Donal O’Kelly

UK Agent

Donal O’Kelly is an award winning Irish writer and actor. His much-travelled solo plays include the award-winning Catalpa (Scotman Fringe First, London Time Out Critics’ Choice, Best Event Melbourne International Festival), Bat The Father Rabbit The Son (Best Writer and Best Actor nominations Irish Theatre Awards), and Jimmy Joyced! (Best Actor nomination Irish Theatre Awards)

His 2013 production Fionnuala, about the Shell Corrib Gas pipeline in County Mayo, won a Scotsman Fringe First, was shortlisted for an Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, with Donal being nominated for a Best Actor Stage Award.

Francisco, produced for radio by Ocean FM, in collaboration with acclaimed Irish musicians Kila, won the prestigious Berlin Prix Europa in 2013, a unique achievement for a community radio production.

His new play Little Thing Big Thing, produced by Ireland’s acclaimed new play company Fishamble premiered and toured round Ireland in spring 2014, with Donal also performing with Sorcha Fox.

Other recent productions include

  • The Cambria, about Frederick Douglas’ voyage to Ireland in 1845, performed with Sorcha Fox, toured Ireland, as well as playing the UK and Los Angeles.
  • Vive La, a 1798 spy story mummer play, toured Ireland in 2007, and was revived in the Project Theatre, Dublin in 2008.
  • Running Beast, his music-theatre piece with music by Michael Holohan, has toured Europe since its premiere in September 2007.

Other plays include The Dogs (Rough Magic), Hughie On The Wires, Trickledown Town, The Business Of Blood, Farawayan, (all Calypso) Asylum! Asylum! (Peacock, Traverse Edinburgh, Ottawa and Boston), Mamie Sighs, Judas Of The Gallarus (Peacock) and The Hand (Dublin Theatre Festival).

He has twice been awarded an Irish Arts Council literature bursary, and in 1999 was awarded the Irish American Cultural Institute Butler Literary Award. He set up Donal O’Kelly Productions in 2000, and has toured extensively at home and abroad since then.

As an actor, his film roles include leading roles in Roddy Doyle’s The Van and in the acclaimed bilingual film Kings, Brainer in Spin The Bottle and Funny Face in I Went Down.

He is also a committed human rights activist.

Press quotes

  • A Ridleyan blend of violence and folklore… ★★★★ FT
  • Purely brilliant… New York Post
  • I’ve never seen an audience laugh so much… Tom Matthews, In Dublin
  • Searingly satirical, comic, tragic, profoundly sensitive… ★★★★★ Scotsman