Druid Debuts 2024

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Druid Debut 1 | Denouement by John Morton | Thu 25 July, 11am
Druid Debut 2 | Unnerved by Róisín Coyle | Fri 26 July, 11am
Druid Debut 3 | We End Up Breathing Rust by Sebastian Schlecht | Fri 26 July, 3pm

Druid Debuts is our annual series of rehearsed readings of new plays which have been submitted through Druid’s New Writing programme. This year's three plays were selected from over 550 submissions.

Further detail of directors, cast and more will be announced shortly.

Denouement by John Morton

Thu 25 July, 11am

Ireland, 2048. Edel and Liam have been married for 37 years. They live in a small isolated farmhouse at the foot of a mountain. The world is ending and we meet them in their final hour of life before everything is wiped out entirely. Their children have grown up and moved away and now they live together, alone. They take drugs, say goodbye to old friends and former lovers, air old grievances, argue, bicker and ultimately, try to reconcile their relationship. They will do this until the end of time.

John Morton is an actor, writer and maker of film and theatre. He is the writer of the critically acclaimed TV series Dead Still, for which he won an Edgar Award for Best TV Episode Teleplay and was nominated for an IFTA. His screenwriting credits include Seanie & Flo (Deadpan Pictures), Kathleen (Paradox Pictures) and Two Cats (Mycrofilms). His stage writing credits include Taboo, War Of Attrition and an adaptation of Thomas Kilroy's novel The Big Chapel (Best Production nominee at the Irish Times Theatre Awards). He is a founding member of Devious Theatre in Kilkenny and White Label in Dublin.

Unnerved by Róisín Coyle

Fri 26 July, 11am

Eleanor is married to Paul and together they run a newly opened coffee shop. She befriends experienced mother Sarah and single mother Paula through a breastfeeding group. Paula is struggling with strange happenings in her home: mysterious sounds through the baby monitor and unexplained wet patches around the apartment. Together, the group try to solve the mystery. Unnerved is an exploration of both the wonder and horror of motherhood: how our understanding of bodies and mortality changes, how the impossible and miraculous become everyday, how the veil of theory reveals the reality of human biology.

Róisín Coyle started her writing career in the Royal Court’s Young Writers Programme in 2008 and has had several plays produced. She took part in the Abbey Theatre’s New Playwrights Programme and received funding from their Greenlight Fund. Her work has been chosen for the New Theatre's Path to the Stage, longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize and shortlisted for the PJ O’Connor Award. Her last play, Flicker, was also chosen as a Druid Debut in 2021. Her work has been published by Irish Playography, Sonder magazine and Banshee. She was awarded a place on the Axis Assemble Programme and given the Arts Council's Agility Award to develop this play.

We End Up Breathing Rust by Sebastian Schlecht

Fri 26 July, 3pm

Shortlisted as one of the top 100 applicants for the ‘Mission Mars Alpha’ reality TV project, Becci faces the prospect of leaving Earth forever with no chance of return. To escape the meaninglessness of her life, she is willing to sacrifice everything, including her job, relationship with partner Jasper, and regular visits to her anxious mother. However, when she is rejected for the mission, her world crumbles. Becci is left on earth with all the people she told she would leave forever without hesitation.

Sebastian Schlecht is a German writer. In 2022, he graduated from UCD with an MA in Writing for Stage & Screen. In the same year, his work was presented at the Scene + Heard Festival at Smock Alley Theatre. His first play Kennel premiered at the theaterforum kreuzberg in Berlin in 2014. In addition to his work for the stage, Sebastian has written several episodes for the popular German crime series SOKO Potsdam as well as for the long-running audio drama series Bibi Blocksberg. In We End Up Breathing Rust, Sebastian explores what people are willing to sacrifice in order to find meaning.

Druid Debuts

Druid Debuts offers a unique opportunity to experience brand new plays fresh off the page and to share an open discussion with the writer, director and cast.

Each summer, the selected playwrights are provided with professional support, a director, cast and space in which to develop their script to a rehearsed reading level. After the reading, audience feedback is invited as a means of further development.

Many previous Druid Debuts have become full Druid productions such as Furniture by Sonya Kelly, Shelter by Cristín Kehoe, Helen and I by Meadhbh McHugh, Be Infants in Evil by Brian Martin and My Brilliant Divorce by Geraldine Aron.

Presented as part of Galway International Arts Festival 2024.

Image: Emilija Jefremova


Debut 1 - Denouement

  • Writer John Morton
  • Director Sarah Baxter
  • Cast Anna Healy, Sean Kearns, Áine Ní Laoghaire, Cathal Ryan
  • Stage Manager Meabh Crowe

Debut 2 - Unnerved

  • Writer Róisín Coyle
  • Director Emily Foran
  • Cast Jessica Dunne Perkins, Maeve Fitzgerald, Sarah Morris, Fionn Ó Loingsigh
  • Stage Manager Meabh Crowe

Debut 3 - We End Up Breathing Rust

  • Writer Sebastian Schlecht
  • Director Shane Dempsey
  • Cast Clare Barrett, Anna Healy, Mark Huberman, Bláithín Mac Gabhann, Robbie O’Connor, Chloe O’Reilly
  • Stage Manager Meabh Crowe