John McCarthy JA2_7745-2.JPG
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writer - actor - director

I am a playwright, performer & director and currently in residence as Theatre Artist at Cork Opera House and University College Cork.

2020: Currently working on new practice with the support of a Theatre Bursary grant from the Arts Council and researching a new project with Cork City Council funding and the support of the Everyman.

I recently appeared in Blackwater Babble (Brokencrow), This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (Graffiti Theatre), The Big Chapel X (Asylum, Kilkenny Arts Festival), Evening Train (Everyman and Rosa Productions), The Lonesome West (Everyman) --- nominated Best Supporting Actor at the Irish Theatre Awards --- Bluetooth (Everyman) and in The School (RTE, 2017).

I've been a recipient of an Arts Council Theatre Bursary for play-writing, a mentor on the Young Playwrights Programme with Fighting Words Cork, and creator of Hammergrin's In Darkness Vast. I wrote Stage Irish, which won the Writers Guild of Great Britain Playwrights Progress Award 2014 and co-wrote Hollander, nominated Best Production at the Irish Theatre Awards.

Recent directing includes In One Eye, Out the Other (Cccahoots, Dublin Fringe Festival and First Fortnight Festival), WHALE (Cork Opera House, Midsummer Festival), Learning How to Leave the World (UCC MA show 2019) and Don't Smile Til Christmas (Activate 2018).


what I'm up to


The Seafarer

31 Oct

Directing The Seafarer by Conor McPherson at the Everyman, as part of the 'Play it by Ear' season

In One Eye and Out the Other

06 Nov - 07 Nov

Director and dramaturg of Tadhg Hickey's debut solo show, now on at the Everyman


Sep - Dec 2020

Researching and writing a new project with Cork City Council support and with the support of the Everyman.

In Darkness Vast

Writing and producing the  Sci-Fi audiodrama

Currently working on season three of this series, approaching 100,000 listens. It's available on Spotify, iTunes and all podcast platforms.

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©2020 John McCarthy