Sean O’Casey’s playful scrounger from the classic, ‘Juno and the Paycock’, takes centre stage at The Civic in this intriguing new play from the pen of Eddie Naughton (Innisfallen Fare Thee Well). Played by Phelim Drew, the play has had rave reviews and we were delighted to speak with Phelim in advance of the show.

What is your background in performing?
I started performing with a local profit share theatre group in my home town of Greystones, Co. Wicklow. It was run by a wonderful lady called Gladys Sheahan and I did shows there from the age of sixteen for two years before doing my first professional walk on at the Gaiety Theatre in a GB Shaw play and attending the Gaiety School of Acting for a year. Since then with the exception of the odd small appearance in film and television productions theatre has been my main source of occupation. I started off by working on productions by Passion Machine, Druid and Rough Magic theatre company’s and at The Gate and Abbey Theatre.

What have been you career highlights to date?
The experience of travelling to The Lincoln Centre in New York to perform as part of The Gate Theatre inaugural Beckett Festival was a thrill. ‘Love and A Bottle’ with Rough Magic and ‘Cheapside’ with Druid Theatre Company also stand out in my memory. In more recent years productions of ‘The Risen People’, ‘The Plough and the Stars’, ‘King’s of the Kilburn Highroad’, ‘Once’ the musical and more recently ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ all felt very special to be a part of.

What Can audiences expect from the show?
Audiences can expect to be brought back tothe Dublin of their Grand Parents as they are taken on journey through the period in Joxer’s life when things started to go wrong for him and how he came to be the playful scrounger we know from Sean O’Casey’s classic Juno and the Paycock. In the context of the play Joxer is an everyman character who looks back on his life and how it was affected by the turbulent events of the early 20th century in in Ireland and more specifically Dublin from The Lockout through to The Civil War in recollections, songs, recitations and humour, I was immediately taken by the idea of imagining Joxer Daly’s life up to the events of Juno’ and the opportunity to invent a backstory for this wonderful character.

Tell us a Random Fact About Yourself?
In terms of random facts?! I’m not sure what people would interested in but my maternal grandfather was a very interesting man. Dr Patrick McCartan, a medical doctor he was very active politically in the early 20th century having been on the supreme council of the IRB and sitting on the first Dail in 1919. His picture appears alongside other prominent members of that Dail assembly in Leinster House.

★★★★★ Mail on Sunday
“Phelim Drew’s powerhouse performance as the wild-eyed, shambling figure.” Sunday Independent
“Phelim Drew is convincing as Joxer – the archetypal, gravelly Dub.” Sunday Times
“Phelim Drew is perfect for the part. He is every inch a Joxer.” Irish Independent

Presented by CDM
Duration: 70 minutes. No interval