RTÉ Radio 1 Drama On One

The Quare Fella by Brendan Behan

Behan's masterpiece marks the 50th Anniversary of his death..

Behan’s play was perfectly poised: it premiered in November 1954, seven months after Michael Manning’s hanging in Mountjoy and seven months before Ruth Ellis’s capital sentence was carried out in Holloway. Both prisoners were executed by Albert Pierrepoint, perhaps the most prolific serial-killer Britain has produced, with 434 legal stranglings to his credit. Human sacrifice itself remained on the Irish statute books until 1992, two years before the Eurovision interval-performance that became Riverdance.

An erudite man and no cartoon-drunk, the author of THE QUARE FELLA would have known that the theatrical form we call tragedy comes from the Greek tragodos, meaning the (death) procession of the scapegoat, and that the audience is therefore an accomplice to the cruelty it depicts. In the fiftieth anniversary year of his passing, in the era of the YouTube universe when videos of state atrocities receive millions of Internet hits, the transmission of his masterpiece is more than timely.

Produced by Míchéal O hAodha (1956)

Arthur O'Sullivan - Dunlavin
John Stephenson - Neighbour
Frank O’Dwyer – 1st Prisoner
Charles McCarthy – 3nd Prisoner
Eamon Keane – Young Prisoner
Lionel Day – Lifer/Singer/Jenkinson
Thomas Studley – Mixer/Mr. Healy
Eamon Kelly – Warder Regan
Joseph O'Dea – Warder Donnelly
Niall Tóibín – 1st Warder
George Greene – the Governor
Chris Curran – the Principal
Brendan Cauldwell – 2nd Prisoner/Hangman
Conor Farrington – the Chief
Brendan Burke – Juvenile
Leo Leyden – Juvenile
Noel Lynch – Young Warder
Liam De Valley - Singer
Brendan Behan – Singer (Old Triangle)