Irish play and Moone Boy actress Aoife Duffin praised by NY Times

Irish play A Girl is a Half-formed Thing and Moone Boy actress Aoife Duffin have been received plaudits by the New York Times after the show’s off Broadway run.

Irish theatre company The Corn Exchange triumphed stateside with the hit production of Eimear McBride’s Award winning novel –  adapted for the stage and directed by Annie Ryan and starring Duffin, well-known for her role as moody teen Trisha in Chris O’Dowd’s TV comedy.

Aoife Duffin in Moone Boy
Aoife Duffin in Moone Boy

The fact that Kerry-born Duffin has received high praise from one of the most respected newspapers in the world, may never have happened at all – because the actress had not intended even appearing in the show.

She told the Irish Times last year how she had refused to do the play – an adaption of Eimear McBride’s award-winning novel, when first asked because she couldn’t do “another play about rape,” after a series of draining roles.

Ben Brantley, the theatre critic for the New York Times said that the production “leaves an indelible mark on the memory”.

Praising Duffin’s performance as both astonishing and passionate, Brantley describes the production as “ghostly”, urging audiences to “Keep listening, and keep looking. Little by little, the speaker and her speech assume concrete and coherent form.

“Suddenly, you’re thinking in the language of someone else’s mind, that of a rebellious Irish girl scrambling for a sense of her drifting self. And by the end of a timeless 80 minutes, you’ll have grasped the dimensions of an entire individual life, in all its confused clarity.”


The review marks the culmination of a successful international tour of the production, which sold out for six weeks at London’s Young Vic.

The production first opened at The Dublin Theatre Festival in 2014 and went on to  play a sold out run at The Traverse Theatre as part of the Fringe Festival 2015 winning a Scotsman Fringe First, The Stage Acting Award for Aoife Duffin and the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.  To date the production has been seen by over 18,000 people.

You can read the full New York Times review here:



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