Artist In Residence

Fiona Keenan O’Brien

As a core company member and performer with Quintessence Theatre Company since 2015 Fiona has developed and honed her practice which has had a ripple effect on her teaching and choreography styles and approaches. Working with professional directors and highly-trained performers allows her to expand her performance language and craft. A freelance teacher and choreographer, her practice includes a strong element of community engagement and most recently working with young people and minority groups to share new ideologies and experiences combining inclusivity, artistic innovation and excellence.

New dance creation with Anna Simpson during August 2023. They will start their show case for their dance show in March 2024 which will be held in the Garage Theatre later on in the year.



Playwright and novelist Patrick McCabe was born in 1955 in Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland. He was educated at St Patrick’s Training College in Dublin and began teaching at Kingsbury Day Special School in London in 1980.

His short story ‘The Call’ won the Irish Press Hennessy Award. He is the author of several novels, including The Butcher Boy (1992), a black comedy narrated by a disturbed young slaughterhouse worker, which won the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Fiction; The Dead School (1995), an account of the misfortunes that befall two Dublin teachers; and Breakfast on Pluto (1998), the disturbing tale of a transvestite prostitute who becomes involved with Republican terrorists. The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto were both shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. His novel, Emerald Germs of Ireland (2001), is a black comedy featuring matricide Pat McNab and his attempts to fend off nosy neighbours. Winterwood was published in 2006 and was named the 2007 Hughes & Hughes/Irish Independent Irish Novel of the Year. His latest novels are The Holy City (2008) and The Stray Sod Country (2010).

He is also the author of a children’s book, The Adventures of Shay Mouse (1985), and a collection of linked short stories, Mondo Desperado, published in 1999. His play Frank Pig Says Hello, which he adapted from The Butcher Boy, was first performed at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1992. The play is published in Far from the Land: Contemporary Irish Plays (1998), edited by John Fairleigh. A film adaptation of The Butcher Boy directed by Neil Jordan was first screened in 1996. His short stories have been published in the Irish Times and the Cork Examiner and his work has been broadcast by RTÉ in Ireland and the BBC.