MY LEFT NUT by Michael Patrick & Oisín Kearney
The True Story of a Belfast boy growing up with no father to guide him through, and a giant ball to weigh him down.
Production shots by Peter Murray
400 millilitres. That’s how much liquid was drained from Michael’s left testicle when he was a teenager. That’s more than a can of coke. He should have told someone sooner, but who could he turn to? His dad died ten years ago and besides, school is full of rumours about what the giant bulge in his trousers actually is. Who wants to stop that?
Premiered at the Dublin Fringe Festival 2017
Starring and co-written by Michael Patrick
Directed and co-written by Oisín Kearney
Initially created through the Show in a Bag programme, supported by Fishamble, The Irish Theatre Institute and The Dublin Fringe Festival with additional support from Prime Cut Productions reveal programme.
After a hugely successful Edinburgh Fringe run and and Irish tour we are putting the show on hold very briefly. Michael need to interact with some other people for a while.
We are currently looking to tour the show again in spring 2019 in Ireland, UK and further afield.
If you'd be interesting in talking to us about this, see ways to contact us here.
How it came about
In early 2017 Michael and Oisín sat down to discuss applying for "Show in a Bag". Michael had so many brilliant ideas for a one man show, but Oisín promptly told him they were all terrible and they gave up. After a few pints Michael began regailing Oisín with stories of his childhood, and the time he developed a giant swelling on his testicle and all the ridiculous and crazy stories which happened because of it. Oisín turned to Michael and said "tell that story".
So they did.
It was only in writing the play that they realised it wasn't really a silly comedy about giant balls. It's really about Michael coming to terms with his fathers death, realising the strength his mother had in raising four children on her own, and figuring out what it means to be a man.
With the help of Mentor Director Emma Jordan and Dramaturg Gavin Kostick they have created a hilarious, heartwarming and poignant play, which has as much to say about motherhood as it does masculinity.
Reviews & Awards
Winner: Summerhall Lustrum Award. Edinburgh Fringe 2018
Nominee: Bewley's Little Gem Award. Dublin Fringe 2017
Selected: The Guardian, one of the best shows at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018
"Capturing the bluster and terror of life as a teenage boy, and boasting a fantastically expressive performance by Patrick, My Left Nut is an astute look at measuring up to ideas of masculinity"
★ ★ ★ ★ The Irish Sunday Times
"laughing one minute, crying the next... a terrific performance of a touching story"
★ ★ ★ ★ The Stage
"so much energy in the writing it’s almost exhausting. Patrick’s startlingly physical performance reflects this frenzy of adolescence"
★ ★ ★ ★ Broadway Baby
"An undoubted and wonderfully entertaining tour de force that deserves to be seen sooner rather than later."
★ ★ ★ ★ Fest Magazine
"buckets of humour and poignancy... an excellent show about growing up and learning to look after yourself in spite of stigma."
★ ★ ★ ★ The Irish Times
"Intimacy Through Comedy"
★ ★ ★ ★ The Reviews Hub
"My Left Nut is what fringe theatre is all about; it’s an hour of fresh, pure entertainment that shouldn’t be missed."
★ ★ ★ ★ Musical Theatre Musings
" brilliantly written... you're laughing along with Michael one moment and the next he comes out with something so poignant it stops you in your tracks."
★ ★ ★ ★ TN2
"heart-warming and charming, a documentation of the struggle to find one’s true self in the face of personal trauma"
"a wide-eyed, glorious, moving tale of a "little man" becoming a man... Michael Patrick plays the one-man piece with a combination of earnestness, verve and endearingly overwhelming charm"
Monthly Entertainment Guide
"by far, the funniest and most heart-breaking piece of work I have seen at The Dublin Fringe... A fantastically innovative piece of work which expertly combines comedy and tragedy"
No More Workhorse
"a substantial piece of theatre. It highlights a mature relationship between a mother and son with an immense sense of respect and love... While exceedingly funny, it is also serious. Go and see it"
The Red Curtain Review
"brilliant, entertaining, funny, thoughtful and touching... a wonderful theatrical work in all senses"
Theatre NI Young Critic
"filled with energy and gut-busting comedy... It was to no surprise when Patrick delivered the closing line and the stage faded to black, a standing ovation was immediately seen."
