
Settings by Dan Fitzpatrick
General Manager Joseph Tomelty
Produced by Harold Goldblatt
Chief Electrician Dan O'Connell (1)
Records and Reproduction W. Erskine Mayne

Published Scripts

  • Title

    The Square Peg, A play in three acts

  • Year


  • Published By

    H.R. Carter Publications Ltd.

  • Address

    2 Marcus Ward Street
    Northern Ireland

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Rights Information

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Source Of Information

Information for this entry has come from the original production programme and the printed play script, held at the Theatre and Performing Arts Archive of the Linen Hall Library, Belfast.