by Fiona Doyle (2014, Prize Winner)
Directed by David Mercatali. Designed by Max Dorey. Lighting by Chris Nairne. Sound by Max Pappenheim. Casting by Emily Jones
Cast: Charlie de Bromhead. Yolanda Kettle. Kerr Logan. Eric Richard.
“Life isn’t easy Kilian Óg. It tests us. Always has, always will. And not everyone gets a pass. Leave Coolatully boy. Before it’s too late.”
Kilian was once Coolatully’s pride and joy, its champion on the hurling field. Now the village can’t muster a team, the country’s shutting down, and Eilish wants to leave for a new life across the ocean. And this is 2014. As Irish history repeats itself, Kilian must confront the demons of the past and decide whether to stay or go forever.
The winner of the sixth Papatango New Writing Prize, Coolatully shines a light on modern rural Ireland, asking whether a generation can be saved.
Since the country’s plunge into recession, Ireland has experienced levels of emigration unparalleled in Europe, with young men particularly affected. Lyrical, compassionate and urgent, Fiona Doyle’s first play is an astonishing insight into the links between the economy, masculinity and society in the modern world.
Coolatully was chosen as winner of the Papatango New Writing Prize from more than 500 entries by a panel including the four members of Papatango – George Turvey, Matt Roberts, Sam Donovan and Chris Foxon – together with Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre. All scripts were judged anonymously. The script was published by Nick Hern Books.
★★★★★ Five Stars, The Irish World
★★★★ Four Stars, Exeunt
★★★★ Four Stars, The Irish Post
“Previous winners of the Papatango prize have all prospered… fast threatening to rival the Royal Court as a fervent champion of original work.” Michael Billington, The Guardian
“Doyle has written an expressive and memorable play, and Papatango has given it as strong a production as you could possibly ask for.” Stewart Pringle, Exeunt
“Doyle is in danger of being snapped up by the Beeb…Hopefully she’ll remember the stage.” Lloyd Evans, The Spectator
“Further proof of the high quality of the competition.” Honour Bayes, The Stage
“A promising debut that provides further vindication for Papatango as an important new writing prize.” Adam Foster, A Younger Theatre
“Poignant and engaging.” David Hennessy, The Irish World
“How rich the writing, how meticulous and atmospheric the production, how outstanding the acting.” Matt Trueman, Time Out
“Bold and strong writing…There seems to be a real buzz building around Coolatully… comparisons of another show which debuted above a pub in London back in 1997 – McPherson’s The Weir – may not be a million miles off.” James Martin, The Irish Post
“It’s surprising, and fascinating, to hear a female voice raised in this company of cacophonous Celts.” Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage
“The dialogue lilts and crackles with skill.” Stewart Pringle, Exeunt
“Doyle’s most obvious skills lie in character and atmosphere. She’s certainly a talent.” Lloyd Evans, The Spectator
“Doyle’s play tells us, very touchingly, what it is like to be young in rural Ireland today.” Michael Billington, The Guardian
“Doyle’s dialogue is instinctive, her characters distinctive and her motifs ripe with meaning.” Matt Trueman, Time Out