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The Arts Council Playography Na Gaeilge


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The Bonefire


  • Playwright

    Gerard McLarnon 

  • Notes

    The cast and character lists for this entry are drawn from reviews of the premiere production. As such, cast size details should be taken as approximate.

  • Synopsis

    A play set on the eve of the Twelfth of July, when a bonfire is being prepared in part to celebrate the release from prison of Willie McNulty, a Protestant, who has served time for blinding Catholic neighbour John Hanna. The blinding incident, it slowly emerges, was prompted not by religious motivations, but because of a menage-a-trois between McNulty, his fiancee Vanessa Lindsay and John Hanna, with whom she has been having an affair. Meanwhile, rumour spreads that Hanna has been faking his blindness to obtain McNulty's conviction. An angry mob gathers as the bonefire is lit to obtain justice from Hanna, even as he and Vanessa are making a pact to deliberately end their lives, and the play ends in tragedy.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female


  • Cast Notes


Original Production

Original Cast  
Vanessa Lindsay Margaret D'Arcy
Mrs. Hanna Catherine Gibson
Jim Hanna Maurice O'Callaghan
Davy James Ellis
Willy McNulty Denys Hawthorne
McNulty Harold Goldblatt
Mrs. Jefferson Elizabeth Begley
James Mitchell J.G. Devlin
Mrs. McCombe Irene Bingham
Lindsay James Boyce
Kevin McAllinden Colin Blakely
Sam Kyle A. Anonymous
Production Team  
Director Tyrone Guthrie

Unpublished Scripts

  • Contact

    Theatre and Performing Arts Archive of Northern Ireland

  • Address

    The Linen Hall Library, 17 Donegall Square North
    Belfast BT1 5GB
    Northern Ireland

Rights Information

  • No Information Available. ITI's researchers have examined this play entry with care and no further information has yet been found. If you have further details on this entry please contact us.

Source Of Information

Information for this entry was taken from press cuttings, and from the Theatre and Performing Arts Archive of the Linen Hall Library, Belfast.