‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’ for the first time in Ireland- on stage at The MAC Theatre in Belfast.


The Cast of ‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’ on stage at The MAC Theatre in Belfast 

There was great celebrations and fun at the opening night of the stage play of ‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’ on Friday in Belfast. I was a strange mixture of nerves and excitement as I watched my story so beautifully unfold on the stage of The MAC Theatre.

CAHOOTS and Director Paul McEneaney have done a marvelous job with this truly innovative production which combines music, song and story to help tell the story of The Great Irish Famine.


With Director Paul McEneaney 

The actors were amazing and I found it very emotional watching Eily, Michael and Peggy and their family as the potatoes fail and their lives change forever. The three children, forced to leave home, must fight to survive as they go in search of their great-aunts. 

Sabine D ’Argent’s circular stage set is deceptively simple, but hides a few things which combined with  Carlos Pons Guerra’s  choreography and James McFetridge’s lighting bring a haunting kind of magic to the show.     

There were tears, emotion and laughter along the way and like all the audience I was riveted by the incredible songs and Garth McConaghie’s stunning music which has added another layer to the story.

The play surpassed all my hopes and expectations and I was overwhelmed by the reaction of kids, families and lovers of the book, to the show.

Charles Way’s adaptation of my book works brilliantly and the hard work and effort of the large cast and crew have resulted in a very memorable stage production which I promise is different from anything else most of us have seen.

I was so happy when I saw the show again the next day and am Belfast bound again later this week.

Thank you to everyone in CAHOOTS and at The MAC Theatre for putting ‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’ on stage from this very grateful author!

The Cast and Crew, My daughter Mandy  and On stage