John Connors, the award-winning Irish actor best known for his role in the hard-hitting Irish TV drama Love/Hate and the movie Cardboard Gangsters, is coming to Australia with his one-man show, Ireland’s Call.
Examining issues of class, religion and identity, this new play is described as “an unflinching exploration of the Irish psyche, bringing Ireland’s collective guilt’s, secrets and flaws to the surface”.
Ireland’s Call follows the lives and family histories of three young men as they grow up in Coolock on Dublin’s northside and examines what shapes them and entices them to a life of crime?
The play was hit at the Dublin Fringe Festival and earned glowing reviews from critics.
The Irish Times’ Mick Heaney, for instance, wrote that “the charismatic Connors brings vivid life to his character, whether consumed with anger and despair, or unleashing profane asides with verbal vim. And for all its bleak worldview, it’s a drama with a dogged faith in people, not least the flawed but appealing James.”
Ireland’s Call could be seen as an extension of the actor’s role as an advocate, not just for working-class people, but also for his own Traveler community, which he said is the most oppressed of Ireland’s minorities.
“The most discriminated against by a wide, wide margin,” he told the Guardian recently.
His advocacy begins with the forthright telling of his own story.
When Connors was 8, his father committed suicide and at 20, that “viable option” loomed for him.
“Seven and a half years ago,” he said, dedicating his Irish Film And Television Awards (IFTA) best actor gong (for Cardboard Gangsters) to his dead father, “I was sitting in a little box bedroom in the darkness, contemplating suicide.”
His brother reached out at that moment. The two googled “acting classes” and “Dublin” and somehow John Connors talked himself into an advanced class at the Abbey Theatre.
He is now widely considered one of Ireland’s most compelling screen actors.
Ireland’s Call will be performed at the Alex Theatre in St Kilda on Thursday June 20 and at Bondi’s Pavillion Theatre on Saturday June 22. For more details and bookings, click here.