Deirdre Kinahan

Plays by Deirdre Kinahan


Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Deirdre Kinahan's play Crossings is a drama that explores a rural English community over the course of a century, as its inhabitants have to learn how to adapt to change. It was commissioned by Pentabus and New Perspectives and first performed at Pentabus Theatre, Bromfield, Shropshire, on 10 October 2018, as part of a UK tour.

The play opens in 1919, in Badgersbridge Village Hall. The hall is Margaret’s domain and the last place she expected to come face to face with Grace, who knew and loved Margaret’s brother, William. This chance meeting results in an unlikely pairing that will change the course of both of their futures. In Act Two, the action shifts to 2019; Mirjana is a professional carer, waiting to meet Sean’s mother to help her stay in her own home. Mirjana is from Sarajevo, but has lived in the village since escaping the war there as a teenager. The village hall has been her solace and proves an unlikely link between them.

The premiere production was directed by Sophie Motley with set and lighting design by Sarah Jane Shiels. It was performed by Victoria Brazier and Will O’Connell.

Halcyon Days (Kinahan)

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Deirdre Kinahan's play Halcyon Days is a bittersweet drama set in a nursing home, celebrating friendship and the human spirit. It was first performed in preview at the Solstice Arts Centre, Co. Meath, Ireland, on 4 October 2012. The production received its Irish premiere at Smock Alley Theatre as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival on 10 October 2012.

The play was developed and expanded from an earlier short play, Salad Day, separately published by Nick Hern Books in the volume Irish Shorts (2013).

It is set in a nursing-home in Dublin. Sean Ceabhruill (aged 72) is an actor stricken by dementia and a stoic acceptance that his life is over. But when he's joined by former-teacher Patricia Whelan (aged 67), a feisty woman with a zest for life and a refusal to relinquish her independence, an unforeseen relationship develops, by turns charming and combative, tender and funny.

The premiere production was directed by David Horan and designed by Maree Kearns, with Anita Reeves as Patricia Whelan and Stephen Brennan as Sean Ceabhruill.

The production was revived under a new title, These Halcyon Days, at Assembly Hall, Edinburgh, in August 2013 as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it won a Fringe First Award.


Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Deirdre Kinahan's play Moment is about a family's difficulty in confronting a past crime committed by one of its members. It was first performed at the Solstice Arts Centre, Co. Meath, Ireland, on 12 November 2009. The production transferred to the Bush Theatre, London, on 25 February 2012.

The action of the play takes place in September 2009 in the kitchen of the Lynch family house in Chapelizod, Dublin. When Nial Lynch (aged 30) comes back to the family home, unexpectedly bringing his devoted English partner Ruth, their presence is not altogether welcome. His mother, Teresa, is suffering from apparent dementia. His married sister Ciara greets him grudgingly. And his other sister, Niamh, is outright hostile. Nial has built himself a reputation as a painter in Cork, but it's a moment from the more distant past that haunts them all: Nial has spent five years in a juvenile prison for the murder, fourteen years earlier, of Niamh's then best friend, Hilary Kelly. And Niamh can't quite accept that Nial has served his time.

The play's premiere was directed by David Horan and designed by Maree Kearns. The cast was Ronan Leahy, Rebecca O’Mara, Maeve Fitzgerald, Deirdre Donnelly, Kate Nic Chonaonaigh, Karl Quinn, Will Joseph Irvine and Aela O’Flynn.

Rathmines Road  

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Deirdre Kinahan's play Rathmines Road is a drama about a woman's private torment in the long aftermath of sexual assault. It was previewed at the Civic Theatre, Tallaght, as part of Dublin Theatre Festival on 4 October 2018, before opening at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on the Peacock Stage, on 9 October 2018, produced by Fishamble and the Abbey Theatre.

The play is ostensibly set over the course of a single evening in the present (2018). Sandra has returned to her family home after her mother's death, with the intention of selling the house. She is joined there by Dairne, an old friend she has not met in years, and who has since transitioned from male to female. When another school friend, estate agent Linda, arrives with her jovial husband, Eddie, Sandra recognises him as the person who sexually assaulted her in a house on Dublin's Rathmines Road in 1993, twenty-five years ago. The play's action begins to fragment, leaping back in stages and hopping between alternative paths. Should Sandra confront her attacker or flee? What are the consequences of making an accusation? Is it enough to tell the truth?

The premiere production was directed by Jim Culleton with set and costume design by Maree Kearns. It was performed by Karen Ardiff (as Sandra), Charlie Bonner, Janet Moran, Enda Oates and Rebecca Root.

Salad Day

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

An elderly couple trapped in a nursing home plot a daring escape into the sunshine.


Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Deirdre Kinahan's play Spinning is a contemporary tragedy set in small-town Ireland. It was first produced by Fishamble: The New Play Company in Smock Alley Theatre, as part of Dublin Theatre Festival, on 3 October 2014.

The play is set in a small seaside town in Ireland in 2014. In the opening scene, set in a cafe, Conor (aged 42) is excoriated by a despondent woman, Susan (aged 44), for killing her daughter, Annie. Over three unfolding timelines the play details the events that led to the death of the teenager four years previously. The tale emerges of Conor’s unhappy marriage to Jen, their subsequent squabbling over their young daughter, and the estranged husband’s flight with the girl to a small seaside town. There he meets Annie, a lively but insecure teen pining for the father she never knew, and they form a fateful bond.

The Fishamble production was directed by Jim Culleton and designed by Sabine Dargent. The cast was Karl Shiels, Fiona Bell, Janet Moran and Caitriona Ennis.

Picture of Deirdre Kinahan

Deirdre Kinahan’s other plays include Protest (Royal Court Theatre, London, PIIGS Project 2013); Halcyon Days (Dublin Theatre Festival/New York/Edinburgh 2012/13; winner of a Fringe First); Broken (Fishamble, Tiny Plays for Ireland, Dublin 2012); Transgressor , Where’s My Seat (Bush, London, 2011); Bogboy (Tall Tales and Solstice Arts Centre, New York and national tour) and Moment (Tall Tales and Solstice Arts Centre, Bush and national tour).