b*spoke theatre company

Founded in 2002 by two actors Jane Brennan and Alison McKenna, this award winning company has presented an eclectic choice of plays, acting techniques and styles of production from Greek tragedy to farce and melodrama to contemporary political theatre.  The plays selected have offered great roles for actors & great stories for audiences. We provide another stage for creatives & practioners – from directors, designers, & performers to sound designers, composers and technical wizards; to show off their exceptional talent. Whilst nurturing and enabling our companies, we present voyages for audiences into new, classic and underexplored areas of the repertoire. 

Alison Mckenna


World Premiere
Dinner With Groucho by Frank McGuinness

Two men, together, on the edge of heaven.
In a strange restaurant, two American giants who revere each other, Groucho Marx and TS Eliot, meet for dinner. Both in their own ways great defiant spirits, they create magic and anarchy, revealing secrets and sorrows. The evening is presided over by the Proprietor, who seems to control the workings of the universe.

Or does she?

In Dinner With Groucho all is revealed. Or nearly so.

From the award-winning writer of such iconic plays as Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me and The Factory Girls comes this fast-paced dinner date like no other.

“Sharp, funny, smart and delicious, delivered with breakneck speed, comic timing and subtlety”
– Irish Times ★★★★
“A fascinating, joyous exploration of humanity… Delivered to perfection”
– Sunday Independent
“This sparkling play is everything we expect from a night at the theatre with McGuinness. With characteristic aplomb, McGuinness applies his vast battery of theatrical skills to this heady mix of vaudeville, song and dance, blistering humour and coruscating dialogue, all adroitly balanced by director Loveday Ingram”.
– The Stage ★★★★
“Frank McGuinness’ Dinner with Groucho is a treat: this a fine, feisty and funny piece with quicksilver writing and whipcrack acting”
British Theatre Guide


Ian Bartholomew as Groucho Marx
Ingrid Craigie as Proprietor
Greg Hicks as T.S. Eliot

Creative Team
Director Loveday Ingram
Set Designer Adam Wiltshire
Costume Designer Joan Bergin
Lighting Designer Paul Keogan
Composer & Sound Designer Conor Linehan
Choreographer David Bolger

Production Team
Producer Alison McKenna
Production Manager Eamon Fox
Stage Manager Audrey Cepeda
Assistant Stage Manager Rachel Spratt
Assistant Stage Manager Abi Cepeda
Public Relations Kate Bowe
Production Assistant Rachel Heyburn

Photography by Barry McCall and Ross Kavanagh ©
Styled by Catherine Condell
Background image is a detail from T.S. Eliot
by Ida Kar © National Portrait Gallery, London

The Civic, as part of Dublin Theatre Festival. Belfast International Arts Festival at The Mac, Oxford Playhouse, Arcola Theatre. Links below.

Civic Theatre
Belfast Internation Arts Festival
Oxford Playhouse
Arcola Theatre

Supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Culture Ireland


The Sanctuary Lamp
Written & Directed by Tom Murphy

Three people are locked in a Catholic church for the night. They are Harry, the English-born Jew and ex-circus strongman, praying to the flickering candle in the sanctuary lamp for strength to kill his wife and his best friend. There’s Maudie, the sixteen year old run-a-way waif, haunted by her past waiting for the release of forgiveness. And there’s the Irish blackguard Francisco, who doesn’t want anything. 

Harry Robert O’Mahoney
Monsignor Bosco Hogan
Maudie Caoilfhionn Dunne
Francisco Declan Conlon

Creative Team
Set & Costume Designer Monica Frawley
Lighting Designer John Comiskey
Sound Designers/Composers Ivan Birthistle & Vincent Doherty

Production Team
Production Manager Miriam Duffy
Stage Manager Maisie Lee
Assistant Stage Manager Robert Bradish
Wardrobe Supervisor Monica Ennis
Assistant Lighting Designer Sara Jane Shiels
Sound Operator Johnny Murphy
Set Construction Ian Thompson
Scenic Artist Sandra Butler
Make-up/Hair Val Sherlock
Photography Amelia Stein
Administrative Consultant Martin Fahy
Producers Alison McKenna & Jane Brennan
Consulting Producers Long Road Productions
Marketing Consultant Highlight Productions
Publicity Gerry Lundberg

Venues: Samuel Beckett Theatre, Arcola Theatre, Riverview Theatre, Everyman Theatre Cork and Town Hall Theatre Galway.


by Michael Frayn

Irish Premier

David Kitzinger, a serious and public spirited architect, is doing his best, with the help of his sociologist wife Jane, to re-house the working classes of South London in a sympathetically well- designed new housing scheme.

