Harriet Gordon-Anderson, Brian Meegan and Jeremy Waters, reunite in this acerbic and brutally hilarious play exposing fragile egos and power in Hollywood.

Overview

Jay is the Oscar-winning actor. Leigh is the ambitious director. Ruth is the young playwright with a gritty historical drama that is destined to make them the talk of Tinsel Town. With the shiny accolades of Hollywood within their clutches, the three rendez-vous to secure the play and discuss the nitty gritty – but when boundaries are broken, the night collapses into full-blown chaos. The show must go on!

Pushing the limits on identity politics, ULSTER AMERICAN is a savage satire exposing the fragile egos and abuses of power that run rampant in Hollywood. Harriet Gordon-Anderson (BOXING DAY BBQ), Brian Meegan (BOXING DAY BBQ) and Jeremy Waters (THE BIG TIME), reunite after Outhouse Theatre’s critically acclaimed 2021 season in this acerbic and brutally hilarious play.

Ticket Prices

For group bookings of 10+, please call Box office on (02 8918 3400) or email boxoffice@ensemble.com.au

Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice.

2024 SINGLE TICKETSPREVIEWSIN SEASON
FULL PRICE$83$88
SENIOR CARD$80$85
PENSIONER$76$81
GROUP 10 - 19$76$81
GROUP 20+$71$76
30 OR UNDER$40$43
FULL-TIME STUDENT$40$43
MEAA/AWG$40$43
SCHOOL GROUPS$25$25
BUY TICKETS
Reviews

★★★★★ "Laugh out loud, be shocked, gasp, and laugh some more. Recommended without reservation." Stage Noise

★★★★★ "Shocking, rollicking and highly entertaining" Sydney Scoop

★★★★1/2 "feels fresh and intriguing. Combined with superb acting performances, this is a play that subverts expectations and is a great watch." Musical Theatre AU

★★★★ "If you like your comedy black and your satire vicious, Ulster American fits the bill perfectly." Limelight

★★★★ "Meegan and Waters play the gross misogyny to great effect…..Gordon-Anderson, meanwhile, is perfect as the razor-sharp playwright" Arts Hub

"A captivating piece of dark comedy that will have you roaring with laughter and shocked into silence in turns." Broadway World

"Exceptionally good are the threesome who proceed from friendly disagreement all the way to downright, murderous aggression." Stage Whispers

"a triumvirate of potent synergy, delivering compelling performances of deeply flawed characters that transcend mere shock value by delving into the depths of the monster's psychosis." 4th Wall Reviews

“Black comedy that reveals social flaws and faults in all their vivid, blue lividity.” Carol Wimmer

"You just have to see this witty, biting satire at the Ensemble." City Hub

"The three actors totally inhabit their characters. Their comic timing is absolutely spot on and the tension between them builds marvellously into a final scene that is shocking, awful – and hilarious." Megaphone Oz

"an exciting 21st century play which doubles as an incisive examination of the arts industry. It asks what we are willing to accept, what we are willing to compromise and where the line must be drawn." Playwave Creative

"still as relevant now in Australia’s epidemic of gender-based violence as it was in 2018 as a response to the #MeToo movement." Honi Soit

Cast & Creatives
David Ireland

David Ireland

Playwright

David is a playwright and actor from Belfast. He won the Meyer Whitworth Award in 2012 for EVERYTHING BETWEEN US and was shortlisted for the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright 2016 for Cyprus Avenue. Cyprus Avenue also won the Irish Times Award for Best New Play and the James Tait Black Award in 2017. In 2018, ULSTER AMERICAN won a Scotsman Fringe First and the Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland for Best New Play and was on in London in 2023 starring Woody Harrelson, Andy Serkis and Louis Harland, directed by Jerremy Herrin. His other plays include NOT NOW, SADIE, YES SO I SAID YES, THE END OF HOPE and CAN’T FORGET ABOUT YOU.  He has written several radio plays and, for television, an episode of THE YOUNG OFFENDERS (RTE/BBC). His six-part romantic comedy series THE LOVERS was broadcast on Sky Atlantic earlier this year.  He is currently working on new plays for the Almeida, the National Theatre of Scotland and Paines Plough and a new television series for ITV and Sister Pictures. As an actor, he is best known for playing Clare’s dad in DERRY GIRLS. He has also appeared in SHETLAND, STILL GAME, TAGGART and THE LOVERS.

