The child’s down a hole,
the mother’s up to high doh,
the town’s up in arms and
humanity’s down the drain.
Uproarious, occasionally macabre and always compelling, Lally the Scut draws a line in the mud for Northern Ireland.
Kitty has grown up with her loving grandmother in an old house full of the clutter and stories of its indelible past. One day, without warning, Kitty’s world begins to fall apart. Her thoughts torment her as the familiar starts to fray. Confusion gives way to terror, leaving Kitty trapped somewhere between home and hell.
Jonathan is struggling to establish himself as the minister in a working class east Belfast parish. One night a young man stumbles into his office, covered in blood, and claiming that he is possessed by the devil. When he delves deeper into the young man’s story, Jonathan finds himself coming under increasing suspicion from the local community. As things spiral out of control, he must make a life or death decision about who he can trust.
Meet Alice – Stormont’s only Green MLA. She plans to save Northern Ireland from the influence of big corporations, while at home she hopes a new baby will save her marriage. Her husband Martin is a controversial historian who is secretly planning an explosive new book, while his boss Danny is fighting to secure funding for his victim support centre. When their friend Claire unexpectedly re-enters their lives, the past and the future are set to collide spectacularly right over Belfast.
Fighting to escape from the shadow of her dysfunctional family, Dee brings together the unlikely talents of Shona, Claire and Pete to form a band. Fast paced, direct and full of Stacey Gregg’s trademark wit, the play follows them as they hurl themselves at the music scene.
Guidelines for a Long and Happy Life
Paul Kennedy’s chilling new play is set one generation after a global apocalypse. Only a few survivors remain, scouring the desolate landscape looking for food and clean water. Making contact with other humans is the biggest danger and the only hope. As desperation and paranoia grow, every move becomes a decision to trust or die.
TRUE NORTH – The Cleanroom
Karen has managed the cleanroom of a pharmaceutical firm for fifteen years. It’s been her place of refuge during turbulent times. Now, Karen’s secret relationship with employee Saul is attracting unwanted attention and the factory is facing closure. Just when it seems things couldn’t get worse, into the cleanroom walks Molly.
TRUE NORTH – God’s Country
MLA Patricia Williamson is preparing to speak at a charity ball under intense scrutiny as she addresses the murder of a young gay man by Lithuanian workers. It should be a time for condolence, a time for sensitivity, and an opportunity to show that the party has learned something from Iris.
TRUE NORTH – Everything Between Us
Taut and fast paced Everything Between Us is set on the first day of a newly formed Truth and Reconciliation Commission. With the world’s media waiting to invade, Sisters Sandra and Teeni, must learn very quickly how to talk to each other.
The Sign of the Whale
Belfast 1977. Dermy, a headline writer neurotically compelled to remember every victim of violence, is on the brink of a breakdown. Tony, a Belfast teenager, is meanwhile on the brink of life amid a conflict that might never end.
Everything Between Us
Sandra Richardson is preparing to take her seat on the first day of the new Truth and Reconciliation Committee in Northern Ireland when her long lost sister Teeni explodes into the chamber and assaults the South African chairwoman Dikeledi Mashiane.
Sleep Eat Party
Based on interviews with young men and women across Northern Ireland and scripted by multi award winning writer Damian Gorman.
This Other City
Patrick is working late. He has important clients. He’s busy, Building a Better Belfast. Gemma’s beauty business is on the up and up. Their teenage daughter is sharp and funny. They’re a success story in the new metropolitan Belfast. Until one night…..
The Virgin Father
Mary has disappeared. Her son has been murdered. And now Joe is being hunted down. He urgently needs to understand what has happened to his family if he is to save himself…
Belfast 2068. Science is changing how we live. How we die. What we can remember. Ten ordinary people are facing the choices of their lives. Our future is in their hands.
Choking the Butterfly
Betty and Barney have lived their sheltered life joined at the hip… literally! Finally set free and equipped with all the money in the world they are left to fend for themselves in a whirlwind of voyeuristic transactions and instant acquaintances.
The Duke of Hope
Co-writers of The History of the Troubles Accordin to my Da – and responsible for a string of hilarious hits at the Lyric and around the country – the hugely popular comic duo Grimes and McKee have now written their first full length play for Tinderbox Theatre Company.
Girls and Dolls
For Emma and Clare, 1980 was the summer they met at the swings, the summer they built a tree house and stole from Dennis O’Donnell’s shop. Four stunning performers bring to life a host of characters as they weave together the colourful comedy and terrible tragedy of the summer Emma and Clare will never be allowed to forget.
Inside their family grave, three generations of Kerrs are dead and buried – but still condemned to argue! To begin with the family’s predicament is darkly comic. But as Carville expertly reveals long hidden truths, Family Plot becomes a gripping and terrifying story of lives damaged by secrets and lies.
