Fighting Irish, will make its world premiere at the Belgrade Theatre from Sat 2 – Sat 16 April as part of the Theatre’s Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 programme.
The cast will be led by Louis Ellis as ‘Jarlath McGough’, Christian James (Magic Goes Wrong, Peter Pan Goes Wrong) as ‘Sean McGough’, Daniel Krikler (The Normal Heart, National Theatre) as ‘Martin McGough Jr’, Peter Losasso as ‘Jimmy McGough’, Andrew Fettes as ‘Billy Duffin’, George McCluskey as ‘Frank Bannon’, Dan McGarry as ‘Joe Lawless’, Rosalind Steele (The Provoked Wife, RSC) as ‘Eileen McGough’, Colm Gormley as ‘Martin McGough Sr’ and Eddy Payne in multiple roles.
Set in Dublin in 1979, Fighting Irish follows Jarlath McGough, Coventry’s newest light-heavyweight champion, as he returns to Ireland to defend his title. Prejudice, corrupt officials and warring factions in Ireland mean that Jarlath faces more than one fearsome challenger to his crown. The remarkable fight for identity pushes the McGough family unity to the brink.
Based on the true events of his own family history, Fighting Irish comes from Coventry-born first time writer Jamie McGough. Co-Directed by the Belgrade’s Creative Director, Corey Campbell, and former Artistic Director, Hamish Glen – who stepped down in December 2021 following an 18 year tenure – Fighting Irish will see the flexible B2 auditorium presented in-the-round for the first time ever.
Fighting Irish will feature sets and costumes designed by Patrick Connellan (We’ll Live and Die in These Towns, City Final), with lighting designs by Joe Hornsby and sound design by Oliver Howard and Jason Sylvester.
Lucy Glassbrook joins Corey Campbell as co-movement director. Colin Murphy will act as dramaturg to Jamie McGough’s script, and Sara Myers will be the Assistant Director.