Irish Blood, English Heart – A Play at the Union Theatre

Irish Blood, English Heart which is written by Darren Murphy, directed by Caitriona McLaughlin and designed by Francesca Rodrigue. A play written specifically for the Union Theatre – Tuesday 15th Feb – Sat 5th March @ 7.30pm.

I was sat outside the cafe in front of the Union theatre one Wednesday afternoon when Dennis, a local cabbie, pulled up for his afternoon cuppa. Dennis, being of a philosophical bent, stood by the counter ruefully sipping his tea. He stared out at the road at his cab. ‘They’ll fucking bury me in that,’ he muttered. That phrase, and that image, took root in my mind and became the story around which Irish Blood, English Heart was woven. Inspired by the unique space the Union Theatre occupies, and the stories held in the pavements of the surrounding streets, Irish Blood, English Heart draws on the collective expertise of Southwark artists and craftsmen, including actors, director, designer, local cabbies, bespoke tailor, and writer. If a cab was a coffin, then what secrets would a cabbie take with him? 

In a mysterious garage in Southwark, Con Sweeney and his wife, Peggy, ask Con’s brother, the infamous comedian turned author, Ray Suede, to meet to divvy up the emotional legacy of their estranged father.

Ray’s just written a book.  About their father.  About them.  Peggy thinks that if Ray wants to portray them as cartoon troglodytes, then he should pay cash money for the privilege.

So, who gets to tell the story of two second generation Irish brothers, a teenage tear up merchant, and a dead London cabbie in a dusty South London lock-up?

CAST: Con Sweeney, Ian Groombridge, Peggy Sweeney, Carolyn Tomkinson, Ray Suede, Howard Teale 

Ancient Lights, a new collective of London writers, actors, directors and designers, was established in 2010, to unearth the dominion of stories that lie buried within the stones, strata, and surfaces of London streets.  The capital is both a city of mongrel influences and an international cultural hub, peopled by disparate citizens and cultures; unique, indomitable and fierce.  Ancient Lights is a restless camera that illuminates these forgotten, unlit corners of an ageless, pulsating, raging city.  We tell London stories.

Caitriona is an Irish theatre director currently based in London.  Most recent directing credits include: Bottom of the World by Lucy Thurber, Atlantic Theatre, NY; Judgement Day by Oden Von Hovarth (translation by Christopher Hampton) at Bard Summerscape, NY;  Still, The Blackbird Sings, The Playhouse, Derry & Irish tour; Killers and Other Family, Lucy Thurber, Rattlestick Theatre, NY; and a site specific production of The Recruiting Officer for the Farquhar festival, Blue Eagle Theatre Co., Northern Ireland.  She is currently developing a transatlantic collaboration between the LABrynth Co. in NY, and The Playground Studio, London, with a pool of Irish, English & American writers, actors, and directors.  She is a Clore Fellow, and an Associate Director The Playground Studio

DARREN MURPHY – Playwright
Darren has been produced in London, Edinburgh, Dublin and New York.  Plays include: Tabloid Caligula [Arcola/59e59, NY – Brits Off-Broadway season]; the Westminster prize-winning A Road In Winter [Soho Theatre/Dublin Fringe/Union/Flatlake Festival]; The Flats [Chelsea Theatre]; The Derelicts [BAC]; Charlatan [5065 Lift/Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh]; Bag Of Monkeys [International Bar, Dublin];  Holloway Road [Urban Scrawl]; and Night Bruises The City [Southwark Playhouse].  Mister Loverboy Silk Locates The Inner You, a short story was published in em three.  Tabloid Caligula is published by Oberon.