Ireland’s longest running play heads to Coventry

The Real McCoy

The Real McCoy

1960’s rural Ireland was an interesting place. People lived on small farms and the social life generally centres round dances, ceilis and rambling houses. Conversation was the main source of entertainment and a play called It’s the Real McCoy – which comes to the Albany Theatre, Coventry in March – has cleverly depicted this period of rural Ireland in a unique and comic way.

It’s the Real McCoy is full-blown rural comedy at its best.

Packed with old Irish sayings, colourful characters that range from the ‘gormless to the gossip’ and an interesting story-line the play has been selling out theatres all over the country for three years now with no sign of dwindling audiences. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. With reviews that compare the work to that of the great John B it’s little wonder the play is one of the success stories of Irish theatre.

Written by Mayo-based radio presenter Tommy Marren, this production is now the longest running amateur production in the country with almost 200 performances across Ireland, the UK and America. What is unique is the fact that punters return more than once. In fact they come back many times to take in the two-hour drama that unfolds within the walls of Madge Molloy’s humble cottage.

Now in her mid-sixties Madge has lived over forty-years of her life wondering why her husband Tom – whom she was married to for just five months – disappeared without trace or reason. She was left carrying her only child at the time and having reared her daughter on her small holding she has little time for men in general. However, the arrival of a new curate to the parish is about to unleash a whole series of events that Madge never expects. The plot thickens by the minute and the decibels of laughter increased dramatically throughout the production.

Whilst It’s the Real McCoy resonates strongly with those who best remember the 1960’s the reputation this play has earned has seen the age profile spread dramatically over the past year. Perhaps there are resemblances to Fr. Ted that has attracted a slightly younger audience of late but there is something about this play that ‘sucks you in’ and keeps you intrigued right through to the very last line of the play itself.

The one-liners are hilarious. Old Irish sayings like ‘what’s in the dog always comes out in the pup’, ‘the cock can crow but it’s the hen that delivers the goods’ and ‘a squeaky bicycle always gets the grease’ set the tone for the night ahead. Madge keeps her wedding picture turned back to front on the wall to remind her how lucky she was to ‘see the back of him’.

However, deep down nothing could be further than the truth and although it’s a truly comic production we get to see the softer side of Madge that leads to a powerful and dramatic scene that could potentially lead to a happy ending – or could it?

With Ireland’s two nosiest neighbours, a gormless postman, a nervous curate, a husband with a story to tell and two love stories It’s the Real McCoy is a play that you will definitely remember for a long time to come. The writer promises almost 300 laughs in two hours. One thing is for certain and that is that theatre audiences are buzzing when the cast take their bow. That says it all.

See It’s The Real McCoy at the Albany Theatre, Coventry on Friday March 20th and Saturday March 21st at 8 pm. See or call 02476 998964.


To be in with a chance to win two tickets to watch It’s The Real McCoy at the Albany Theatre in Coventry, simply answer the following question and send it along with your name, and number and choice of night to

Who wrote the play ‘It’s The Real Mc Coy?’

Competition closes on 18th of March- Terms and conditions apply and tickets are non-refundable. Good luck!