Shane Anthony

Shane Anthony

Director

As Director; Chopt Logic (with Metro Arts): OUR BLOOD RUNS IN THE STREET. Darlinghurst Theatre Company: (with Critical Stages National Tour) OFTEN I FIND THAT I AM NAKED. Griffin Theatre Company: LIGHTEN UP. Kings Cross Theatre: LILAC. La Boite Theatre: MY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE. Outhouse Theatre Company (with Seymour Centre and Riverside Theatre): ULSTER AMERICAN. Redline Productions: THE WHALE. Seymour Centre (with Sugary Rum and Redline Productions): ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE. Sydney Festival (with Arts Centre Melbourne, Brisbane Festival, and the New York Musical Theatre Festival): SONGS FOR THE FALLEN. National Institute of Dramatic Art: LOVE AND INFORMATION, ORESTES and PORNOGRAPHY. Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts: FATHERLAND and 3 WINTERS. 23rd Productions: MOTORTOWN. Fortune Theatre (New Zealand): ALTAR BOYZ, CALENDAR GIRLS and AVENUE Q. As Movement Director; The New Theatre: ANGELS IN AMERICA. The Court Theatre (New Zealand): RENT, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME.

Harriet Gordon-Anderson

Harriet Gordon-Anderson

Cast

Theatre: Ensemble Theatre: BOXING DAY BBQ. Bell Shakespeare: HAMLET, THE MISER. Belvoir Street Theatre: SCENES FROM THE CLIMATE ERA. Darlinghurst Theatre: KINDERTRANSPORT. Kings Cross Theatre: YOU GOT OLDER, LEAVES, BLUE CHRISTMAS. Malthouse: PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (with Black Swan, The Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, The Barbican London). Next Wave: LIFESTYLE OF THE RICHARD AND FAMILY. Outhouse Theatre: ULSTER AMERICAN. Sydney Festival: MUSEUM OF MODERN LOVE. Sugary Rum: ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE. Film: THE GREENHOUSE. TV: HOME AND AWAY, AMAZING GRACE, MR INBETWEEN, LOVE CHILD, THE SECRET DAUGHTER, MIKKI VS THE WORLD. Training: WAAPA.

Brian Meegan

Brian Meegan

Cast

Theatre: Ensemble Theatre: THE ODD COUPLE, THE NORMAN CONQUESTS TRILOGY, TWO, A HISTORY OF FALLING THINGS, ABSENT FRIENDS, NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH, FRANKENSTEIN, THE ACT, MY WONDERFUL DAY, NINETY, ABIGAIL’S PARTY, CHAPTER TWO, ART, THE BOY NEXT DOOR, ALARMS AND EXCURSIONS, WRONG FOR EACH OTHER, THE HEARTBREAK KID, MACBETH. Outhouse Theatre: ULSTER AMERICAN. Red Line Productions: COCK. Riverside Theatres: KING LEAR. Seymour Centre: The Boys Gotta Bonk. TV: HOME & AWAY, RAKE, DEVIL’S DUST, UNDERBELLY BADNESS, A MODEL DAUGHTER: THE KILLING OF CAROLINE BYRNE, LEGEND OF ENYO, SEA PATROL, CURTIN, BLUE WATER HIGH, THROUGH MY EYES, MARKING TIME, GOING HOME, GRASS ROOTS, WATER RATS, ALL SAINTS. Film: CHILDREN OF THE CORN, THE INVISIBLE MAN, BEING GAVIN, PRIME MOVER, $9.99, JOYRIDE, THE ILLUSTRATED FAILY DOCTOR, RISK, THREADED, BLACKROCK. Training: Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Jeremy Waters