Across the street are Colin Molyneaux, their sardonic old friend and his hapless wife Sheila. David and Jane are doing their best to help them, too. Or is everything the other way around? Benefactors wittily follows their tribulations and tensions with
comical and poignant consequences.

Jane Jennifer O’Dea
Sheila Ali White
David James Wallace
Colin Peter Hanly

Creative Team
Director Lynne Parker
Set Design Paul O’Mahony
Lighting Design John Comiskey
Costume Design Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh
Sound Design and Composition Denis Clohessy
Assistant Director Aoife Spillane-Hinks

Production Team
Production Manager Aidan Wallace
Stage Manager Maisie Lee
Assistant Stage Manager Emma Hannon
Production Electrician Barry Conway
Lighting Operator Dan Bergin
Set Construction Ian Thompson
Scenic Artist Neil Carroll
Make Up Lynn Johnson
Rehearsal Photography Benedict Stenning
Michael Frayn Photo Ekko von Schwichow
Production Photography Anthony Woods
Architectural Drawings Clare McEvoy
Producers Alison McKenna & Ciarán Walsh
Co-Founder and Associate Jane Brennan
Administrative Consultant Martin Fahy
Publicity Gerry Lundberg PR
Graphic Design & Print Anthony Devitt at Lightbulb-IDEAS.com
Production Assistant Jessica Erwin
Intern Ciaran Mulumby

by Joanna Murray-Smith

Irish Premiere

‘When a man leaves his wife of thirty two years for a younger woman, one life collapses as another is renewed. This delicate witty and emotional play explores a marriage built on mutual love, understanding and companionship and shows how nothing can be taken for granted when passion is aroused.’

Samuel Beckett Theatre June / July

George David Horovitch
Claudia Fiona O’Shaughnessy
Honor Barbara Brennan
Sophie Marcella Plunkett

Creative Team
Director Claire Lovett
Set Designer Bláithín Sheerin
Costume Designer Joan O’Clery
Lighting Designer Sinéad McKenna
Sound Designers Ivan Birthistle & Vincent Doherty
Production Manager Des Kenny
Stage Manager Marie Cusack
Assistant Stage Manager Tom Kennedy
Wardrobe Assistant / ASM Yvonne Carry
Hair and make-up Patsey Giles
Lighting Operator John Quigley
Set Construction PAW Productions
Scenic Artist Vinnie Bell
Make-up/Hair Patsy Giles
Photography Amelia Stein & Emily Quinn
Graphic Design Nicole McKenna
Administrative Consultant Martin Fahy
Consulting Producers Long Road Productions
Publicity Gerry Lundberg PR
Post Show Discussion Host Anne Enright
Work Experience Jessica Erwin & Jenny Rothwell

Or Fragments of an Analysis of an Obsessional Neurosis

By Terry Johnson

‘In 1938, in his study in Hampstead Sigmund Freud meets Salvador Dali. Chaos ensues. Their comical encounter dramatically transforms into an evening of hysteria.What’s hiding in Freud’s closet? Who is Jessica? Is memory a fantasy?’ 
Terry Johnson’s brilliantly inventive, profoundly questioning and hugely entertaining play Hysteria won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy and the Writers Award for Best Play.

Project Arts Centre- Space Upstairs
Irish premiere.

Sigmund Freud Darragh Kelly
Jessica Alison McKenna
Dr. Abraham Yahuda John Olohan
Salvador Dali Rory Keenan
The Voice of Anna Freud Eavan Brennan
Matilde Samantha Heaney
Freuds Sisters / Figments Elena Benedettini,
Andrea Hayes
Karen Griffin,
Olivia Cronin

Creative Team

Director Loveday Ingram
Set Design Sabine D’Argent
Lighting Kevin Mc Fadden
Stage Manager Michael Higgins
Assistant Stage Managers Eavan Brennan & Jack Olohan
Costume Design Monica Ennis
Production Manager Brendan Mc Loughlin
Graphics Nicole McKenna
Photography Amelia Stein & Tom Lawlor
Hair & Make Up Val Sherlock
Publicity Gerry Lundberg PR
Administrative Advisor Martin Fahy
Consultant Producers Longroad Productions
Programme Note Maeve Ruane
Post Show Discussion Host Loughlin Deegan
Work Experience Sive Findlay


