DEATH (on a shoestring)

Written by Dave Kinghan 

Directed by Richard Lavery

Accidental's DEATH (on a shoestring) appeared in the 2012 Belfast Festival, the first time the company was part of this long running international festival. A darkly funny adventure to a politically incorrect afterlife DEATH (on a shoestring) sold out over the five day run in the Baby Grand at the Grand Opera House, the second of Accidental's shows to do so in the venue.

When Cecilia Malarkey MBE, head of a political correctness watchdog, is accidentally allowed into Heaven, she is disgusted by the lack of politically correct behaviour in Paradise. Refusing someone entry because they're not Christian? Religious discrimination! Malarkey sets about overhauling Heaven's values system, but as it becomes more politically correct, Heaven seems decidedly less heavenly – and soon angels and demons are working together to get the afterlife back in order and Cecilia out!

A hilarious black comedy, this escapade into the afterlife combined music and live performance to excite and thrill. Tackling serious questions about dominant religious and sexual issues in Northern Ireland, through a fantasy and heightened comic lens. To make such issues approachable and adolescent at first appearances. 

FIRST PERFORMED: Baby Grand Studio, Belfast

23rd - 27th October 2012

Running Time: 1hr 30 min 

Part of the 50th Belfast Festival

Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Asks difficult questions in a very funny way. Challenging but very entertaining.
— Audience Member
Very well written piece of comedy. Lively & entertaining performance.
— Audience Member

Photography by Simon Crawford & Richard Lavery

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Stephen Clarke DEATH

Originally from Belfast, Stephen graduated from a degree in Drama at University of Ulster, Magee. Recent productions include: Heroes With Their Hands In The Air, The Wall and Solicitors all with Fahy Productions. Stephen is the lead singer of a four-piece rock band, Rosie Broadway, and his artistic talent extends beyond the stage, creating a video installation for Kabosh Theatre Company’s production 1 in 5. This is Stephen's first production with Accidental Theatre.

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Róisín, originally from Newry, studied Musical Theatre at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London. After graduating, Róisín played the female lead in Thomas and Friends, Live on Stage! which involved a tour of the UK and Ireland, as well as a tour of South East Asia. In 2010, Róisín came third in the RTÉ production of “Fame the Musical.” She then went on to play various leading roles in stage productions throughout Ireland. As well as performing, Róisín now specialises in teaching singing and vocal technique classes for adults in various venues in Belfast, including the Crescent Arts Centre.

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Daisy Brindley CHASTITY

Daisy is a Queen's University Belfast graduate with a degree in Drama Studies. Throughout university, she was actively involved in theatre and the arts. Daisy was president of the Drama Society in 2009-2010, and helped organise and coordinate many productions across her three years on the committee. Since graduating, Daisy has remained in Belfast to pursue a career in acting. Recent credits include: 'Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth' dir. PJ O'Reilly, Lyric Theatre, 'The People Left Behind' dir. Ewan Jeffrey, BFT, 'All in the Timing', dir. Hannah Kelly, QUPlayers, 'The Gut Girls', dir. Rachel O'Riordan, BFT. 

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Morgaine FitzSymons DILIGENCE

Morgaine has only recently returned to Northern Ireland after completing her acting degree in England. She has performed in a wide range of shows, from Maxim Gorky's 'Summerfolk' to Jim Cartwright's 'Road', physical theatre to musicals. Along with theatre, she has also taken part in television, film, radio and music ventures.

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Gary recently graduated from Queen's University Belfast in Drama/English. He is currently part of the Lyric Drama Studio. Recent credits include Posh (QU Players), Much Ado About Nothing (Ruff Theatre) and Mercury Fur (Queen's Drama Department) for which he was awarded Best Supporting Actor at the Queen's Student Theatre Awards.

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Chris Grant DEREK

Chris is a Drama graduate from Queen's University Belfast and he is currently part of the Lyric Drama Studio. His recent theatre credits include; Much Ado About Nothing (Ruff Theatre), Mercury Fur (Queen's University) for which he won Best Actor at the Student Theatre Drama Awards, Shadow of a Gunman (Kaleidoscope) and Breathing Water (Chatterbox Productions).

Creative Team

Writer Dave Kinghan

Dave Kinghan graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2007 with a Masters in Creative Writing, and writes for both stage and screen. In 2008 his short film Happy as Larry was funded by Northern Ireland Screen and the UK Film Council through their Digital Shorts scheme. In June 2012 his play Intervention was produced by Accidental Theatre for the Pick ‘n’ Mix Festival at the MAC, Belfast. Dave has also written episodes for Joe & Jack, an animated preschool series which was broadcast on RTE in Ireland as well as in other countries from September 2012.

Director Richard Lavery

Richard is the artistic director and a co-founder of Accidental Theatre, having trained as a director in London on the MFA in Theatre Directing at Birkbeck, he has just returned to Belfast after working at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. Directing credits include: Limbo (Declan Feenan), The Writers’ Room (Michael Shannon), Four Birthdays (Devised), Neon Lights (Music Video), Confession (Darran McCann), Happy as Larry (Dave Kinghan) and The Emperor of Ice-Cream (Dave Kinghan & Emily DeDakis).

