Paddy goes to Petra
by Áine Ryan
produced by Studio Perform Theatre
Rural Ireland meets the Middle East in a plot which follows middle aged farmer Paddy, whose lust for life has long vanished. A trip to the ancient city of Petra in Jordan encourages him to feel a fresh wonder for the world, develop new friendships and begin an exciting love affair…with himself.
Pretending to lose his passport so he can stay longer in Petra, Paddy begins a journey of recovery and renewed enthusiasm for living. How long until responsibilities of old take hold of him again, however? A play about survival, strength and carrying on.
The role of Paddy will be performed by Cork actor Brendan Dunlea (An Cailin Ciúin, The Funeral Path).
Paddy goes to Petra is the latest play from Tipperary playwright Áine Ryan whose previous work includes critically acclaimed shows that have been performed all over Ireland, Edinburgh and in the United States.
Press for this production
This, however, is magnificent, with a clear follow-up storyline that doesn’t leave the audience wondering what went on afterwards. The play is as amusing as it is poignant, deftly tackling some difficult issues with relatable tenacity and stoicism. ★★★★★ London Theatre 1
Dunlea imbues Paddy with warmth and has irrepressible storytelling skills…Commanding the Brockley Jack Stage, his performance feels intimate but engaged with the world Paddy is experiencing. It is in short an almost perfect solo-show performance. Near perfection is also found in Ryan’s script. Exceptionally funny and occasionally heart-breaking, it (based on Ryan’s own trip to Petra in 2018) feels both personal and universal in its examinations of grief, marriage and the implications of travel…Paddy Goes To Petra is a perfectly judged slice of theatrical power: moving, funny, eye-opening and consistently engaging. With such an assured script in the hands of a masterful performer, the audience can’t help but feel transported. ★★★★ The Reviews Hub
Dunlea’s heartfelt performance is supported by some beautiful contributions from the team of creatives. The stage at the Jack Studio is transformed by Constance Comporat to capture the Jordanian look… Alex Forey sensitively lights all of this, further enhancing the changing moods. Music by Cáit Ní Riain & Eyal Arad blends Irish and Arabian instruments and sounds that accompany most scenes, reminding us of the combination of the two cultures, suggesting where he has come from and where he is now living his new-found existence. The rapport Dunlea maintains with his audience makes for a thoroughly enjoyable evening of storytelling that has some surprising and moving moments. ★★★★ Broadway Baby
performed with great sensitivity by Brendan Dunlea… it is so movingly told – and there are some funny moments in between. It really is too short a run for a polished piece of work with something really interesting to say. ★★★★ Reviewsgate
Writer & Director| Áine Ryan
Set Design | Constance Comparot
Lighting Design | Alex Forey
Music | Cáit Ní Riain & Eyal Arad
Photography | Steve Gregson, Clara Planelles & Lina Simoliunaite
Producer | Studio Perform Theatre