A play based on a claim made by broadcaster Gerry Ryan that he had killed a lamb during a survivalist challenge for a radio show is at the Dublin Fringe Festival

In 1987 a scandal erupted when RTÉ 2fm broadcaster Gerry Ryan pretended to have killed a lamb during a survivalist challenge for RTÉ Radio 1′s 'The Gay Byrne  Show'.

The ‘Lambo’ controversy made Gerry Ryan a household name and is the basis of a play at the Dublin Fringe Festival.

Actor Michael Ford-FitzGerald plays Gerry Ryan but he is not attempting to mimic the DJ. 

It’s not about that, it’s not an impressionist show.

‘Lambo’ writer Hugh Travers says the play harks back to a time before the public were used to celebrity scandals.

Looking back on it, it seems inherently, like ridiculous and bizarre and almost funny, but at the time I think like it was treated like a genuinely shocking scandal.

The play’s director Ronan Phelan was careful to stage the production sensitively and Gerry Ryan’s family are supportive of the production.

The creators of ‘Lambo’ say ultimately it has less to do with Gerry Ryan as it does the notion of celebrity culture and reality entertainment.

Ronan Phelan believes nowadays people are cynical as they know reality programmes are mediated by researchers and producers who cannot trust that what happens in real life is interesting.

In his manipulation of a scenario to make it more entertaining, he believes Gerry Ryan was ahead of his time. 

I think he wasn’t conscious of that, I think he was just following his gut as to what makes great radio.

A ‘Morning Ireland’ report broadcast on 11 September 2013. The reporter is Louise Byrne.