The Gallant John Joe at Townhall Cavan


The great Tom Hickey will reprise his internationally-acclaimed solo performance in Tom MacIntyre’s ‘The Gallant John-Joe’ at Townhall Cavan on Saturday, 21 November.


Hickey’s performance has been praised by the New York Times as “masterly” and as “a performance of rare virtuosity” by Fintan O’Toole. This latest staging of his collaboration with Cavan playwright Tom MacIntyre is presented in conjunction with the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland. Tom, a patron of PAI, was diagnosed with the condition in 2013.


Once described by well-known Cavan actress Derbhle Crotty as “a hymn to Cavan English”, ‘The Gallant John-Joe’ was first premiered in 2001, receiving multiple award nominations and critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. The play has enjoyed a hugely successful revival tour and this performance at Townhall Cavan is a rare opportunity to see it performed on home turf.


The play is the soliloquy of a Cavan widower grappling with increasing physical and mental infirmity. What keeps him on his feet is his capacity to tell stories, to make a story out of anything that moves, using language as a crutch, ointment, talisman, and intoxicant.


In his stories he introduces us to the characters in his life, Bossman, his well-to-do patronising friend; The Hitmatist, The Chinee, John-Joe O'Reilly; captain of the all-conquering Cavan team of the late 1940s; and Jacinta, his teenage daughter – all brought vividly to life by national treasure Tom Hickey.


Hickey’s work is extensive - creating leading roles in new Irish drama written by the foremost Irish playwrights including the late Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Marina Carr, and Frank McGuinness. His collaborations with Tom MacIntyre are an integral part of Irish theatrical history, providing some of the most ground-breaking performances seen on an Irish stage.


Hickey’s film credits include: My Left Foot, Cal, Possession, Fools of Fortune, Circle of Friends,The Butcher Boy, Ken Loach's Raining Stones, Inside I'm Dancing and Garage.


This is a truly special theatrical event, and a rare chance to see one of the country’s best-loved actors reviving a challenging and brilliant piece of theatre by a great Cavan playwright.


‘The Gallant John-Joe’ runs at Townhall Cavan for one night only on Saturday, 21 November at 8pm. Tickets are available now from Multisound Cavan on 049-4361312 and are priced at €18/€16.


See for further information.

Date and time:

16 November 2015 to 22 November 2015

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