By Biljana Srbljanovic

Translated by Rebecca Ann Rugg

European Premiere
Project Arts Centre – Cube
Civic Theatre – Tallaght
June / July

‘The children of a ruined state play out their Family Stories in a startlingly theatrical display that is at once epic and domestic. Set in Belgrade during the Milosovic years and described by the playwright as a ‘slapstick tragedy’ this is a savagely comic and potently resonant play for our times.’

Andrija Rory Nolan
Nadezda Mary Murray
Milena Pauline Hutton
Vojin Andrew Bennett

Creative Team
Director Rachel West
Set & Lighting Design Paul Keogan
Costume Design Joan Bergin
Design Assistant Leonie Prendergast
Composer Denis Clohessy
Fight Director Paul Bourke
Production Manager Martin Cahill
Stage Director Margarita Corscadden
Assistant Stage Manager Aoife Habenicht
Production Assistant Eavan Brennan
Work Experience Sarah Parker
Make-up / Hair Barbara Conway
Photography Amelia Stein
Graphics Nicole McKenna
Administrative Advisor Martin Fahy
Post Show Discussion Host Vincent Browne
Programme Note Dylan Tighe
Work Experience Sarah Parker


by Fermín Cabal.
translated by Robert Shaw.

‘This play is based on real events and real people. Colorina was a young woman interred at Tejas Verdes, the hotel and beach resort turned torture camp in Pinochet’s Chile. In Fermin Cabal’s powerful play, Colorina’s story of how she became one of Chiles’ 3000 ‘disappeared’ during the Pinochet repression, is told from five quiet, firm , frightening perspectives by five women.’

Irish Premiere

Project Arts Centre – Space Upstairs July

Sarah Brennan The Disappeared/Soul in Torment
Susan Fitzgerald Friend / Informer
Jane Brennan The Doctor
Ger Ryan The Gravedigger
Cathy White The Spanish Lawyer

Creative Team
Director Róisín Mc Brinn
Set & Lighting Design Paul Keogan
Costume Design Joan Bergin
Design Assistant Leonie Prendergast.
Composer Denis Clohessy
Production Manager Martin Cahill
Stage Director Aisling Mooney
Assistant Stage Manager Lisa Farrelly
Make-up / Hair Barbara Conway
Photography Amelia Stein
Tejas Verdes Poster Image Shane McCarthy
Lighting Operator Sam Carpenter
Graphics Nicole McKenna
Production Assistant Eavan Brennan
Administrative Advisor Martin Fahy
Post Show Discussion Host Vincent Browne
Work Experience Sarah Parker

By David Mamet

Project Arts Centre, Space Upstairs, Dublin 1
Irish Premiere

Set in a Victorian drawing room, the play explores the complex relationship between Anna and Claire – two ladies who have lived together on the outskirts of high society. A series of coincidences involving an emerald necklace, Anna’s wealthy ‘protector’, Claire’s young ‘paramour’, and a Scottish maid cause near ruination and tests the bonds of their love and friendship.

Anna Ingrid Craigie
Maid Laura Donnelly
Claire Jane Brennan

Creative Team
Director Loveday Ingram
Designer Joe Vanêk
Lighting Designer Sinéad McKenna
Production Manager Breege Brennan
Stage Manager Martin Cahill
Assistant Stage Manager Sarah-Jane Shiels
Set Contruction TPS
Lighting Operator Sam Carpenter
Photography Amelia Stein
Hair and make-up Patsey Giles
Graphics Nicole Mc Kenna
Administrative Consultant Martin Fahy
Programme Notes Colin Stinton & Emma Donoghue


by Tom Murphy after W.H.Smith and a gentleman

Young Edward Kilcullen’s life is blighted by alcohol. Lawyer McGinty desires possession of all the Kilcullen’s ever owned and relishes the prospect of his demise. However, the temperance preacher and philanthropist Sir Arden Rencelaw is at hand…Can the young Kilcullen be saved? And what is Agnes, the maniac’s, hidden secret? Comedy, tragedy, heroics, villainy and song in this exuberant, life affirming version of  The Drunkard.

