©2020 John McCarthy


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 directing In One Eye, Out The Other (Cccahoots, First Fortnight festival), acting in Blackwater Babble (Brokencrow, national tour) and writing WHALE, with a new play in development at the Abbey Theatre in April. 

I recently appeared in 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 co-founder of Hammergrin. 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 (Tadhg Hickey, 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


In One Eye and Out the Other

January 2020

Director and dramaturg of Tadhg Hickey's debut solo show, for the Dublin Fringe Festival and a national tour 2020. Currently part of First Fortnight at Smock Alley

Blackwater Babble

January 2020

Performing in BrokenCrow Theatre Company's national tour of Ronan Fitzgibbon's play. In Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford and Cork

We're Falling on Your Face

Spring 2020

Development showing of a new project collaboration with Damian Punch .

Cork Opera House and UCC Theatre artist in residence 2019/20

2019 & 2020

Developing WHALE with theatre, dance and music artists through late 2019 and 2020