Review : A Skull in Connemara at @LyricBelfast

Dark, grotesque, brutal and unabashedly funny.

At the heart of the story is Mick Dowd, who caused the death of his wife over seven years previously in a “drink-driving” accident. Others in the community suspect that the accident was something more sinister, and when the corner of the churchyard in which she is buried comes up in the rotation to be exhumed (to make way for new burials in the cramped cemetery), the disappearance of her remains brings new secrets to light.

Owen MacCarthaigh’s set is phenomenal, the walls of the house collapsing between scenes to double up as graveyard foundations is amazing. Mick actually digs a pit to his wife’s bones on-love on stage.

For me, the most interesting point was the concept of truth- did Mick kill his wife? Is he insane? Does everyone just want to believe that he’s a murderer for the scandal of it? I personally think he did not kill her, but he does seem just a tad insane, particularly at the very end.


Jarlath Kivnan performance as the crazy village idiot Mairtin Hanlon is superb.

Slightly slow off the mark, once A Skull in Connemara gets into its stride there is no stopping it. This is a hilarious and bloody performance not to be missed.

Hilarious, weird, and whacky. It’s funny how distinctly Irish it is. 7/10





  1. A skull in Connemara, not clever enough or sufficiently funny to carry off some of the lines. Drowning in slurry pits? Could anyone local laugh at that !!

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