BEST NEW WRITING and BEST ACTOR
2023 LONDON PUB THEATRE AWARDS & STANDING OVATION AWARDS
"Áine Ryan is the rarest of artists - an award winning writer, possessing an utterly unique,
fiercely poetic, and relevant voice as well as being an actress with the very same qualities.
From County Tipperary, her mission is to illuminate the intricate and fascinating lives of
women in rural Ireland." - Keith Merrill
Áine Ryan grew up at the renowned Jim of the Mills in the heartland of Co. Tipperary which
is a cultural hub for music, song and story both locally and nationally, and this ignited a
passion for art and connection.
She holds a B.A (Honours) in Theatre and Performance from Goldsmiths, University of
London and a Higher Diploma in Film and TV Production through the Irish language from
WIT/Nemeton. She has vast experience in numerous art disciplines and is also an
accomplished musician and fiddle player.
Her previous theatre work includes Kitty in the Lane, directed by Jack Reardon, which
enjoyed a critically acclaimed two-week run at the Jack Studio Theatre, London in May
2023 where it was nominated for a Standing Ovation Award from London Pub Theatres
and ran to sell out houses. It has also been presented at San Francisco International Arts
Festival and Clonmel Junction Arts Festival alongside various other festivals and venues. The play offers a thrilling representation of an isolated young woman lost in grief and trauma in rural Ireland on the night of a local beauty pageant.
Her other multiple five star reviewed play Paddy goes to Petra, which she also directed, was presented for a fully sold out run at the Jack Studio Theatre, London in November 2022 and also received a Standing Ovation Award from London Pub Theatres, with Olivier Awards panellist and critic Paul Maidment naming it his top Fringe show in London in 2022. Paddy goes to Petra has previously been performed at The Source Arts Centre, An Taibhdhearc for Galway Theatre Festival and Nenagh Arts Centre for Bealtaine Festival in May 2023 in conjunction with Tipperary Arts Office. It follows the adventures of a farmer from rural Ireland, mourning the death of his son from suicide, amongst the Bedouins in Jordan.
Her new play Closing Hour, funded by an Arts Council of Ireland Project Award was presented as a rehearsed reading at The Source Arts Centre, Thurles in December 2022, featuring an all female cast including Joan Sheehy and Pauline O’Driscoll. Another new play, The Frost is All Over, also funded by an Arts Council of Ireland Project Award was presented as a rehearsed reading for Clonmel Junction Arts Festival, featuring another all female cast including Lesley Conroy, Liz Fitzgibbon and Bríd Ni Chumhaill. Closing Hour chronicles the fear of four immigrant Irish women in London, facing poverty whilst living and working at a pub together. The Frost is All Over explores fractured familial relationships and domestic abuse, connecting three women to each other in the trenches of trauma and depression.
Áine is also the writer of award winning short film First Date, starring acclaimed Irish actors Aisling O’Sullivan and Carrie Crowley. It is directed by Clara Planelles, and produced by Pete Moles, funded by Engine Shorts and has been presented at numerous prestigious film festivals throughout the past year including Galway Film Fleadh. It was nominated for the Iris Prize in Cardiff, and won “Best International Comedy” short film at the Discover Film Awards in London in October 2022 and will be screened by RTÉ in 2024. Other short film work includes Feadóg, an Irish language short film for children which was screened on both TG4 and RTÉ player.
She is the recipient of Agility Award, Project Award and Professional Development funding from the Arts Council of Ireland and several commissions from The Source Arts Centre.
Her next theatre project is “From Out the Land” a large scale site specific project which she co-wrote with Jack Reardon and will take place at Kickham Barracks, Clonmel in September 2023, an outdoor spectacle production looking at the formation of the Irish State as part of the Irish Arts Council’s ART23 programme.
