The Border Game, a critically acclaimed play from award-winning writers, Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney, is set to return to NI venues for the second consecutive year as it kicks off an eleven venue, all-Ireland tour. The Border Game will play at Lyric Theatre Belfast from 25th to 27th August and at Marketplace Theatre, Armagh on September 7th. The Ireland dates of the tour start on 31st August in Galway.

Co-produced by Prime Cut Productions and the Lyric Theatre, The Border Game stars Patrick McBrearty and Cat Barter. The play is a timely and powerful reflection on 100 years of the border and how it has impacted those who live along it.

Described by The Guardian as “Powerful, moving and honourable” and by The Irish Times as “At once mysterious and mystical, squalid and disintegrating,” the piece is inspired by 100 testimonies collected by the writers from real people living all over the 300-mile length of the border.

Originally commissioned by Prime Cut Productions as a piece of new original theatre to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary in 2021, the play made a timely and successful debut at the Lyric Theatre last year, playing to capacity houses.

Writer Michael Patrick (My Left Nut and The Alternative), says “It is a pleasure to bring The Border Game back to the Lyric as part of our All-Ireland tour.

“With this piece, which focuses on ex-lovers from opposite sides of the Fermanagh-Leitrim border and of the religious divide, we hope to evoke a sense of the politics in the area and of the cumulative experiences of real people who have lived along it.”

Co-writer, Oisín Kearney (My Left Nut and The Alternative), adds, “We are delighted to bring The Border Game back to the Lyric and on tour to the Republic.

“Patrick delivered a compelling performance last year and this year, we are excited to welcome Cat Barter to the role of Sinead, our female lead and are elated to be working with Emma and Jimmy on this year’s performance.”

The play centres around estranged couple, Sinead (Barter) and Henry (McBrearty) who discuss their past as they attempt to mend a fence in a borderland field next to an old customs hut. What begins as a simple task soon turns to talk of their past, a reliving of old memories, and a relentless competition to come out on top.

Emma Jordan, Director of Prime Cut Productions says, “I’m very much looking forward to directing The Border Game again after a hugely successful run at the Lyric last year. It is an arresting piece that facilitates a sophisticated conversation about the border, the future, the questions that it raises and how it both divides and unites the people who live along it.”

Jimmy Fay, Executive Producer at the Lyric Theatre, comments, “We’re thrilled to welcome The Border Game back to the Lyric. It is a pleasure to co-produce such a sensitive and thought-provoking depiction of life along the border. Last year’s show received glowing reviews and I expect that this year’s run will receive further acclaim.

“Michael and Oisin have created an incredibly evocative and nostalgic piece that I would encourage everyone to experience.”

The play is for an audience aged 12+ and features some mild strobe like effects, some mild sexual activity (a kiss) and strong language throughout.

Tickets for the performances at the Lyric Theatre Belfast can be booked at:

Tickets for the performance at Marketplace Theatre, Armagh can be booked at:


Notes to Editor


The Border Game will visit the following ROI venues:

  • Town Hall Theatre, Galway – August 31st
  • Axis Theatre, Dublin – September 3rd
  • Roscommon Arts Centre – September 13th
  • Garage Theatre, Monaghan – September 15th
  • An Tain Arts Centre, Dundalk – September 17th
  • Hawks Well Theatre, Sligo – September 21st
  • An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny – September 23rd and 24th
  • The Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick – September 27th and 28th
  • Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda – October 1st