A tense and tragic thriller set in contemporary Belfast, IN A LITTLE WORLD OF OUR OWN is a rare and riveting snapshot of the Loyalist community by ‘Ireland’s hottest writer.’ (Irish Times)
Carlton/Donmar Warehouse Four Corners Season 1998
On February 8th, 1998, In a Little World of Our Own, won the Best Play Award at the Inaugural Irish Theatre Awards. After its triumphant premiere at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in the previous year, its young playwright was hailed as ‘Ireland’s hottest writer.’ There is a political irony to theses stunning Irish accolades, because Gary Mitchell, born and brought up in Northern Belfast, could equally be thought of as a British writer - and citizen - indeed, this is the context of all his work. In some ways a far more significant and fitting tribute is his recent appointment as the Pearson Writer in residence at the National Theatre.
It is entirely relevant that even Mitchell’s artistic identity falls into this minefield of nationhood and belonging. At a time when Irish playwriting was so prolific and healthy, particularly in London, the writing from Northern Ireland was conspicuously scarce. And the voice of Loyalist Northern Ireland was even more unique. The principle of the Carlton/Donmar Four Corners Season was to reflect and engage with exceptional talent throughout our nation – was most vigorously exercised with the inclusion of this play. It brought to the capital (and the mainland) one of Britain’s most powerful perspectives and sense of place.
But this is all context. Gary Mitchel is no polemicist. His extraordinary skill is in the meticulous, detailed reality he creates, admitting us into his ‘little world’ not by exposing its differences, but by doing the opposite, by exposing what we share. This family could be any family. This estate could be any estate. This situation could be your situation, and the responses could be your responses.
First and foremost, Gary Mitchell is a story-teller. The political power of his writing lies in the devastatingly executed impact of the epic, tacit backdrop on a set of otherwise ordinary lives.
Gary Mitchell lives in Rathcoole, the estate in north Belfast where the play is set. It has two roads: one road in and one road out, and a population of 20,000. This 'little world', glimpsed not in infra-red from the skies but from within, introduces Gary Mitchell as one our country's most vital and significant young writers.
In launching the 1998 four corners season, this mainland premiere marked the beginning of a vital and outstanding contribution to British - and Irish - theatre.
Lucy Davies. Producer, Donmar Warehouse
Winner of Best New Play in the Irish Theatre Awards.
CAST INCLUDED: Lorcan Cranitch, Colin Farrell, Stuart Graham, Paul Hickey, Helen McCrory
A play that screams for attention. Mitchell has you on the edge of your seat, as he builds to an explosive, emotion-shredding climax. There is the sickening inevitability of a Greek tragedy about the work, and the intensity of Robert Delamere's highly charged production.
A viscerally and emotionally charge juggernaut which slams into the body leaving the head and heart reeling in its wake.
The Tribune Magazine
A bold and brilliant piece of theatre.