Meat by Neil O’Sullivan

Meat Featured Image

[box type=”shadow”]”Not since Martin McDonagh’s The Pillow Man has an Irish writer dealt so successfully with such dark materials…This production had everything – high flown language, complex characters, an inventive set and sound design, and a well thought out plot… The cast were superb, while Donal Gallagher directed with great authority”

Irish Examiner


Are you tender, fragile perhaps? Then be warned. The tale that follows contains scenes of murder, betrayal, adultery, bisexuality, fellatio, castration, prostitution, pornography, male, female and vegetable sodomy and at least six varieties of drug abuse…
Not forgetting the psychological torture, epic battle of sexual wits, nudity, poverty, gambling, corruption, embezzlement, political scandal, cannibalism, necrophilia, organized crime and group sex.”

Victorian melodrama meets Quentin Tarantino; – at turns clever, witty and gruesome, Meat is a beautiful, bizarre, expedition into the darkest recesses of the human psyche.


meat-smCast: Mark O’Brien, Gerrie O’Grady and Cormac Costello
Dramaturg: Medb Lambert
Set Design: Medb Lambert & Olan Wrynn
Lighting: Kath Geraghty
Sound: Cormac O’Connor
Costume: Lisa Zagone
SM/AD: Kathie Rottger
Director: Donal Gallagher

Co produced with Granary Theatre – Premiered at Cork Midsummer Festival, June 2007.

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…Underneath all these gory trimmings lies a plot as coherent as the neatly functional set by Olan Wrynn and Medb Lambert… The constable is in love with the prostitute who marries the doctor; a lamp post, a chaise longue with a very important bolster, a trapdoor and a winding staircase are what might be called the other characters, having as lively and important a presence under Donal Gallagher’s gleeful direction as any props might desire. Too well controlled to be merely a romping parody, the play’s exaggerations are managed convincingly by the small cast, while Cormac O’Connor’s sound and Lisa Zagone’s costumes complete the evocation of Grand Guignol.

Mary Leland Irish Times Tue June 26th 2007


“… O’Sullivan has a sure sense of the subversive… a tightly plotted drama of Dickensian complexity.

There is plenty of comedy, and enough sex and violence to carry an entire television series, let alone a play. Prostitution, vegetable sodomy and cannibalism are not necessarily the most likely subjects for a comic writer to engage with but O’Sullivan tackles them with great panache and wit. Not since Martin McDonagh’s The Pillow Man has an Irish writer dealt so successfully with such dark materials.
Director Donal Gallagher has risen admirably to the challenge with Meat. Mark O’Brien, Gerrie O’Grady and Cormac Costello get everything right.
The set by Olan Wrynn is ingenious, Cormac O’Connor’s sound design is up to his usual high standard, and the lighting and costumes by Kath Gerraghty and Lisa Zagone respectively are a perfect fit. This is a production that will have a life beyond its festival run.
Irish Examiner Mon 25th June 2007 Marc O’Sullivan




[box type=”shadow”] One of the better plays that premiered this year was Neil O’Sullivan’s Meat at the Granary Theatre. Set in 19th century London, Meat featured the kind of gratuitous cannibalism and weird sex for which the Victorians seemingly had an insatiable appetite. This production had everything – high flown language, complex characters, an inventive set and sound design, and a well thought out plot – to get a theatre audience on side. The cast Mark O’Brien, Gerrie O’Grady and Cormac Costello – were superb, while Donal Gallagher directed with great authority.
Irish Examiner Tue 3rd July 2007 [/box]

[box type=”shadow”]Meat is a macabre tale of murder most foul.
Actually make that multiple murders, and make them foul and bestial, and make the whole thing sexed up to the nines, in this story among the denizens of a particularly foggy London of 1890.
…No, dear hearts, this is not one for the kiddies. 
Writer Neil O’Sullivan,…has unleashed a bloody melodrama that reeks of sex and death.
Director Donal Gallagher has heightened the comedic qualities of the gothic violence and gleefully puts the play through its sticky-as-honey paces.
Designers Olan Wrynn and Medb Lambert have come up with an evocative design… Cormac O’Connor’s soundscape is full of atmospheric organ chimes and screeches from the mist.
In Gerrie O’Grady, the production boasts a top drawer performance. What could have been a wink-wink performance of lusty delights, is instead a full-on blast that flickers lustily between flirting and deadly menace.
Cormac Costello as the mad scientist goes beyond vaudevillian and into the finger-rubbing villainous to become quite a nasty piece of work.
Meat is a well-structured play hatched out of a feverish imagination.
Evening Echo Mon 25th June 2007 Liam Heylin [/box]

[box type=”shadow”]A wonderfully acted romp by a team like a comedia del a’rte troupe…
fantastic, performances and fabulous use of set...
RTE Radio 1 The Eleventh Hour. [/box]

[box type=”shadow”]A deliciously Ghoulish production…
Evening Echo 3/1/2008 [/box]



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