Tuesday, January 24, 2012

47 Roses - One Man Show by Peter Sheridan

They say every family has its secrets, and probably Irish families have more secrets than most, including my own, but that's for another post.

Today I want to tell you about one of the best one man shows I've ever had the pleasure of seeing, 47 Roses by Peter Sheridan.

I first became aware of Peter's writing work when a number of years back I read his memoir '44', a tale of Dublin in the 60's. Through this compelling narrative, as the reader, I was brought from childhood to adulthood, experiencing the family 's loss, survival and love.  It was a story told with humour and sadness, bringing to the page that great substance which makes all good story telling worthwhile, a sense that somehow through the reading experience, you get to know the people within it, touching you in a way which will ensure they stay with you for a very long time afterwards.

Later, I picked up a copy of '47 Roses', where Peter is grown up with a family of his own, and the death of his father opens the closet door just enough for the family skeletons to come tumbling out. '47 Roses' is the story of the relationship between his parents, from their first meeting in the 1940's until his father's death, recounted around the figure of Doris, a woman who formed an integral part of the Sheridan household, mostly by letters over five decades, and is a unique opportunity to visit the tale of one man's love for two women, and the joys and sacrifices of a lifetime which this love entailed.

When I decided to go and see Peter's adaptation of 47 Roses for the stage, I had the bar set very high, and I wasn't disappointed.  The stage adaptation is a triumph, not just because it recounts this great story of love, sadness, humour and song, but because it dilutes nothing in the telling.  What you get is the special sense of intimacy and emotion felt when you're introduced to people/characters who come alive within the light and shade of life in a magical way.

Do yourself a favour if you're in Dublin, or even close to it, and take in this show, like the book, it will stay with you for a long time after, and if you don't believe me, read the introduction below, and take in what some rather great voices have to say about it.  

47 Roses by Peter Sheridan

On at the Viking Theatre Clontarf Jan 23–Feb 4 2012 (8pm) - Booking Details below

After two successful runs in Bewleys CafĂ© Theatre in 2011, Peter Sheridan returns with his one man show based on his second novel 47 Roses. In it he conjures up the voices, sights and songs of his 1960’s childhood in Dublin, in a powerful coming-of-age story, peopled with deliciously eccentric characters and wonderfully bizarre incidents. By turns, brilliantly funny and intensely moving, this remarkable performance packs a considerable punch – a cultural gem.


Peter Sheridan writes at the crossroads where hilarity and heartbreak, tenderness and savagery meet.  The people who live there are often cruel, often magnificent, and always, always human.  He captures them perfectly.’
- Roddy Doyle

‘A story so vivid, affecting and lingering that it almost feels like our own.’
 - Irish Times

 'Peter Sheridan has remade the lost world of sixties Dublin in this knock-out memoir, a gently powerful act of memory and love.’  
- Sebastian Barry

'He’s funny, he’s self-deprecating, he’s street-wise, he’s naughty…pure theatre.’
- Sunday Indpendent

Booking Information

Viking Theatre @ the sheds
Connollys - The Sheds
Dublin 3

Bookings: 087-1129970    

The Viking Theatre at The Sheds is an exciting new venue on the Northside of Dublin.
It is situated upstairs at Connolly’s The Sheds where the Clontarf Road and Vernon Avenue meet to form a thriving social hub for the surrounding area.

The show is also on at RIVERBANK ARTS CENTRE (Main Street,Newbridge) on Thursday 2nd February 2012
 - get details HERE  -

(A Question and Answer session will follow the show at Riverbank)


  1. Ooh that looks fab! Won't be in Dub on those dates, but will certainly get a copy of '47 Roses' - looking forward to reading it :)

  2. Deffo pick one up Katy - it is a great read:)

  3. At Reader's Day, a couple of year's ago, Peter enthralled the audience with a monologue of '47 Roses'. I can still remember it vividly. The story was portrayed so well, with such passion and intensity that I could physically see the characters as he unveiled them.

    Definitely, a treat in store for those of you yet to see it . . .

  4. Thanks for pointing out what looks like a very good read.

  5. He sounds likean interesting guy, I hope to make his show one of the nights.

  6. You had me at secrets! I'm off to book seats. Thanks Louise.

  7. Hope you enjoy it Stephen - a great read:)

    Deffo try to make the show Michelle, and Caren, I'm with you on secrets, always adds another dimension or two!

  8. Sounds good Louise - I'll try to make it.

  9. Hi Louise, just to note that it is at Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co Kildare on Thursday February 2nd. We are also hosting a Q&A with Peter following the show.http://www.riverbank.ie/shows/peter-sheridan-47-roses

  10. You'd really enjoy it Brian.

    Hiya Hazel - I've just added details on the post:)

  11. I LOVED this play, saw it last year in Bewleys Cafe Theatre, performed beautifully by the man himself...actually made me cry into my mushroom soup (ticket included lunch), wonderful story and a brave piece of work for the author to get his head around.

  12. Thanks June - it sure was a difficult one, but no better man to pull it off, both in the memoir and the stage adaptation:)


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