It’s Halloween night when the worlds of the living and the dead meet. And it’s the last night for one young couple, before their long awaited wedding. But even as they stand on the threshold of their new life together, the shadows of absent friends return to engulf them. Before the night is over, there are vows of remembrance and vengeance that must finally be settled.
Vote Vote Vote
Eclectic, diverse, dynamic, perverse… more writers that you can shake a ballot paper at. Some of our finest writers have committed their intentions to paper and Tinderbox is the returning officer. Over a dozen writers, five minute dramatic statements, presented as rehearsed readings by a riotous assembly of our finest actors. Presented with an Alternative Hustings after the show.
An old old man and an old old woman who have been married for ages have lived on an island for years. The Old Man could have made his mark on the world and been a great thinker, philosopher, even a scholar, however he hasn’t been able to articulate his great words of wisdom even though they are on the tip of his tongue. But tonight, he is taking the plunge!
Two DJs – DJ H Block 007 and DJ Good Friday Agreement – and their dancer Snake are rehearsing their act in a record shop after hours. They are preparing for a visit from club promoter who has the potential to make them a massive success. And their act is original – mixing and rapping the history of Northern Ireland and the Troubles to the latest in hip-hop and garage music. Their music has been well received so far – at DJ H Block 007’s niece’s christening party – so tonight is the acid test.
Caught Red Handed
Ulster…2005… A referendum has been called for a United Ireland and the charismatic leader of the Alternative Unionist Party has staked his life on stopping it. He is about to bring history to a halt with an address to his fiery, faithful followers on the steps of Stormont when he finds himself unexpectedly decommissioned…
No Place Like Home
Mob rule on the streets. They say you can’t live in this area. It’s not for your ‘kind’ anymore. The authorities are powerless to intervene. Should you stay or go? You only have a matter of minutes to decide. Your family is asleep. What do you do next?
In a radical new site-specific work Tinderbox presented seven new dramas by some of Northern Ireland’s leading playwrights. Audiences were taken on a journey through the courthouse, visiting the locations of many past dramas – The Civil Court, the Jury Room, the holding cells, toilets, Judges Room, the Criminal Court and the main hallway. Each writer had been asked to explore the themes of justice and the act of passing judgement.
In the 1950’s Ruby Murray held the world in her hands and was the mega-star of her time. Ruby’s story is a bittersweet tale of triumph and transformation – from parish halls in Bundoran to topping the London Palladium, from humble beginnings in Belfast to the ‘Heartbeat Girl’ with five singles in the charts all at once. From personal struggles to the voice that melted the most tormented of hearts. A comic, moving and uplifting play about the woman who sang the songs generations fell in love to.
The Green Shoot
Considered by many as the grandfather of the much-vaunted Ulster renaissance in literature, John Hewitt was a poet, a political and cultural thinker, a reviewer, an arts gallery administrator and the main advocate of the idea of northern regionalism. It was these cultural and political stances which were to lead to the poet’s isolation and eventual self-exile at the hands of a suspicious unionist establishment.
On McQuillan’s Hill
On the top of McQuillan’s Hill, west of the River Bann, stands an old Hibs Hall about to be sold. Before it goes, the hall is used for one last party – the ‘coming out of jail’ shindig for Fra Maline whose reputation preceeds him like a charging bull.
Henry Joy McCracken, leader of the United Irishmen in Antrim, is hiding on Belfast’s Cavehill. It is late at night. While his young lover sings their child to sleep, McCracken tries to make sense of the events which have seen the United Irishmen rush forward to the brink of success and now teeter on the point of failure. He must keep the flame of the United Irishmen alive, he must stop the disintegration of all he believed in, he must preserve hope. If he fails all fails.
Second Hand Thunder
It is 1976 in Ballycharles, a small town on the shores of Lough Neagh. Two pillars of the community – a Protestant farmer and a Catholic solicitor are locked in a power struggle. Blackmail and intrigue are thick in the air in a drama which explodes through three decades – from the lost innocence of the seventies to the drums of marching bands and calls for re-routing in the nineties.
Into the Heartland
James Stewart is a significant man a man of influence a shaper of lives. When his country needed him, he was there. When his family needed him, he was never there. In need of a family now, James is stranded; with him is the ghost of his brother, and Isobelle his home help, his angel. Now widowed and now in his final years, James’ daughter, Evie, is coming back from Australia to see him for what may be the last time. Having bridged the physical distance between them, James must now bridge the gap between a daughter and a father.
Nick and Liz hoke through a skip to get stuff for their new squat. They meet Franco Murphy raconteur, bon viveur, stand-up comedian. He has just been dumped by Julie. Dumped by his woman, with revenge on his mind, Franco enlists Nick and Liz as his gorgeous new assistants. He has a plan and he’s sure Julie will see the funny side. A play about love, comedy, Bill Hicks and what happens when the star of the skip throws up, then stands up!
