By clicking “I Understand”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Patrons of The Playhouse


Irish novelist and winner of the Whitbread Book Award for The Old Jest in 1979, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1977.


Irish actor, film director, film producer and writer. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre and made his screen début in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken. He has starred in over 35 feature films, such as The Usual Suspects, Miller's Crossing and Stigmata, in addition to writing two.


Frank McGuinness is an award-winning Irish playwright and poet. He first came to prominence with his play The Factory Girls, but established his reputation with his play about WW1, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, which he staged initially in Dublin's Abbey Theatre and then internationally. He has also written new versions of many classic dramas and adapted the literal translations of others.


Actress Niamh Cusack initially trained to be a flautist at the Royal College of Music and she worked as a freelance musician with the RTE National Symphony and Concert Orchestra before she followed her sisters Sinead and Sorcha into acting. Niamh became a household name in 1992 when she played Dr. Kate Rowan in the popular ITV drama Heartbeat.


Sinead is an Irish stage, television and film actress. She has received two Tony Award nominations: once for Best Leading Actress in Much Ado About Nothing(1985), and again for Best Featured Actress in Rock 'n' Roll (2008).


Sorcha has made many film and television appearances including The Bill, Casualty and the 1973 BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre. On the stage, she has appeared in Brian Friel's acclaimed Dancing at Lughnasa at the Garrick Theatre in London.


Eva Birthistle is best known for her role in Ae Fond Kiss. Eva trained at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin. She has won the London Film Critics Circle Best British Actress of the Year award for 2004, and has twice won the IFTA (Irish Film and Television Awards) Best Actor in a Leading Role (Film) award.


Bronagh Gallagher is a locally born actress and singer. Her big break came with a role in Alan Parker's The Commitments, playing the main chanteuse of the band. A string of dramatic roles followed including getting the part of Trudi in Quentin Tarantino's seminal masterpiece Pulp Fiction in 1994. Equally at home on the stage, Bronagh has acted in productions at the Abbey in Dublin and the The Royal Court Theatre in London. Bronagh also enjoys a successful music career as a singer and drummer.


Mary Pat is an award winning American journalist, novelist, screenwriter and documentary maker with strong Irish connections. Her writings include the historical epic Galway Bay, the acclaimed story of the events surrounding the Irish Potato Famine and it's effect on the Kelly family.


Griff is a Welsh comedian, writer, actor and television presenter and personality. In 2004 Griff first visited The Playhouse as part of the BBC landmark series “Restoration”. He came to national attention in Britain in the 1980s when he appeared in the BBC television comedy sketch series Not the Nine O'clock News and later with fellow comedian Mel Smith, Alas Smith and Jones. He went on to develop a career as a television presenter and writer, as well as continuing with acting work.


Roma's early acting career included a turn in the Abbey's acclaimed production of The Playboy of the Western World. The production led to a nomination during the Broadway run for the Helen Hayes Best Actress Award in 1991 from which Roma's popularity snowballed. Shortly after Roma gained the role of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis in the 1991 U.S. TV 6 hour mini series A Woman Named Jackie which went on to win the Emmy award that year and led to her most famous role, as the Angel "Monica" on the CBS hit Touched by an Angel.


Field Day Theatre Company was established in 1980 by playwright Brian Friel and actor Stephen Rea with the intention of establishing Derry/ Londonderry city as a theatrical centre. Their work was crucial, because what started out as desire to make local theatre available to a popular audience grew into a much larger political and cultural project.