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Big Maggie 2011/2012 - Galway & Irish Tour

John B. Keane


For more information about the Druid archive please click here.

About the Play

A riveting story of money, land and secret sex.

On the day of her husband’s funeral, Maggie Polpin (Aisling O’Sullivan), widowed mother of four, is now ready to take power into her own hands… but at what cost?

Aisling O’Sullivan, John Olohan and Keith Duffy lead a cast of eleven of Ireland’s finest actors in this much loved play by John B Keane. Rave reviews said “the audience was on board from the start, gasping and sighing and even whooping.” (The Irish Times), and described Aisling O’Sullivan’s portrayal of Maggie Polpin as a “stunningly powerful lead performance” (The Irish Independent).

With Big Maggie Druid continued its exploration of John B. Keane’s work which began in 2002 with Sive, followed by Sharon’s Grave (2003) and The Year of the Hiker (2006).

About the Cast

You can see headshots of all the cast click here. You can also see production photos here.

Aisling O’Sullivan returned to Druid in the title role of Big Maggie, John Olohan played Byrne, the stonemason – the one character whose caustic wit is a match for Maggie’s own – and playing one of Keane’s most memorable characters, the lusty commercial traveller Teddy Heelin, was Keith Duffy who made his Druid debut. Paul Connaughton, Nancy E.Carroll, Joan Sheehy, Sarah Greene, Amy Molloy, Charlie Murphy, Des Nealon, and Stephen Mullan completed the cast of eleven.

About the Tour

Big Maggie was on tour to ten Irish venues between November 2011 and February 2012, and was undoubtedly the hottest ticket in theatres across Ireland during the run.

Following the opening in Galway in November 2011, the production returned to many of the venues Druid had toured to on a regular basis including glór in Ennis, Backstage in Longford and Dunamaise in Portlaoise, to name but a few.

In January 2012, Druid’s visit to the Hawk’s Well Theatre in Sligo marked the venue’s 30th birthday. The production also returned to Galway and to Dublin.

Commenting on the tour, Druid’s Artistic Director Garry Hynes said:

“Touring is in Druid’s DNA. It’s great to be back on the road again, this time with a cast and crew of 18, and in particular with this much loved play by John B. Keane.”

Druid’s nationwide tour of Big Maggie was made possible through an Arts Council touring grant.

Druid would like to acknowledge the continued support of the Arts Council and acknowledges their support in funding this production.

Arts Council    


Paul Connaughton

Old Woman
Nancy E. Carroll

Teddy Heelin
Keith Duffy

Sarah Greene

Mary Madden
Amy Molloy

Stephen Mullan

Charlie Murphy

Old Man
Des Nealon

John Olohan

Maggie Polpin
Aisling O’Sullivan

Mrs Madden
Joan Sheehy

Creative Team

John B Keane

Garry Hynes

Set Designer
Francis O’Connor

Costume Designer
Oliver Townsend

Lighting Design
Paul Keogan

Sound Design
John Leonard

Colin Towns

Casting Director
Maureen Hughes Casting

Production Team

Production Manager
Eamonn Fox

Technical Manager
Barry O’Brien

Company Stage Manager
Sarah Lynch

Stage Manager
Paula Tierney

Assistant Stage Manager
Craig Flaherty

Costume Supervisor
Doreen McKenna

Costume Assistant
Amanda Donovan

Wigs & Make Up
Val Sherlock

Master Carpenter
Gus Dewar

Deputy Master Carpenter
Tony Cording

Peter Nelson

Shannon Light

Scenic Painters
Sandra Butler
Jason MCCaffrey

Frank Cummins
Alan Cuddy

Trevor Price

Kate Bowe PR

Graphic Design
Bite! Associates

Production Photography
Robert Day

Publicity Image Photography
Ros Kavanagh

Programme Note
Catriona Crowe

Production Photos from Big Maggie

Click on the first image to scroll through the photos or you can view as a slide show below.

    Photocall at the First Day of Rehearsals in Galway

    Click on the first image to scroll through the photos or you can view as a slide show below.

      Headshots of the Big Maggie Cast (in alphabetical order)

      Click on the first image below to scroll through the headshots or you can view as a slide show below.


        Irish Independent – The Best of 2012 – 31.12.11

        Best Actress

        “Magnificent” precisely describes the standout female performance of the year also: Aisling O’Sullivan as Big Maggie Polpin, in the Druid production of John B’s play. She is exhilarating. And it always helps when an actor looks like they’re having the time of their life.”

        Galway Advertiser – Theatre Highlights of 2011 – 29.12.11

        “The year ended on a high note with a stirring production of John B Keane’s Big Maggie featuring a commanding performance from Aisling O’Sullivan in the title role.”

        The View, RTÉ – 29.11.11

        “She is definitely the sexiest Big Maggie ever.”

        “It’s just magnificent.”

        The Irish Times – 28.11.11

        “the audience was on board from the start, gasping and sighing and even whooping.”

        “The perfection and confidence of her accents fits author John B Keane’s script so perfectly that, in a strange way, you can hear his voice when she speaks.”

        The Irish Independent – 24.11.11

        “Aisling O’Sullivan’s stunningly powerful lead performance in Druid’s production”

        “Garry Hynes’ direction is tight and solid”

        The Sunday Independent – 20.11.11

        “Aisling O’Sullivan’s Maggie… a real achievement”

        The Irish Times – 17.11.11

        “fiendishly compelling… gripping production”

        “O’Sullivan gives a tremendous performance”


        The Irish Times – 14.01.12
        READ about the Irish Times Irish Theatre Award nominations for Big Maggie; Best Actress nomination for Aisling O’Sullivan and Best Supporting Actor for John Olohan.

        The Irish Times – 19.11.11
        READ a feature about writer, John B Keane, including commentary on Druid’s production of Big Maggie.

        RTÉ Radio 1 – 14.11.11
        LISTEN to an interview with director Garry Hynes and cast members, Aisling O’Sullivan and Keith Duffy.

        Nominations for the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards 2011
        (Announced January 14, 2012 – full details online here The Irish Times)

        • Best Actress – Aisling O’Sullivan for her role as Maggie Polpin
        • Best Supporting Actor – John Olohan for his role as Byrne



        Dublin - Gaiety Theatre

        January 31, 2012 – February 11, 2012

        Galway - Town Hall Theatre

        January 24 – 28, 2012

        Sligo - Hawk's Well Theatre

        January 18 – 21, 2012

        Longford - Backstage Theatre

        December 20 – 22, 2011

        Roscommon - Roscommon Arts Centre

        December 17 – 18, 2011

        Portlaoise - Dunamaise

        December 14 – 15, 2011

        Tralee - Siamsa Tíre

        December 9 – 11, 2011

        Castlebar - Royal Theatre

        December 6 – 7, 2011

        Cork - Everyman Palace Theatre

        Dec 1 – 3, 2011

        Ennis - glór

        November 28 -29, 2011

        Dublin - The Gaiety Theatre

        November 21 – 26, 2011

        Galway - Town Hall Theatre

        November 11 – 19, 2011

        Productions archive:

        By Title | By Year

        This page was archived on 28/03/2017 and is no longer updated.

        The contents of this page may be out of date or incomplete. Go here to browse our current site