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The Talk of the Town (2012).My fourth full-length play was commissioned by HATCH Theatre, Landmark Productions and the Dublin Theatre Festival. Inspired by the life, fiction and journalism of Irish-writer-abroad Maeve Brennan (1917-93) - with the kind permission of her Estate - the play focuses on her glory years at the New Yorker with colleagues including St Clair McKelway, Charles Addams and William Shawn.  

Cast: two women, one girl, five men.



Project Arts Centre, Dublin, produced by Hatch Theatre, Landmark Productions and the Dublin Theatre Festival, 1 October 2012 (sold out, extended until 21 October). (World Premiere)


left to right, Darragh Kelly as Addams, Catherine Walker (who won Best Actress at the Irish Theatre Awards for the role) as Maeve, Owen McDonnell as Mac and Lorcan Cranitch as Shawn, © Patrick Redmond 2012



‘Beautifully crafted… Donoghue’s biographical drama honours Brennan’s verve, the haunted elegance of her prose and the agitated circumstances of its creation’ – Irish Times

 ‘Mesmerising’ – BBC Radio Ulster

‘Cracking razor-sharp dialogue’ – Irish Independent

‘Intriguing… A subtle, perfect conjuring up of Brennan’s own dislocated condition. A sly success.’ – Observer

‘A compelling story of a truly remarkable woman’ - Examiner

‘The script is packed with wit and silky feminism.  It has the page-turner appeal of Donoghue’s books.’ – Sunday Times


Nelson Barre, "Old Stories, New Styles: Irish Theater in 2012," New Hibernia Review 17, no. 3 (2013), 87-99.

Helen Meany, “The Writing Life,” in ‘That Was Us’: Contemporary Irish Theatre and Performance, edited by Fintan Walsh (London: Oberon Books, 2013), 77-92.