Jeremy Waters

Cast

Theatre: Ensemble Theatre: THE BIG TIME. Outhouse Theatre Company: CONSENT, HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING, ULSTER AMERICAN, THE FLICK, THE ALIENS, FOUR MINUTES TWELVE SECONDS, BU21, FOUR PLACES, RIDE, MERCY THIEVES, THE BOYS.Darlinghurst Theatre Company: A MAN WITH 5 CHILDREN. Bakehouse Theatre Company: DRESDEN. Red Line Productions: A GIRL WITH SUN IN HER EYES.Griffin Independent: 5 PROPERTIES OF CHAINMALE. Tooth and Sinew: SCENES FROM AN EXECUTION.Dudley Street Productions: LOBBY HERO. New Theatre: HARVEST, JERUSALEM, THE PILLOWMAN. 10 Alphas: BONDI DREAMING. TV: Netflix: PIECES OF HER, NBC Universal: YOUNG ROCK, BB Productions: TOTAL CONTROL, Screentime: JANET KING. Web series: Last frame: JADE OF DEATH. Film: ACM films: SWEET RIVER, Pinnacle: THE COMBINATION REDEMPTION, Goalpost: I AM WOMAN. Awards & Nominations: Jeremy has been nominated for Sydney Theatre Awards for his work in THE FLICK, THE ALIENS and JERUSALEM. Other: Jeremy is the founder and artistic director of acclaimed theatre company Outhouse Theatre Co.

Veronique Benett

Veronique Benett

Set & Lighting Designer

Ensemble Theatre: SWITZERLAND, THE MEMORY OF WATER, RHINESTONE REX AND MISS MONICA, A BROADCAST COUP, THE CARETAKER, A DOLL’S HOUSE, NEARER THE GODS (set and costume). Lighting design credits; Belvoir St Theatre: THE JUNGLE AND THE SEA, TELL ME I’M HERE, THE WOLVES. Circa: SACRE. Darlinghurst Theatre Company: NATASHA, PIERRE AND THE GREAT COMET OF 1912. Griffin Theatre Company: THE SMALLEST HOUR. Hayes Theatre Company: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, THE LIFE OF US. Outhouse Theatre Company: A CASE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. Red Line Productions: BURN WITCH BURN, HAPPY DAYS, CHORUS, ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE. Pinchgut Opera: PLEASURES OF VERSAILLES.

Claudia Kryszkiewicz

Claudia Kryszkiewicz

Costume Designer

Theatre: Belvoir St Theatre: SHITTY. National Institute of Dramatic Art: THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR, GHOST LIGHTS. Seymour Centre: ULSTER AMERICAN. Film: IMPOSSIBLE IMAGE, BREAKING PLATES, ENEMY ALIEN, Training: NIDA, QUEENSLAND COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN. Awards: Best Costume Design – Exeter Dance International Film Festival.

Mary Rapp

Mary Rapp

Sound Designer

Sound design or composition commissions; Ensemble Theatre: SUMMER OF HAROLD. Blush Opera: FLORENCE BROADHURST. National Theatre of Parramatta: GROUNDED, THE GIRL/ THE WOMAN. Sydney Observatory: SPACE JUNK. Athr gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: THE CHILDREN OF YAM. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin: ZOME ZOME film score. Noor festival, Saudi Arabia: THE MIND SHIP EXODUS. Performances; Australian Art Orchestra: THE LOST KARAOKE TAPES. Melbourne International Jazz Festival: JOSH KELLY BAND. Melbourne Performing Arts Centre: OF DEITIES AND DEMONS. MONA & Sydney Improvised Music Association: MARY RAPP TRIO. Monkey Baa Theatre: DIARY OF A WOMBAT, USA tour. New Waves ABC Radio: MARY RAPP SOLO. Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival, Mornington Peninsular Jazz Festival & Suzanne Roberts Theatre, USA: MARY RAPP QUARTET. Cocoon Hall, Seoul: MONAD.

