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A Quiet Twelfth


  • Playwright

    Hugh Quinn 

  • Setting

    The kitchen of the McShane's farm, near the shores of Lough Neagh, on a fine 13th of July morning. Published script says, "before the late troubles in Belfast".

  • Notes

    This play originated as a piece called 'Unrest' which won a prize in the Northern Drama League 1929 playwrighting competition, with comments on it by adjudicator St. John Ervine published "in the principal Irish, English and Scottish papers on on 22 May 1929". It appears to have subsequently been renamed "A Quiet Twelfth", and in this version was described as being produced "for the first time in any theatre" as listed here.

  • Synopsis

    In the aftermath of the Twelfth celebrations Johnny McShane, a Catholic, worries that he has accidentally killed his Orangeman neighbour and friend Joe Anderson in sectarian squabbling the previous day. Joe,meanwhile, believes that he has killed Johnny. A comedy of errors ensues, but ultimately all ends happily for everyone, except Johnny's long-suffering wife Mrs. McShane, whose work never ends whatever the excitement.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts

    One Act

  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female



Original Cast  
Mrs McShane Elma Hayward
Constable Falloon Dan Fitzpatrick
Ould Johnny McShane Richard Hayward
Joe Anderson J.R. Mageean
The Widow McKeown Elizabeth Begley
Tam the Weaver Thomas Gibson
Young Johnny McShane Richard Gibson
Production Team  
Director Richard Hayward
Producer J.R. Mageean
Stage Director Dan Fitzpatrick


  • Title

    Mrs McConaghy's Money and Other Plays

  • Introduction by

    St. John Greer Ervine

  • Year


  • Published By

    Constable & Co. Ltd

  • Address



  • Not Found


Information for this entry has come from the company programme for the premiere production, and the published playscript.