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The Arts Council Playography Na Gaeilge


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The True Story of the Horrid Popish Plot


  • Playwright

    Desmond Forristal 

  • Setting

    Set in London between 1678 - 1681.

  • Synopsis

    The Play concerns itself with Charles II's struggle with his conscience, on the one hand, and the pragmatic affairs of state, on the other, during the conflict with the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr. Oliver Plunkett over the banning of educating Catholics in Ireland by the Earl of Essex. Charles II allowed the execution of Oliver Plunkett to proceed even though it was based on faulty evidence.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female


Original Production

Original Cast  
Charles II Aiden Grennell
Court Usher John Pine
Guard Kenneth Donnelly
Guard Liam Burke
Guard Roger Greene
Guard Seymour Cresswell
Eamon Ó Murchú Liam Sweeney
The Earl of Essex Patrick McLarnon
The Reverend Titus Oakes Frank Kelly
The Earl of Shaftesbury John Franklyn
Eoin Mac Giolla Mhuire Arthur O'Sullivan (2)
Catherine of Braganza Aileen Hart
Dr. Oliver Plunkett David Kelly (2)
James Des Keogh
The Earl of Danby Christopher Casson
Lord Chief Justice of England Reginald Jarman
Production Team  
Director Hilton Edwards
Decor by Robert Heade
Decor by Micheál Mac Liammóir
Settings by Robert Heade
Lighting Hilton Edwards
Costume Designer Robert Heade
Costume Designer Micheál Mac Liammóir
Stage Manager Yvette Hally
Assistant Stage Manager Alan Richardson
Stage Carpenter Fred West
Stage Carpenter Kevin Hudson
Costume Construction Eileen Long
Chief Electrician Arthur Jones
Chief Electrician Albert Cassells
Production secretary Mary Cannon

Unpublished Scripts

Rights Information

  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    Ciaran Forristal

  • Address

    Republic of Ireland

  • Email


Source Of Information

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