Laugh and cry at classic Irish play

Mary McDonald and Tom O'Connor as Juno and Jack Boyle
Mary McDonald and Tom O'Connor as Juno and Jack Boyle

One of the most acclaimed plays of the 20th century 
arrives at the Loft Theatre 
in Leamington next week.

Since its first performance at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin on the March 3 1924, Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock has been a hit on stages around the world and was adapted for film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1930.

Set in the turbulent environment of 1922 Dublin during the Irish Civil War, Juno and the Paycock charts the lives of the working-class Boyle family.

Jack Boyle is unemployed and happy to stay that way. He spends all of his time drinking with his sidekick Joxer while his long-suffering wife Juno struggles to take care of the family.

Their daughter Mary has joined the labour movement and is on strike and their son Johnny is fearfully hiding at home after being injured fighting for the IRA.

News of an inheritance provokes dreams of escape from poverty, but even before their rowdy celebrations are done, reality reasserts itself and tragedy ensues.

Director Gus MacDonald said: “It’s a real privilege to be directing what is, quite rightly, described as one of the great classics of 20th-century theatre.

“It has the whole set of emotions running through it and is both comedic and tragic at almost the same time. These Dubliners are real people, not caricatures, but rich, deep and, at times, flawed. The play is beautifully written.

“Of course, I’m very lucky to have an excellent cast which makes life a lot easier, and the rehearsal process has been a real joy. I think audiences are going to love it – it’s a great evening’s entertainment.”

Juno and the Paycock runs at The Loft Theatre, Victoria Colonnade, Leamington Spa from Wednesday February 10 to Saturday February 20, with a performance each evening at 7.30pm (except Sunday).

Tickets can be booked online at any time via, or by calling 0844 493 4938 between 9am and 5pm Monday to

In addition, the box sffice will be open from 6.45pm to 8.30pm on Monday February 8 and Tuesday February 9 , and on each performance evening.

Under 25s and NUS card holders can buy tickets in person from the box office for £5 for the performances on Monday February 15 and and Tuesday February 16, subject to availability.