Shortlisted for the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Best Theatre Play 2011
Young New Yorker Michael Doyle decides to live up to his Irish heritage by joining the IRA. He’s recruited by Costello, the charismatic “Big Fellah”, who wants to use Doyle’s brownstone apartment in The Bronx as a safe house for an escaped killer. But it soon becomes clear that someone is leaking information to the FBI... Set among Irish Americans in New York, Richard Bean’s dark, glinting, funny play spans three turbulent decades. A boisterous and witty story of loyalty, disillusionment and betrayal.
"There are jaw-dropping laughs in Richard Bean's new drama. But, while it plays in an often broadly comic key, it engages with a big, meaty subject... some cracking performances in Max Stafford-Clark's production" 4 STARS
– Sunday Times
"Dark, witty and shocking... Deftly directed by Max Stafford-Clark with first-rate performances from all the cast, this play is highly recommended"
– British Theatre Guide
“It races to its chilling finale which left the audience in stunned salience... a cracking script, excellent production and impeccable performances"
- East Anglian Daily Times
"Richard Bean is a brave man... in this combative, compelling and far superior new piece, he offers a potted history of the Irish republican movement. But the wit and originality of the play lie in the fact that it examines the cause's factionalism from an American perspective... What is excellent about the play is the way it explores historical change through individual lives, and shows the mixed motives that drive people on... It is a deeply political play, but full of wild black humour and an acute awareness that the prosecutors of any revolutionary cause ultimately become its victims."
- Michael Billington, The Guardian
"This is the funniest play about Irish troublemakers since Bill Morrison’s "Flying Blind"... The West End surely beckons."
- Michael Coveney, What's On Theatre
"Bean’s play is very funny, full of sharp contrasts between grim hilarity and gut-wrenching reversals."
- The Stage
"“One moment you’re exploding with mirth at its sly abrasive wit, the next its choking the laughter out of your throat. Directed with thrilling energy and searing precision by Max Stafford-Clark” CRITICS CHOICE 4 STARS
- Time Out
"A boisterous sweep through 30 years of the history of the Troubles... laced with large servings of black humour... The humour is delivered perfectly and and the cast are enthralling to watch, offering poignant portraits of what it means to sell your soul only to be handed nothing but pain in exchange." - Metro