Plays by Hugo Hamilton

The Speckled People

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Hailed as an ‘instant classic’, Hugo Hamilton’s best-selling memoir The Speckled People was adapted by the author into a profoundly moving stage drama.

Set in 1950s Ireland, the play tells the story of a small boy trapped in a language war between Irish, from his nationalist west Cork father; German from his immigrant mother, who came from an anti-Nazi family; and English, spoken by the other children in Dublin. The young Hugo Hamilton struggles with what it means to be ‘speckled’ – ‘half and half . . . Irish on top and German below’.

A gripping, poignant and often hilarious family drama, The Speckled People had its world premiere on 4 October 2011 at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, as part of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival.

Hugo Hamilton was born and grew up in Dublin. He is the author of five highly acclaimed novels: Surrogate City, The Last Shot, The Love Test, Headbanger and Sad Bastard; and one collection of short stories. He has worked as a writer-in-residence at many leading universities, including most recently at Trinity College, Dublin. His memoir The Speckled People, an account of growing up as a German-Irish child in the Ireland of the '50s and '60s, won the prestigious Prix Feminina Etranger in France, as well as the Berto Prize in Italy, and appeared on the New York Times notable books list. Hamilton subsequently adapted it for the stage, and it was first produced for the stage at the Gate theatre, Dublin, in 2011.