©2019 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.

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 --- Blackwater Babble (BrokenCrow), Bluetooth (Everyman), The Gardener (Graffiti) and in The School (RTE, 2017).

In 2018 I was a recipient of an Arts Council Theatre Bursary for play- writing and awarded a Documentation Bursary from Arts in Education. I'm 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 was shortlisted for the Papatango New Play-writing Prize 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), 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



November 3

Reading Conor Hanratty's translation of Puccini’s Tosca, the final instalment in the 2019 Opera Concert Series, presented by Cork Opera House

Cork Opera House and UCC Theatre artist in residence 2019

November 2019

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

This  Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing

September - October

Performing in Graffiti Theatre Company's  new show, the Irish premier of Finnegan Kruckemeyer's play.

In One Eye and Out the Other

Late 2019

Director and dramaturg of Tadhg Hickey's debut solo show, for the Dublin Fringe Festival and a national tour 2020 TBA