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The Arts Council Playography Na Gaeilge


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The Golden Cuckoo


  • Playwright

    Denis Johnston 

  • Setting

    Act I: Dotheright's home.
    Act II: The local offices of the Comet.
    Outside a suburban post office.
    Act III: The local offices of the Comet.
    A room in a Police Court.
    Dotheright's home.

  • Synopsis

    The play is based on the true story of an old man in Ireland who having been cheated by his employer and moved by the injustices of the world and hearing people lauding rebels and revolutionaries, decides to lead a rebellion himself and declare himself president. It turns out to be only a one-man rebellion and he is naturally arrested. But instead of being imprisoned as he expected, he is sent to a lunatic asylum. At the end of the play the other characters get together a bond for his good behavior so that he can be released, and they meet to welcome him back home. But his reaction is not what they expect. The play is billed as a comedy but as Denis Johnston puts it, "It should also be remembered that the highest art of comedy is sometimes to leave people wondering why they ever laughed at all."

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female


Original Production

Original Cast  
Mr. Haybottle Ronald Ibbs
Mr. Golightly Peter Copley
Mr. Pennywise Michael Ripper
Mr. Dotheright Noel Illiff
Mrs. Golightly Vivien Dillon
Miss Peering Nancy Beckh
Mr. Green Hamlyn Benson
Mme. Subito Jean Anderson
Mrs. Vanderbilt Nora O'Mahony
Mr. Lowd Robert Hennessy (1)
Guard Bullock J. Winter
Production Team  
Director Denis Johnston
Settings by Eric Adeney
Original Songs by Arthur Duff
Musician Alice Brough
Musician Annie McNally
Musician Gretta Smith
Manager Lord Longford
Stage Director Basil Lord
Assistant Stage Director Doris Cloghran
Stage Manager Cecil Brock
Wardrobe Supervisor Nancy Beckh
Wardrobe Mistress Christina Keely
Chief Electrician Patrick Long
Secretary Maureen Naish-Gray
Carpenter Michael Lambert

Published Scripts

Rights Information

  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    Micheal Johnston

  • Address

    20 Burdett Avenue, Sandycove
    Co. Dublin
    Republic of Ireland

Source Of Information

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