“The reason the play is seen through the eyes of children is that I wanted to show the absurdity of sectarianism. And I thought the best way to do that was through the innocence of children.” – Owen McCafferty
Owen McCafferty’s play Mojo Mickybo is about a friendship between two boys growing up in Belfast – a friendship that at first is immune to the sectarian violence taking place around them, but which nonetheless is ultimately destroyed by it.
The play’s action is set in Belfast over the summer of 1970. Mojo and his mate Mickybo are two nine-year-old boys from opposing sides of the sectarian divide. They are ‘thick as two small thieves’, playing headers, being mouthy, building huts, and spitting from cinema balconies. The action is played as theatrical flashback, often inhabiting a world of fantasy, such as re-enacting their favourite film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The two performers constantly slip in and out of roles and imaginary worlds, with the violence of The Troubles only obliquely impacting on them – until finally their friendship is destroyed in a way that they only later come to understand.
This is pure storytelling with Bruiser’s dynamic physicality, providing opportunity for a new generation of theatre-goers to experience Belfast’s most treasured, living playwright, and to consider that Mojo and Mickybo represent the division of a benighted country that has spent a century at war with itself.
Under the meticulous direction of Lisa May, Bruiser Theatre company is proud to showcase both Northern Ireland’s talent and complex history through this critically acclaimed production. Winner of ‘Best Ensemble’ and Nominated for ‘Best Director’ at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards, 2022, Mojo Mickybo has received outstanding audience feedback and critical acclaim across the board.
Bruiser Theatre brings Mojo Mickybo, written by Owen McCafferty and directed by Lisa May, to Ballina Arts Centre on Saturday, 20th May at 8pm. Tickets: €18 / €16. Contains strong language.