KITTY IN THE LANE
AWARD NOMINATIONS: STANDING OVATION NOMINATION, LONDON PUB THEATRES
‘a dark but frequently funny tale of grief, isolation and trauma… takes the audience through a tale of laughs and horror with a final shock that leaves you reeling’ ★★★★★ The Irish World
'An intense, poetic study of loneliness, cruelty and rural isolation, Kitty in the Lane is a mesmeric continuation of the Irish literary tradition.' ★★★★★ Broadway Baby
'An extraordinary accomplishment as both playwright and actress.' ★★★★★ TheatreStorm
‘A dark tragedy that strikes straight into your heart…a brilliant journey: a middle chapter in the life of a complex and tragic heroine in which we receive rich detail of her past, are left in no doubt as to the calamity of her present and will inevitably wonder and agonize over her future. It’s near-perfect theatre, and if you have even a passing interest in any of its topics make sure you see it as soon as you can.’ ★★★★ ½ London Pub Theatres
‘Ryan’s writing style is sublime, with more than a hint of James Joyce’s cavalier approach to structure…It is a complex, rewarding style of writing that both defines character and marks out Kitty’s isolated environment as alien, hostile, and somehow other-worldly… Ryan is a consummate actor who knows her work inside out. She spits out dialogue in all directions like bullets on a battlefield. It is a manic, mesmerising’ ★★★★ The Reviews Hub
‘Excellent…an intense, vivid performance from Áine Ryan makes this uncomfortable and yet unforgettable...the technical work put into this production is unequivocally top-notch. This is a powerful evening with a performance and production hard to forget.’ ★★★★ Everything Theatre
‘Áine Ryan’s haunting and gripping monologue is unmissable...Florence Hand’s sound direction is exquisite – strains of violin music continuously tormenting/reminding Kitty of the violin she played before her father’s unthinking cruelty stopped her. Constance Comparot’s set and Alex Forey’s lighting change the atmosphere from stark to mystical and dreamlike effortlessly with Jack Reardon’s assured direction. Ryan’s playfulness with structure and language enhances the sense of isolation and otherworldliness of Kitty, with some beautiful phrases and wonderful Irish vernacular. Ryan inhabits the character brilliantly in her delivery and the physicality of her performance – convincingly innocent, reckless, devious, traumatised and full of animalistic anger throughout the play. Moments of brutality and shocking loss build into a satisfyingly frenzied finale that is horrifying and heart breaking – simply stunning.’ ★★★★ Fairy Powered Productions
‘Intense and dramatic, Kitty in the Lane keeps you hooked from the beginning. Áine Ryan is an excellent writer and performer, who clearly understands how to craft stories that draw the audience in. The ever-present tension continues to creep upwards throughout the play, eventually reaching a visceral climax that evokes an audible audience reaction. This is quality theatre, with a performance that’s guaranteed to stay with you.’ Theatre Things
‘Ryan’s mesmerising performance is supported by an evocative soundscape from Florence Hand and a powerfully effective lighting design from Alex Forey that adds to the atmosphere. Director Reardon is unyielding with the tension which makes Kitty an occasionally uncomfortable watch, but a very rewarding one.’ British Theatre Guide
PADDY GOES TO PETRA
AWARD NOMINATIONS: STANDING OVATION NOMINATION, LONDON PUB THEATRES
London Pub Theatre Critic’s Choice of Best Fringe Theatre 2022 - from reviewer Paul Maidment ( his top show of Fringe shows in London in 2022)
“The play is as amusing as it is poignant, deftly tackling some difficult issues with relatable tenacity and stoicism.” ★★★★★ London Theatre 1
“Paddy Goes to Petra” feels like a flawless theatrical masterpiece…Áine Ryan skilfully combines tragedy and comedy, embroiling the audience in an adventure to a foreign land” ★★★★★ Westend Evenings
“an excellent piece of theatre” ★★★★★ The Irish World
“I’ve been lucky enough to review a number of shows for London Pub Theatres this year but hadn’t seen THE show that would live in the memory and cause one’s heart to sing. Until now. Hurrah! Poetic and Poignant” ★★★★ ½ London Pub Theatres
"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