• boxoffice@theplaygroundtheatre.london | 020 8960 0110

Sean O’Casey Evening

All profits will be donated to the British Ukrainian Aid
  • About
  • Cast
Shivaun O’Casey and The Playground Theatre invite you to a celebration of the life of her father Sean O’Casey with a reading of his rarely performed play Cock-a-Doodle Dandy. A darkly-comic fantasy about rural Irish life from one of Ireland’s greatest playwrights, the play was banned by the Lord Chamberlain for being anti-Catholic.

The evening will be introduced by Shivaun O’Casey, and the reading will be followed by a Q&A with Shivaun and the cast.

Cock-a-Doodle Dandy by Sean O’Casey
Regarded by O’Casey as his best play, Cock-a-Doodle Dandy is a darkly comic fantasy in which an enchanted cockerel appears in the Irish village of Nyadnanave (Gaelic for Nest of Saints). The Cock is a Dionysian figure who entrances villagers with joy and merriment. He quickly gains a following of young townspeople, particularly beautiful young women. Scandalized, the town’s upper-class men and religious leaders declare the Cock to be an incarnation of the devil. Hostility from the town’s religious leaders rises and turns violent until finally, the Cock and his followers are banished – off to spread love, joy, and freedom to other lands - while the oppressive Father Domineer continues to reign over Nyadnanave.

Written in 1949 when Sean O’Casey was 70 years old, this parable of mid-century Irish rural life symbolises the struggle between repression and liberty. It embodies O’Casey’s criticism of mid-century Ireland as a Catholic theocracy. After its world premiere at The People’s Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne, Cock-a-Doodle Dandy was banned in the UK and suppressed in Ireland and the US because of its anti-Catholic sentiment. Now, as well as being O’Casey’s personal favourite, it is well-renowned among critics. 

British Ukrainian Aid
British-Ukrainian Aid supports people suffering from the war and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine by aligning UK and Ukrainian efforts. 100% of our donations are used for the cause as all our team members are volunteers. We offer assistance to vulnerable individuals who have been wounded, stranded or displaced in Ukraine. In light of the current events our charity has been prioritising medical aid. One of the key focus areas of our activities is the provision of first aid kits to emergency and relief services. Thanks to donations we receive and with help of volunteers from a number of Ukrainian partner organisations in London, we’ve assembled hundreds of kits, which have already reached Ukraine and have been saving lives. We hope to be able to assemble thousands more.
We work closely with charities and NGOs in Ukraine, and provide immediate, direct support to those in need, including casualties and those helping them.
British-Ukrainian Aid is a registered charity, no.

Daragh O’Malley (Michael Marthraun) - legendary Irish actor - starred in Sharpe with Sean Bean, also in Withnail and I

Mairead Tyers (Marion) currently starring in lead role for Disney series Extraordinary

Rachel Feeney (Loreleen) - In Belfast and Death on the Nile

David Ganly (Sailor Mahan)- Girl from the North Country (west end) and Ridley Road (BBC)

David Wilmott
(Father Domineer) - Tony Award nomination for Lieutenant of Inishmore (Broadway) Juno and the Paycock (West End)

Frank Blake (Sergeant) Sanditon, Valhalla, Bridgerton

Catherine Cusack (Lorna) - part of the Cusack dynasty, All That Fall (west end and NYC)

Dónal Finn
(messenger) - Amazon's Wheel of Time

Harry Butler (Lorry driver) - writer and performer Changing The Sheets (Playground Theatre and Dublin, and Assembly Ed Fringe 2022)

Amanda Waggott (Julia) - Shirleymander at The Playground Theatre

Rosie Graham (one-eyed Larry) The School for Good and Evil, Outlander

Accordion Player Collette O'Leary
For more information about the venue and our COVID-19 Health and Safety policy, please see our your-visit page.
We do not accept Amex.
Running time 70 mins, no interval.
Recommended for ages 13 + 
17 May 7.30pm
Tickets (All unreserved)

Suggested Donation £10 | £20 | £50 | £100

Contact Us


The Playground Theatre
Latimer Rd London W10 6RQ

Google Map

Join our mailing list