Coolatully

by Fiona Doyle

28 October – 22 November 2014

“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.”

The World Premiere of the winner of the 2014 Papatango Prize

★★★★★ Five Stars, The Irish World
★★★★ Four Stars, The Irish Post

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 will be published by Nick Hern Books.

About The Playwright Fiona Doyle

Playwright Fiona Doyle, 35, lives in County Kerry, Ireland. Coolatully will be her first full production. In 2013, her play So Gay won Play for the Nation’s Youth. Her play Abigail was longlisted for the 2013 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and her play Deluge won the 2014 Eamon Keane Full-length Play Award. Fiona holds a first-class degree in Drama and Theatre Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London, and completed the John Burgess Playwriting Course, going on to study on a scholarship with playwrights David Spencer and John Von Düffel at the Universität der Künste, Berlin.
Fiona says that “to have won the Papatango New Writing Prize is obviously amazing. It’s a massive step for any emerging writer and I’m so grateful to Papatango for choosing the play and for their faith in its potential”.

About The Director David Mercatali

Director David Mercatali returns to the Finborough Theatre where he directed the world premiere of Anders Lustgarten’s Black Jesus. He won a 2013 Fringe First for his production of Philip Ridley's Dark Vanilla Jungle (which transferred to the Soho Theatre in 2014) and was nominated for the Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer Award for his production of Tender Napalm in 2011. Other theatre includes the world premiere of Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Ajax, Johnny Got His Gun and Feathers in the Snow (Southwark Playhouse), Sochi 2014 (Hope Theatre), Someone to Blame (King's Head Theatre), Moonfleece (Riverside Studios and Tour), People's Day (Pleasance Theatre), Runners the Return (Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival), Weights and Paint Over (Blue Elephant Theatre). He is the Associate Director at Southwark Playhouse.

About Papatango

Papatango was founded by Matt Roberts, George Turvey and Sam Donovan in 2007, who were joined by Chris Foxon in 2012. Papatango’s patrons include Howard Davies, David Suchet, Zoe Wanamaker and Andrew Welch. Papatango’s Artistic Advisors include Colin Barr, Matt Charman, Tamara Harvey, Catherine Johnson, Con O'Neill and Tanya Tillett.

Papatango have produced or developed new plays in venues including the Tristan Bates Theatre, the Old Red Lion Theatre, the Finborough Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and the Pleasance London.

Our discoveries have won Critics’ Circle, OffWestEnd and National Theatre Awards, and transferred worldwide.

In 2013, the position of Resident Playwright was launched through a BBC Theatre Fellowship.

The company's mission is to find the best and brightest new talent in the UK with an absolute commitment to bringing this work to the stage. Since then, Papatango have produced seventeen pieces of new writing in venues including the Bristol Old Vic, the Tristan Bates Theatre, the Old Red Lion Theatre and the Pleasance London. 2009 saw the launch of their first Papatango New Writing Prize. Since 2011, the Papatango New Writing Prize has been in association with the Finborough Theatre.

Previous prize-winners include Dominic Mitchell, who in 2014 won a BAFTA for his BBC series In The Flesh, having been discovered and championed by Papatango who produced his debut play at the Tristan Bates Theatre. Other winners include Dawn King’s Foxfinder, which was one of The Independent’s Top 5 Plays of the Year, won the OffWestEnd Award for Most Promising Playwright and was nominated for OffWestEnd Awards for Best New Play and Best Male Performance. Dawn went on to win a prestigious Pearson Bursary and last year received the Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright Award for Foxfinder. Dawn has had her second play, Ciphers, tour recently with the renowned Out of Joint theatre company, and Foxfinder has transferred to Sweden, Greece, Germany, Iceland, the USA and Australia. Luke Owen, winner in 2013 for Unscorched, was an unrepresented copy-writer with no professional experience but who is now represented by United Agents with the prospect of a strong career ahead of him. Louise Monaghan, the writer of the 2012 winning play, Pack, was commissioned by the BBC, while the runner-up in 2012, Tom Morton-Smith, will see his next play Oppenheimer premiere with the Royal Shakespeare Company this summer.

The Press on Coolatully

★★★★★ Five Stars, The Irish World
★★★★ Four Stars, The Irish Post
“Previous winners of the Papatango prize have all prospered and, with 15 staged readings of new plays slotted in between performances of Coolatully, the Finborough is fast threatening to rival the Royal Court as a fervent champion of original work.” Michael Billington, The Guardian
“Coolatully is the latest winner of the Papatango New Writing Prize. Launched in 2009, the prize boasts Dawn King’s Foxfinder and Luke Owen’s Unscorched among its impressive list of previous winners. Like those plays, Fiona Doyle’s debut full-length play is undeniably impressive. She uses the fictional town of its title to paint a devastating bleak portrait of the very real human cost of seemingly terminal socio-economic decline in modern day Ireland.” Adam Foster, A Younger Theatre
“The winner of this year’s Papatango new writing prize is further proof of the high quality of the competition that produced Dawn King’s dazzling Foxfinder.” Honour Bayes, The Stage
“A promising debut that provides further vindication for Papatango as a important new writing prize.” Adam Foster, A Younger Theatre“Bold and strong writing from Doyle.” James Martin, The Irish Post

“Her play is this year's Papatango prize-winner - the competition, which unearthed Dawn King's Foxfinder, has a good six-year track record - and she deserves it.” Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage

“With its echoes of Brian Friel and Conor McPherson’s The Weir, this prizewinning play paints a plausible picture of the modern Celtic twilight.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Doyle’s dialogue is instinctive, her characters, distinctive, and her motifs, ripe with meaning.” Matt Trueman, Time Out

