Drawing: Claire Dunne and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor in Juno and the Paycock

Juno and the Paycock

Howard Davies’s acclaimed 2011 revival of Sean O’Casey’s second play of his Dublin trilogy Juno and the Paycock transferred from Dublin’s Abby Theatre to the National’s Lyttelton stage in London at year end.  Considered one of the great plays of the 20th Century, it paints the devasting portrait of wasted potential of the poverty-striken Boyle family during the chaos of the 1922 Irish Civil War. Joining leads Ciaran Hinds and Sinead Cusack were Clare Dunne as the daughter Mary and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as her rejected suitor and unionist Jerry Devine.

 I’m Winter by name…not by nature so the Winter of 2011/12 ..or for that matter, any Winter is not a good time to hang around stage doors. The National’s at least has cover, but it can’t prevent the sub-zero temperatures stopping the flow of the sharpies and the sharpies owner’s blood. That is when I take the seasonal approach, leaving the artwork in the warmth of the stage door manager’s desk and relying on the frozen Royal Mailperson to deliver it back to me. It gives one a warm feeling when the plan works, which it did in this case.

Drawing: Ciaran Hinds and Sinead Cusack in Juno and Paycock at The National Theatre

Juno and the Paycock

Sean O’Casey’s gutting tragicomedy Juno and The Paycock is one of the most highly regarded and often performed plays in Ireland. First staged in Dublin at the Abbey Theatre in 1924 and set in that city during the Irish Civil War in the early 1920s, it is the second of the ‘Dublin Trilogy’ between The Shadow of a Gunman (1923) and The Plough and the Stars (1926).

London’s National Theatre in association with the Abbey Theatre staged the revival on the Lyttelton Stage in late 2011 with Ciarán Hinds and Sinéad Cusack in the lead roles as Captain Jack Boyle and Juno Boyle respectively.

“Searing, sobering, devastating and beautiful,” said the Sunday Independent. Both Ciarán and Sinéad signed my sketch in February 2012 at the Theatre and for a brief moment my stage door name became Martin…