Linda Nicholls-Gidley

Linda Nicholls-Gidley

Dialect Coach

Theatre: Ensemble Theatre: SWITZERLAND, ALONE IT STANDS, THE MEMORY OF WATER, SUMMER OF HAROLD, BENEFACTORS, CLYDE’S, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER, BOXING DAY BBQ, THE CARETAKER, PHOTOGRAPH 51, BLACK COCKATOO, BABY DOLL. Belvoir Street Theatre: COUNTING AND CRACKING. Crossroads Live: CINDERELLA, 9 TO 5. Darlinghurst Theatre: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, ONCE, A CHORUS LINE. DreamWorks: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. Gordon Frost: THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, SHREK, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, THE BODYGUARD, DIRTY DANCING. Griffin Theatre: PONY. GWB Entertainment JAGGED LITTLE PILL, GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. Hayes Theatre: MURDER FOR TWO. National Theatre of Paramatta: FADE. Paul Dainty: TINA. Television: SHANTARAM, WELLMANIA, YEAR OF, MARY: THE MAKING OF A PRINCESS. Film: JUNGLE.

Tim Dashwood

Tim Dashwood

Fight Director

Theatre: Ensemble Theatre: ALONE IT STANDS. Australian Theatre for Young People: SAPLINGS, THE DEB, INTERSECTIONS: ARRIVAL, WAR CRIMES. Bell Shakespeare: THE PLAYERS. Belvoir: TELL ME I’M HERE, FANGIRLS, OPENING NIGHT, THE LIFE OF GALILEO. Darlinghurst Theatre Company: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. Griffin Theatre Company: JAILBABY, THE LEWIS TRILOGY. Hayes Theatre Company: ZOMBIE! THE MUSICAL, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, DUBBO CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING. National Theatre of Parramatta: GIRLS IN BOYS’ CARS. Opera Australia: WEST SIDE STORY, MISS SAIGON, WHITELEY, KROL ROGER, FAUST. shake & stir theatre co.: FOURTEEN, FANTASTIC MR FOX, JANE EYRE. Sydney Theatre Company: A FOOL IN LOVE, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, JULIUS CAESAR, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, NO PAY? NO WAY!, LORD OF THE FLIES. Other: President of the Society of Australian Fight Directors incorporated.

Saz Watson

Saz Watson

Stage Manager

Theatre: Chopt Logic/Sugary Rum: ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE. City Recital Hall: DARREN CRISS AUSTRALIAN TOUR, THE TEACHES OF PEACHES, YOTHU YINDI, FEMI KUTI AND THE POSITIVE FORCE, GORDI, EZRA COLLECTIVE. National Institute of Dramatic Art: PORNOGRAPHY. Outhouse Theatre Company: CONSENT. Production Manager: Austin Hayden & Ryan Bown: TRUE WEST. Empress Theatre: THE LONESOME WEST. Soft Shock Productions: COWBOY MOUTH. Sydney Theatre Company: IN A HEART BEAT. Producer/Director: Little Fish Entertainment: CHICAGO, SPRING AWAKENING. Film: THIRTEEN SECONDS. Television: BIG BROTHER, OLD PEOPLE’S HOME FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.

Christopher Starnawski

Christopher Starnawski

Assistant Stage Manager

Theatre: Ensemble Theatre: MIDNIGHT MURDER AT HAMLINGTON HALL. Bar’d Work: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Bell Shakespeare: THE LOVERS. Belvoir Street Theatre: SCENES FROM THE CLIMATE ERA, TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS. Belvoir 25a: AN OX STAND ON MY TONGUE. Megan Bennetts: LOSING IT. Opera Australia: LA TRAVIATA. Red Line Productions & Sydney Opera House: AMADEUS. Sport For Jove: VENUS & ADONIS, ROMEO & JULIET, TWELFTH NIGHT, MACBETH, RICHARD III, HENRY IV. Squabbalogic: HERRINGBONE, THE DISMISSAL, NINE. Film: 17 MINUTES, DISARMED, LIFE AFTER MAN, KAIROS, LONG STORY SHORT, PSEUDOMONAS, RITUAL, THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE BOTH OF US. Music Video: AMALIA, IN HEART’S WAKE, RAYN.

