‘The themes are kind of grown-up: love and loss and death and grief and the compromises you make in your life.’ Above, Aislín McGuckin and Raymond Scannell in Famished Castle

‘It’s a comedy. But it’s a really sad comedy,” says Hilary Fannin of her new play, Famished Castle. “The first scene I wrote was about a woman goin(...)

‘This would feel like a more stinging bourgeois critique if Angie and Nat weren’t themselves trading notes on German breakfasts, sharing partridge soup and having a banal affair’

Famished Castle Pavilion Theatre, Dublin **An aging man, under the hard frost of dementia, barely registers anyone around him. A middle-aged mother cu(...)

‘Christmas: love it or loathe it, we pretty much know that if we have the wherewithal, it’s incumbent on us to step up to the mark and get on with it at the first tinkle of Jingle Bells.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

So, it’s happening. Christmas is about to crash down, like a sad drunk into a decorative bay tree. If we’re lucky and fate has left us off the (...)

The cheque was eagerly anticipated, but the possibility of having a play produced was the real prize

Years ago, around the start of the millennium, I won an award. The award was for playwriting and consisted of a cheque and a kind of vial of hope that(...)

Another year bites the dust. I’ll be 52 in a couple of days. With the grace that falls like gentle rain on each passing year, I have finally learned t(...)

‘A land of magical mists, sideways rain and copious Starbucks’ Dear (...)

Swimming through scented post this morning, are we? Skidding over crimson envelopes and cellophane-wrapped roses in your hurry to let the cat out?

Swimming through scented post this morning, are we? Skidding over crimson-coloured envelopes and cellophane-wrapped roses in your hurry to let (...)

“I read it while wiping Yuletide entrails (squashed gnome, turkey carcass, orphaned pine needles) from the soles of my festive boots and wondering how soon I could decently incinerate the Christmas tree.” Photograph: Remko De Waal/EPA

I’m in two minds about buying a “No junk mail” sticker for my front door: sometimes the glossy flyers and crumpled missives that land on the mat are j(...)

With the new year on its way, the onesie is a no-no, definitely something to be ditched along with the empties and the turkey carcass

Had your fill of figgy pudding yet? Wake up this morning lamenting the Liebfraumilch? Would you rather eat the One Direction calendar than put another(...)

Okay, I accept there are great swathes of humanity out there who genuinely like this pre-Christmas period; calm, accepting individuals who right now a(...)