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Theatre: Laurence Clark’s An Irresponsible Father’s Guide to Parenting at Galway Theatre Festival

8 - 11 May 2019 (Past)

O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, National University of Ireland, Galway

This May NoRopes Theatre Company and producer Mairéad Folan present the Irish premiere of An Irresponsible Father’s Guide to Parenting by UK playwright/performer Laurence Clark.

Growing up Laurence never saw dads with cerebral palsy; which made him think he’d never be a parent himself. Besides, the only thing he’d ever managed to look after was a cactus, and even that died from dehydration. But then his future wife says he’d better be prepared for the fact she wants babies… which is a pretty strong opening line.

Putting the audience in the driver seat, An Irresponsible Father’s Guide to Parenting gives a comic, brutally honest and charming account of what it’s really like to be a disabled parent. It both challenges and engages and has the potential to reach new audiences by exploring the commonality and differences in the experiences of disabled and non-disabled fathers. If Laurence is an irresponsible father then it is nothing to do with being disabled! It is probably more to do with balancing his wife’s crutches on his son’s baby walker to make him look like a Dalek! A hilarious, moving and interactive piece that asks some tough questions about society and the perceptions that we have on those who do not follow societal norms.

Mairéad says, “An Irresponsible Father’s Guide to Parenting was the highlight of my 2018 Edinburgh Fringe experience. Laurence has the brilliant ability of balancing difficult issues and comedy banter while still maintaining the gravity behind these topics. I immediately thought of Galway Theatre Festival audiences as the perfect Irish audience archetype to appreciate this entertaining production to its fullest. It also can be said that by having An
Irresponsible Father’s Guide to Parenting as part of the 2019 festival programme, we will certainly begin to see a body of work on our stages that is curated without prejudice that gives a robust insight into all life in Ireland”.

Laurence continues, “I’m really looking forward to bring An Irresponsible Father’s Guide to Parenting to Galway Theatre Festival and reassuring more parents that someone is worse than them at parenting!”

O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, National University of Ireland, Galway
Performances Wednesday 8th – Saturday 11th May at 7pm
Ticket prices: €14/12
Early Bird Ticket price: €8
Box Office: 091 569777 | www.galwaytheatrefestival.com

Director: Matt Holt
Performer/Playwright: Laurence Clark
Producer: Mairéad Folan
Technican: Matt Kilp

An Irresponsible Father’s Guide to Parenting is supported by the British Council and Galway City Council Arts Office.

Mairéad Folan is the Artistic Director of Galway-based theatre company NoRopes. She has been a bilingual freelance theatre practitioner since 2005. She is a member of the Irish language National Theatre’s, Taibhdhearc na
Gaillimhe, Board of Directors and a founding member of Theatre57. Credits as NoRopes Producer: Wake, Meet Luke (Dublin/Galway 2018 tour), Flash Theatre – a 24 hr event, Wasted and The Open Couple.

NoRopes was founded in 2015. Its aim is to challenge our understanding of societal boundaries through the production of innovative and little known dramatic works. This is to make people think outside the box over societal issues. Each project is stimulated by a specific community’s experience of disempowerment and struggle, and the desire for creative solutions and capacity-building through egalitarian means. Previous NoRopes productions
include The Open Couple by Dario Fo and Franca Rame, the Irish premiere of Wasted by Kate Tempest, Mairéad’s debut as playwright, Meet Luke and the most recent sold out world premiere of Wake by Deirdre Sullivan.

“…one of Galway’s brightest lights…” Little John Nee

Laurence Clark is a writer and performer based in the UK. His first play, Cured about a group of young disabled people who rebel whilst on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, won an Unlimited R&D commission and a rehearsed reading took place on 12 November.2018 at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre. He has also completed Channel 4’s Commissioner Mentoring Scheme and a placement in the Hollyoaks script department. He was selected for the BBC Class Act scheme to showcase disabled actors. He has also written and performed in his first short film, Tick Box for 104 Films which premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017. Together with Matt Holt, he was commissioned by Channel 4 to write a sitcom pilot called Intolerable which they’re now developing with Objective Fiction. He was awarded Shortlist Magazine’s Funniest New Comedian, came runner-up in the Amused Moose Edinburgh Laughter Awards and performs and writes sketches for Comedy Collective Abnormally Funny People.


Galway Theatre Festival
Laurence Clark
Mairéad Folan
NoRopes Theatre Company