The Lieutenant of Inishmore comes to Navan

Navan Theatre Group is excited to announce its upcoming production of The Lieutenant of Inishmore, a dark comedy by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Martin McDonagh. This production will be directed by Nigel Ryan, a Carlow native but a long-time member of Navan Theatre Group, who has a wealth of experience and knowledge. 

The Lieutenant of Inishmore is set in the 1990s on the remote island of Inishmore and tells the story of Mad Padraic, a member of the Irish National Liberation Army, whose cat, Wee Thomas, has become “poorly” while he is away on a mission. When he returns home and discovers the death of his beloved feline, he goes on a violent rampage, seeking revenge on those responsible. The play is a clever satire on terrorism and a hilarious farce in true McDonagh fashion, blurring the line between comedy and horror in this absurd and bloody tale.

The cast of this production features a plethora of talent in the form of Ian McColgan, Shane Fox, Keith Whelan, Padraig McLaughlin, Katy Leech, Ray O’Hare, Eoin Kenny, and Bob Lally. The production will be held at the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan from Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th March.

Martin McDonagh is a playwright, screenwriter, and director known for his dark comedies and crime dramas. Born in London to Irish parents (Sligo and Connemara), McDonagh’s works often explore themes of violence and redemption in the Irish countryside. Martin McDonagh has achieved considerable critical acclaim, including Academy awards, BAFTA and Tony awards. His plays include The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara, and The Lonesome West. 

The Lieutenant of Inishmore, written in 2001 is part of McDonaghs “The Aran Islands” trilogy which includes The Cripple of Inishmaan (1996) and The Banshees of Inisheer. The third play was never published or performed, as McDonagh insisted it “isn’t any good”, though he expressed a desire to return to it when he is older. In 2022, McDonagh directed a film titled The Banshees of Inishsherin. The screenplay’s resemblance to the play is unclear. What is clear however is that it was/is a wild success globally and has received nine Oscar nominations. Other films include In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. 

Clearly in the genes, the Anglo-Irish playwright has one brother, John Michael McDonagh who is the director of The Guard, Calvary and War on Everyone.

Nigel Ryan has expertise in Martin McDonagh works and has directed both NTG and Yellow River Drama Group (Wilkinstown) productions of The Beauty Queen of Leenane. He has also been involved with Dunshaughlin Players. Nigel recently graced the stage of Solstice Arts Centre in an acting capacity, playing Frank in the world premiere of God’s Hotel by esteemed Meath playwright Deirdre Kinahan. With a passion for showcasing rural tales, dark comedy, and compelling drama, there is no doubt that Nigel will strive to bring thought-provoking and gruesome storytelling to life on the Solstice stage.

Navan Theatre Group was founded in 1991 by the late Billy Goonan and is a community-based, amateur group affiliated with the Drama League of Ireland. The group has a long history of vibrant theatre in Navan, attracting a diverse group of members and continues to grow in popularity. NTG has received a lot of support from the people of Navan and surrounding areas, which has allowed them to give back to local and national charitable organizations. NTG produces one major production each year, moving from the Community Centre in Navan to the Solstice Arts Centre in November 2006. Despite the halt in productions in 2020 due to the global pandemic, NTG continued to read and plan over Zoom, and in November 2021, they returned to the Solstice Stage. Since then, NTG have brought One Acts Plays and the world premier of Deirdre Kinahans God’s Hotel in 2022. 

Don’t miss out on this highly anticipated event! Get your tickets now at the Solstice Arts Centre box office at (046) 909 2300 or online at Please note that this production contains loud noises and scenes of a violent nature, with an age guidance of 16+.

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