“Doyle’s play tells us, very touchingly, what it is like to be young in rural Ireland today and pins down vividly the tendency to romanticise the past and future to make up for the disquieting present.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“A poignant and engaging piece of work with more moments of humour than one might expect from its subject matter.” David Hennessy, The Irish World

“How rich the writing, how meticulous and atmospheric the production, or how outstanding the acting.” Matt Trueman, Time Out

“Doyle’s gift for contemporary characterisation is acutely observed.” There Ought To Be Clowns

“The cast are all terrific.” Veronika Lee, The Arts Desk

“David Mercatali’s production is just as fine: easily designed by Max Dorey, and performed with both sizzle and lyricism by a strong cast.” Matt Trueman, Time Out

“David Mercatali’s production is acted with utter conviction by Kerr Logan as the moody Kilian, Yolanda Kettle as the fugitive nurse, Charlie de Bromhead as the ex-jailbird and Eric Richard as the jaundiced Jimmy.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“It’s perfectly cast...Kerr Logan’s Killian a model of frustrated paralysis, the ties to the old country, his country, not so easily sundered; Yolanda Kettle brings an almost harsh level of determination to the spiky Eilish; and Charlie de Bromhead’s Paudie crackles with stubbly ne’er-do-well charisma.” There Ought To Be Clowns

“There are some lovely performances. Kerr Logan - a star in the making - as the troubled Killian mixes just the right amount of heroic potential with scared, ‘local boy’ indolence.” Honour Bayes, The Stage

“Performances are top notch and with the production resting squarely on the shoulders of Kerr Logan, known from Game of Thrones and London Irish, who is in every scene, the young actor doesn’t disappoint.” David Hennessy, The Irish World

“Kerr Logan's Kilian...has the Leonardo DiCaprio-style good looks of a fallen idol.” Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage

“Kerr Logan commands as Kieran, so loaded with fear and frustration.” Matt Trueman, Time Out

“Kerr Logan’s powerful, understated turn as Kilian catches the eye.” Lloyd Evans, The Spectator

“Kerr Logan is excellent...fantastically watchable.” Adam Foster, A Younger Theatre

“Eric Richard plays with a fine blend of arthritic vigour, rage and galloping nostalgia.” Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage

“The real star turn comes from stalwart of the stage and screen Eric Richard, who plays Jim with a wonderful and touching sensitivity. The variety in his performance is something quite magical to watch.” Anna Forsyth, Everything Theatre

“Expertly played by Eric Richard.” James Martin, The Irish Post

“Jimmy, the sweet-natured curmudgeon, is performed with spiky tenderness by Eric Richard, who played a sergeant in The Bill for about a thousand years.” Lloyd Evans, The Spectator

“Eric Richard, known for his many years on The Bill, is funny and endearing as Jimmy.” David Hennessy, The Irish World

“Yolanda Kettle is winning as Eilish, breezy but brittle.” Matt Trueman, Time Out

“Yolanda Kettle as the love interest who is determined to get out sparks and fizzes beautifully.” Honour Bayes, The Stage

“David Mercatali, who directed the intense drama Black Jesus by Anders Lustgarten [at the Finborough Theatre], creates a taut production with an outstanding cast.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

“Designer Max Dorey effectively creates the domestic spaces of Jim’s house and Killian’s family pub.” Anna Forsyth, Everything Theatre

“Christopher Nairne’s excellent lighting.” Alex Ramon, The Public Reviews

The Press on the 2013 Papatango Prize Winner - Unscorched by Luke Owen

★★★★ Four Stars The Guardian
★★★★ Four Stars WhatsOnStage
★★★★ Four Stars, Exeunt
★★★★ Four Stars, One Stop Arts
“A blessedly unsensational play on a deeply serious subject.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“This impressive debut… Owen is a writer of huge promise.” Dominic Maxwell, The Times

“An amazing debut to a writing career.” WhatsOnStage

The Press on the 2012 Papatango Prize Winner - Pack by Louise Monaghan

★★★★★ Five Stars The Good Review
★★★★ Four Stars The Guardian
★★★★ Four Stars WhatsOnStage
★★★★ Four Stars The Public Reviews
“Knocks spots off much of the new writing I have seen.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“This fantastic production will hopefully ensure Monaghan a future life on the London stage.” WhatsOnStage

The Press on the 2011 Papatango Prize Winner - Foxfinder by Dawn King

Winner, 2013 Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright Award
Winner, 2011 Off West Award for Most Promising Playwright
Winner, 2011 Critics’ Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award for director Blanche McIntyre
★★★★★ Five Stars WhatsOnStage
★★★★ Four Stars The Telegraph
★★★★ Four Stars The Guardian
★★★★ Four Stars The Independent
★★★★ Four Stars Evening Standard
★★★★ Four Stars Time Out

"Shines out like a beacon...The most compelling new work I have seen this year.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Spell-binding…this play [will be] lodged in one’s mind forever.” Paul Taylor, The Independent

“A bold and often brilliant stab at something new.” Dominic Maxwell, The Times

“Rich, rare and deeply unsettling...a thrillingly original piece of writing.” Time Out

Friday 31 October After The Show

Join Papatango for a free discussion about new writing following the opening of Coolatully. Admission free with a paid ticket for that evening's performance.

A panel including Dominic Mitchell, the first Papatango New Writing Prize-winner who this year received a BAFTA for the BBC sensation In The Flesh, Louise Monaghan, 2012 Prize-winner, and Fiona Doyle, the 2014 Prize-winner and author of Coolatully, will be in conversation about new writing, the play, and anything you'd like to ask.

28 October – 22 November 2014

Tickets and Times

Tuesday 7:30pm
Wednesday 7:30pm
Thursday 7:30pm
Friday 7:30pm
Saturday 3:00pm (from 8 November 2014)
7:30pm
Sunday 3:00pm

Approximately 100 minutes, no interval