Movement Director Eileen McClory

Eileen McClory is the artistic director of OfftheRails DanceTheatre. Eileen graduated from Liverpool John Moore’s University with a BA (hons) Dance Studies in 2004. She furthered her training at Dance New Amsterdam, New York, completing a two year Professional Training Program. Eileen has performed works by Alexandra Beller, Rachel Finerman, Makiko Tamura/small apple co, Aya Saotome, Silco Dance Theatre and Bliss Dance Theatre (New York). Andres Grengras and Sarah Black (UK). Eileen has received commissions by Crescent Arts Centre, Feile an Phobail, Belfast Metropolitan Collage and Banjax Ltd.

Composer Martin Byrne

Martin Byrne is a prolific music producer, songwriter, sound designer, multi-instrumentalist and performer. He graduated from QUB in 2009 with a first in Music Technology (BSc). After completing the ambitious project Song A Day For A Year, where he wrote and shared 365 original pieces of music in one year, Martin began writing a Song A Week For A Year - 2012, a project supported by the NI Arts Council and Moving On Music. Martin has previously worked as a sound design artist and technician with Accidental Theatre and Primecut Productions.  Martin is also part of the professional sound design collective Warp & Woof and plays bass for a Prog Rock band called Hexxed!"

Costume Designer Karishma Kusurkar

Having trained in Textile Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, Karishma has a particular interest in the use of fabrics, pattern, illustration and embellishment within Costume Design.  She has worked on HBO's highly acclaimed series 'Game of Thrones' as well as the film 'Your Highness' and is currently studying for her Masters in Multidisciplinary Design at the University of Ulster.  Her work encompasses the use of a wide range of media, from traditional fabrics such as silk, to more experimental materials including perspex and Kevlar. 

Stage Manager Jack Geary

Jack graduated from Queen's University with n Creative Writing MA in 2010, and has been working in Belfast ever since. Lucky enough to have tried his hand at most aspects of production, he has worked as a writer, stage manager and director. Most recently he was involved with the Ormeau Household Festival; co-creating and performing 'Dream House', a short play about domestic tyranny and powerpoint presentations. He is soon to be undertaking an Arts Management M.A at Queens.

Marketing Communications Elizabeth Meehan 

Elizabeth has a PhD from the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast. Her doctoral research examined the links between marketing, tourism and cultural identity. Subsequent to her PhD Elizabeth was employed as the Qualitative Research Associate for the COUNTER project at the Cyberspace Unit in the University of Central Lancashire. Elizabeth's primary degree is in Social Science, which took her to work for a number of years in Australia. Elizabeth’s is currently working for Accidental Theatre and supporting various agencies in their marketing communications and has recently set up a consultancy, coffeenosugar, which seeks to help businesses achieve marketing with integrity. Her love for the arts manifests in writing, she is currently writing her first novel.

Make-up Artist Rebekah Coote

Rebekah is a freelance Make-up Visual Artist and Drama Graduate from Queen’s University Belfast. Previous Productions include Just Shiels, Threepenny Opera and Grimes and McKees The Tractor Show. She has also worked on the feature film Your Highness and HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Deputy Stage Manager Teresa Hill

Teresa studied Drama at Queens University then went on to complete an MA in Applied Drama at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has been involved with a number of theatre and community projects over the years both in Belfast and London, running workshops and creating projects with a wide range of people. She is Outreach Coordinator for Accidental Theatre and has also worked with many groups including Interacting Theatre Company, Young at Art, Trócaire, National Trust, Friends of the Earth, Spare Tyre Theatre Company and Action for Refugees in Lewisham.

Sound Technician Emily DeDakis 

Emily DeDakis was born in the U.S.A. Since joining Accidental in 2009 as dramaturg and literary manager, she has helped develop many scripts for performances and rehearsed readings, and also co-chairs the Northern Ireland Theatre Association’s working group for emerging professionals. A freelance editor and writing tutor, Emily has facilitated arts projects with a diverse range of people - school students, ex-prisoners, refugees & asylum seekers, and local writers' groups. She earned a PhD in creative writing at Queen’s University Belfast, where she has taught on the undergraduate programme, and her own prose is known to pop up in The Vacuum, The Yellow Nib, Ulster Tatler, Poetry Proper, and on 2SER (107.3 FM Sydney). In late 2012 she will collaborate with drummer David Lyttle and pianist Conor Scullion on an improvised musical reading from her novel-in-progress Voicetown.

DEATH (on a shoestring)  in 2009 as part of Pick 'n' Mix 3

DEATH (on a shoestring) in 2009 as part of Pick 'n' Mix 3


In 2009 Accidental announced our appearance into Northern Irish theatre with an early version of DEATH (on a shoestring). Created on a shoestring budget and with a very dedicated cast of volunteers it was Accidental's first appearance at the special Pick 'n' Mix mini-festival, then in its third year. Over the course of two weeks the team rehearsed, developed, composed and created this version of the play.

This version had an entirely different plot and cast of characters than the final version, as after the development the script was revised and re-developed to focus on new themes and a re-imagined play world with a few characters making the transition between the new version.

Development Cast


Caroline Curran MALARKEY


Aisling Groves-McKeown CHASTITY


Cat Barter POET


Janice Kernoghan HOPE


Aaron Murphy & Nadine Gorman DEATHS 1 & 2


David Bell DEVIL

Development Creative Team

Writer Dave Kinghan

Composer Jonny Woods

Costume Designer Helen Donnelly

Stage Manager Lisa Cochrane

Director Richard Lavery

Set Designer Lynne Patterson

Lighting Designer Jacqueline O'Hagan