Interviews and Articles
Michael's interview with Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio 1 - Listen Here
Michael and Oisín talking to Dermot and Dave on Today FM - Listen Here
Michael's interview on Dublin City FM - Listen Here
Michael and Oisín's interview with Neil Delamere on Today FM - Listen Here
“My testicle was so big you could play it like a bongo” - The Guardian - Read Here
"Belfast Actor Turns teenage turmoil into play on masculinity" - Irish Times - Read Here
"It was the size of a giant avacado, Belfast actor opens up about his swollen testicle" - Irish Independent - Read Here
Sharing the Joke - Sunday Times - Read Here
'It's cathartic to tell my story' - Irish News - Read here
"We need more stories that tell men it’s alright to be vulnerable" - Irish Examiner - read here
Edinburgh Fringe Q&A - The Herald - Read Here.
I'm only sorry that I can't experience another hilarious and heart-breaking performance of @myleftnutplay at @WritersWeek. It was riveting from start to finish. Michael Patrick's sincerity and honesty left me in tears (both happy and sad). GO SEE THIS SHOW at @edfringe! pic.twitter.com/TDMjyU5aMr— Andrea Thornton (@MissMounthawk) June 2, 2018
Just seen 'My Left Nut' in An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny. Micheal Patrick, @micktheejit performs a full play as a solo with monologue after monologue with an outstanding performance. Excellent bit of acting, play and production. An absolute must see! #myleftnut— Padhraig McKernan (@padhraigmckerna) May 5, 2018
@myleftnutplay Saw this today and was so impressed by its clever construction and excellent acting! I regret not getting to my feet at the end! Well done and best of luck on tour 😊— Sorcha Maguire (@MagSorcha) April 6, 2018
@myleftnutplay @bwlyscaftheatre is a brilliant and moving portrait of masculinity and growing up. A beautiful performance with great writing. Great selection of music too. Well done to all involved. Get in to see it or catch it on tour.— Eoghan Carrick (@eoghancarrick) April 4, 2018
Lads #MyLeftNut in @bwlyscaftheatre is fecking deadly. Both hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time, a brilliant #Showinabag show. Running for the next 4 weeks, ach get on in for some lunchtime theatre and a trip to 1990s Belfast.— Katie O'Kelly (@KatieOKelly1) March 15, 2018
Saw a kickass one man show today in @bwlyscaftheatre called My Left Nut @myleftnutplay so bloody brilliant, smart, funny and touching plus some banging choons for a Thursday afternoon! Everyone must go and see this fab performance by @micktheejit ! Running til April 7, BOOK!— Helena White (@HelenaMaeveW) March 15, 2018
Managed to catch this hugely enjoyable show today, brilliantly performed, very funny and very touching. Don’t miss it! https://t.co/Wfcuf3bftg— Jane McCarthy (@JaneyMac1986) March 30, 2018
@myleftnutplay is so bloody good. Nostalgic, hilarious, heartfelt, entirely specific whilst being completely universal at the same time. A wonderful piece of theatre from @micktheejit and @OisinKearney - Adored it.— Mike Hooley (@hooleymike) December 7, 2017
Rarely tweet but this deserves it. If anyone gets the chance to go see @myleftnutplay take the opportunity. A great story with incredible acting. 10 outta 10 - guaranteed laughs and maybe a few years— Chris (@Fluff1892) December 9, 2017
Delighted to have caught the last Fringe performance of @myleftnutplay ...hilarious and incredibly moving!— Niamh Murphy (@niamhmurphy0) September 23, 2017
@myleftnutplay has a wonderful one-man physicality & is hilarious as it is poignant. Much more than just a story about balls! Go see it— C Mitchel (@cmmitchel) September 13, 2017