The Last of the McEachans
Meg MacEachan is great crack. She runs a croft in the far north Highlands single-handed. She loves Jimmy, her only son – poacher, fencer and wild boy who is in Inverness for a ‘royal weekend in the dark’ Catastrophe strikes – will Meg find new strength?
A reunion of school and college friends gathers together to welcome home one of their number. Drinks are drunk and pills are popped its pound for pint night, and Ollie has twenty pounds. And then the games start.
A battered van takes a travelling show around remote village halls in Wales and the highlands of Scotland. In the front, driving as usual, Teddy; in the passenger seat, Gracie; behind them, crouched in the back of the van Francis Hardy.
Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me
Seized on the streets of Beirut, three ordinary men are thrown into a windowless cell where insanity casts a shadow around the walls. Fighting their way through fear, humiliation and hatred, they find their only form of liberation in comic conversations about football, movies, booze and even a delirious rendition of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Set in 1974, four friends shelter together from the storm of the Ulster Workers Strike in a tiny terraced house in working class Belfast. In an attempt to avoid facing the turmoil of the city outside, they end up comforting each other as each of them exorcises their own ghosts of the past.
Galloping Buck Jones
It’s 200 years ago, and the notorious highwayman Larry Clinch is on the Belfast/Dublin highway with his inept accomplice Patch Skinner. Can Buck Jones foil their wicked schemes? Can Rchard Daly, actor/manager extraordinary and his loyal troupe of artistes lend a hand? Will Charity Best, barmaid at The Eagle, or Sarah Devlin, that woman of ill repute, help the bold Buck in his endeavours?
A Bright Light Shining
Peter was searching to make his fortune Agnes was the means to paving the way. Ten years after a strange happening occurs in a Highland village, we meet up with Peter and Agnes along with George a ‘part-time Sioux brave’ with too much to say, and Dooley, a tormented Irish soul with a strange imagination! Through the knockabout quality of this play we see these four characters battle out their private guilt and desires, and follow them in the universal search for something to believe in.
This is the premiere production of a thriller by dynamic young Belfast writer Gary Mitchell. Alternately humorous and poignant, the play is an uncompromising insight into the pressures within a Belfast community on those who try to live by their principles.
Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!
Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! is a classic Dario Fo farce, combining the best in madcap mayhem and fast moving action. It examines how inflation forces housewives to start a shoplifting spree at their local supermarket. This has hilarious consequences with the women faking phantom pregnancies in a bid to hide the loot.
Donny lives with his mother in a small border town in present-day Northern Ireland. Their routine lives are shattered one day when he is unwittingly caught up in a web of political intrigue.
The Writings of Thomas Carnduff
Thomas Carnduff (1886-1956) was born in Sandy Row and became known as the ‘Shipyard Poet’ after his volume of poetry, Songs from the Shipyards was published in 1924. This was followed by Songs of an Out-of-Work and four full length plays Workers, Traitors, Machinery and Castlereagh. The plays were all produced at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin to great critical acclaim, as well as at the Empire Theatre in Belfast.
This Love Thing
This Love Thing takes a highly original and comic look at love relationships. Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalen, Mona Lisa and The Love Doctor are just some of the characters who come to life in the play’s wacky, absurdist world of love and romance.
Catchpenny Twist follows the lives of three schoolteachers who abandon the teaching profession to pursue a career in the music industry as singer/songwriters. Their catchpenny tunes tale them to Dublin, London and finally to a Eurovision Song Contest! However, no matter how far they travel they find that they cannot escape Belfast! This is a lively, humorous and thought-provoking piece with integral songs and music provided by a live four-piece band.
Theatre of Paranoia and Fingertips
Theatre of Paranoia by Miche Doherty
Fingertips by Thomas McLaughlin
Howard Brenton Triple Bill
This triple-bill by controversial writer Howard Brenton comprised the anarchic comedy about the childhood of an unpleasant boy, The Education of Skinny Spew; the amusing and touching study of children at play, Gum & Goo, and the powerful and disturbing account of the trial and execution of the murderer John Christie in Christie in Love.
A one-act play by Edward Bond described as a ‘parable of oppression’, Stone tells the story of one man’s struggle through life and reflects the barriers that authority puts up in his way. Although thought-provoking, Stone is also known for its great humour and pace.
The Dumb Waiter and One for the Road
The Dumb Waiter observes two men in a room, isolated from the outside world as they prepare to do their next job. They are assassins. Doubt and suspicion creeps in as they consider the implications of their job and await orders.
One for the Road follows a series of interrogations as a man, his wife and son are psychologically broken down by an inquisitor. He is trying to get them to denounce their revolutionary tendencies and dissuade them from questioning authority.