by David Ireland
As recommended by Michael: "'You are the new Chekhov. You're better than Chekhov. You're Chekhov with jokes. Real jokes, not Russian jokes.'
Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Jay Conway is in London to star in a new play about a Northern Irish terrorist and is meeting the director Leigh and playwright Ruth for drinks the night before rehearsals begins. Fearless in its targets, this laugh out-loud black comedy is full of jaw droppingly hilarious lines satirising everything from alcoholics anonymous, #MeToo and how Irish-Americans romanticise the 'old country' without knowing much about it, to the equally patronising ignorance of the English towards Norther Ireland."
Would you mind if I asked you a troubling question?
Jay is the Oscar-winning actor taking the lead in a new play that connects with his Irish roots. Leigh is the ambitious director who will do anything to get noticed. Ruth is the Northern Irish playwright whose voice must be heard.
The stage is set for great success, but when the three meet to discuss the play's challenges and provocations, a line is crossed and the heated discussion quickly escalates to a violent climax. Exploring consent, abuses of power and the confusions of cultural identity, Ulster American is confrontational, brutally funny and not for the faint of heart.
David Ireland's recent plays include Cyprus Avenue which won the James Tait Black Award 2017 and Best Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017. This edition is published to coincide with the world premiere at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in summer 2018.