The Ferryman


Writers: Jez Butterworth


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Drama, Dark Comedy
Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
Derry, Rural County Armagh, Northern Ireland, August 1981
Cast Size
Ideal for
Large Cast, Professional Theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult, child, early teen, elderly, late teen characters


The Ferryman is set in Northern Ireland in 1981, during the height of the Troubles. Quinn, a former terrorist, has swapped his career with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) for a life on the farm in rural Armagh. He now lives with his sickly wife, their children, his sister-in-law and nephew. The IRA murdered Quinn’s brother, Seamus, when he was just twenty years old and his body has only recently been discovered. He was one of the sixteen men and women who were killed and buried in unknown locations during the 1970s, leaving their family unsure as to whether they were alive or dead. Seamus was apparently shot dead following Quinn’s defection from the IRA in 1972, and a threateningly influential IRA member, Muldoon, now comes to pay Quinn a visit. He is keen to ensure that there are no further repercussions to the IRA’s cause, now Seamus’ murder has come to light.

Lead Characters

The Ferryman guide sections