In conversation with actor and playwright: Liam McCarthy

Druid 2016 (3)

Here’s an artist profile on up and coming playwright, Liam McCarthy, that I got published on the Brighton Fringe Blog. Keep an eye out for more of his work.

“We’re trying to create a show for people who might not normally watch shows” said playwright, Liam McCarthy about his new play, Network Diagnostics. The play is produced by Irish Theatre company, Octopus Soup Theatre, in which playwright/actor Liam McCarthy is co-artistic-director along with Sarah Bradley.

It premiers as part of the WINDOW art showcase at Brighton Fringe 2017. It’s a play about ‘love, loss and porn’, and is his ‘biggest play yet”, aiming to bring comedy back into modern playwriting. “Theatre should be joyful” said Liam. “Too much of new writing is depressing.”

“Network Diagnostics looks at our perception of each-other. It’s about how we communicate.”

The play is centred around two characters who meet on a social website and explores the relationship between them, treading the line between tragedy and comedy. Liam describes the play as an active experience. He wants the audience to watch how the characters experience their situations.

Then, he says, ’If you don’t like what you see, and it reminds you of yourself, then do something about it.”


His path to this play has not been a direct one. A self proclaimed “odd jobs man”, he has tried his hand at being a violinist, bell boy, children’s entertainer and a whisky tasting host. However playwriting has always been the dream.

At just 16, Liam and some friends set up their own theatre group in Limerick, writing and acting their own plays. He went on to study drama and English at Trinity university, Dublin where he continued to write plays. Of course, playwriting isn’t always a straightforward process.

“The problem writing for theatre is that all the early stuff is out there in the open and everyone remembers it” laughed Liam. He explains how he has always loved dialogue, and the way we talk to each-other-a core factor that has helped him get to where he is today.

When writing a play, Liam starts with an image or an idea. “Before I write the play, I take two or three characters from it and I imagine them in a scenario that would never possibly happen in the play. I see what the characters talk about, what they say. Then they are three dimensional. Then I can start writing the play.’

Networks Diagnostics Premiered at The Sweet Jukebox – May 5-7

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