Renata Beslik

Renata Beslik

Costume Supervisor

Ensemble Theatre: SWITZERLAND, ALONE IT STANDS, THE GREAT DIVIDE, THE MEMORY OF WATER, SUMMER OF HAROLD, MR BAILEY’S MINDER, BENEFACTORS, RHINESTONE REX AND MISS MONICA, CARETAKER, PHOTOGRAPH 51, THE ONE, OUTDATED, CRUNCH TIME, BABY DOLL, FULLY COMMITTED, FOLK, THE BIG TIME, LUNA GALE, SHIRLEY VALENTINE, THE KITCHEN SINK and many more. Bell Shakespeare: HENRY V, THE WINTER’S TALE, MACBETH. Belvoir St Theatre: FANGIRLS. New Theatricals: DARKNESS. National Institute of Dramatic Art: THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR, STAY HAPPY KEEP SMILING, THE TEMPEST, WOYCECK, A LIE OF THE MIND, PORT, THE THREESOME. Pinchgut Opera: RINALDO, MÉDÉE, ORONTEA, PLATÉE and many more. Sydney Festival: BETTY BLOKKBUSTER RE-IMAGINED.

Director's note

David Ireland’s satirical exploration of identity politics, gender bias and the silencing of the female voice is confronting and uncomfortable. A seemingly innocent meeting between a Northern Irish playwright, an American actor, and a British director, ULSTER AMERICAN is filled with razor-sharp dialogue, break-neck comic flare and is anything but predictable.

The play examines the world we find ourselves in post #MeToo and the behaviours that continue to flourish, despite the heavily filtered facade of the men who have been challenged and are now coming to terms with their inherited prejudice and positions of power.

It questions our righteousness and our grandstanding, and our desperate need to be seen on the right side of history.

Ireland’s latest play is not just about systemic misogyny or cultural imperialism. It’s about Hollywood colonialism, and how we invest power and perpetuate this deeply flawed cultural machine.

Despite Ireland’s controversial and often uncomfortable brand of dark humour, I’ve found that ULSTER AMERICAN also contains a remarkable urgency and resonance in 2024.

Ireland has said that he wrote the first draft of ULSTER AMERICAN before #MeToo ignited and quickly gained momentum, which perhaps suggests an uncanny ability to anticipate a profound cultural movement. Instead of finding this extraordinary, I’m reminded that what’s really startling is that we continue to grapple with an epidemic of violence against women. Ireland’s play confronts us with uncomfortable truths and feels astonishingly relevant in Australia right now.

Shane Anthony

Watch the trailer

Special performances

Audio Described

  • Wed 29 May 11am
  • Sat 1 Jun 2pm

Q&A Sessions

  • Sat 25 May 8.15pm
  • Wed 29 May 11am

Free Teen Night

  • Wed 29 May 6.15pm
PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS

This production would not be possible without the continued support of our partners and our valued supporters. Thank you.

For more information on how to support Ensemble, contact Stephen Attfield, Philanthropy & Partnerships Manager, on stephena@ensemble.com.au or call 02 8918 3400.

About Outhouse Theatre Co

The original production of ULSTER AMERICAN was produced by Outhouse Theatre Company (Artistic Director, Jeremy Waters) at The Seymour Centre (Artistic Director, Tim Jones) in 2021.

Outhouse Theatre Company was formed in 2006 in New York City and produces daring, new international plays that confront the challenges of the world around us. Plays that make you feel as well as think.

www.outhousetheatre.org