World Premiere


Town Hall Theatre – Galway Arts festival
Everyman Palace Theatre, Cork
Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin
Olympia Theatre, Dublin

July / August / September

Sir Arden Rencelaw Nick Dunning
Edward Kilcullen Rory Keenan
Phelim Mc Ginty Stephen Brennan
Mother/Agnes Earley/
Chastity Pauline Mclynn
Arabella/Prudence Sarah-Jane Drummey
William Earley Jack Lynch
Miss Spindle/Tavern Keeper/
1st Policeman/1st Loafer/Bartender Dylan Tighe
Farmer Tom Moggan/2nd Loafer/
2nd policeman/Man Rory Nolan
Alanna Sarah Brennan
Colleen Gemma Reeves

Creative Team
Director Lynne Parker
Set and Costume Design Monica Frawley
Lighting Design Rupert Murray
Music Composed and Performed by Ellen Cranitch & Helene Montague
Production Manager Marie Breen
Stage Manager Aisling Mooney
Assistant Stage Manager Gemma Reeves
Set Construction Frank Gleeson
Costume Supervisor Monica Ennis
Production Technician Barry Conway
Prop Maker Gabby Dowling
Hair and make-up Patsey Giles
Photographs Amelia Stein & Colm Hogan
Administrative consultant Martin Fahy
Programme Note Fergus Linehan


by Sophocles
in a version By Frank Mc Guinness

‘After a war  everything changes. Destinies are decided, families split forever, for the most savage acts are committed in retaliation. Electra mourns alone for her murdered father and she will be revenged’. 

Irish Premiere

Project Arts Centre, Space Upstairs

Servant Brian Mc Grath
Orestes Pat Kinevane
Electra Jane Brennan
Chorus Lise-Ann Mc Laughlin
Chrysothemis Fionnuala Murphy
Clytemnestra Catherine Byrne
Aegisthus Peter Holmes

Creative team
Director Frank Mc Guinness
Set Designer Robert Ballagh
Costume Designer Joan Bergin
Lighting Design Conleth White
Photography Amelia Stein
Stage Manager Audrey King
Assistant Stage Manager Gemma Reeves
Production Manager Marie Tierney
Set Construction TPS
Ladies Dresses Janet O’Leary
Programme Note Catriona Crowe


Freda Flynn
Ingrid Craigie
John P. Dwyer
Pat Moylan
Noel Pearson
Dublin City Council
John McColgan
Moya Doherty
Jim Sheridan
Gay and Irene Moloney
Maurice Cassidy
Bill and Denise Whelan
Robert and Lillian Chambers
Eamon Dunphy
Richard Nash
The Porter House
Claudia Carroll
Pauline McLynn
Lynn Cahill
Frank McCusker
Daphne Carroll
Pauline Flanagan
Pat McKenna
Eithne Healy
Colm Toibín
Brian Friel
Tom Murphy
Frank McGuinness
Pat O’Byrne


Irish Times Theatre Awards
2003 – Winner Best Costume Design , Monica Frawley
2004 – Nomination Best Actress, Ingrid Craigie
2005 – Winner Best Lighting Design Paul Keogan
Nominated Best Set Design Paul Keogan
2006 – Winner Best Set Design Sabine D’Argent
Nomination Best Actress Alison Mckenna
2010 – Winner Best Set Design, Monica Frawley

b*spoke Associates

Martin Fahy
Nicole Mckenna
Amelia Stein
Longroad Productions
Gerry Lundberg PR

Press Quotes On b*spoke productions

b*spoke theatre company“The very best talents in contemporary Irish Theatre” – IRISH INDEPENDENT

Honor – brilliantly played by Barbara Brennan. An excellent play, itreally is sensational! – MAXI- RTE
‘A hugely enjoyable production” – IRISH MAIL ON SUNDAY

“The play is given a splendid production by b*spoke – a terrific evenings theatre”

“Tact, intelligence, clarity and utter commitment” – IRISH TIMES

“Robust performances from a strong female cast” – SUNDAY BUSINESS POST

“This feisty comedy-without-manners, a delight… promises laughs at a rate of knots”

“All three actresses are flawless. b*spoke’s Boston Marriage is one of those rare nights out of which no theatregoer should deprive themselves.”

“This is theatre at its purest and best played with dazzling perfection” – SUNDAY INDEPENDENT