Theatre – Little Gem at The Riverside

January 21st, 2011


Guna Nua, acclaimed Irish Theatre Company is touring Australia with the hit play ‘Little Gem’ featuring an all Irish cast.

  • 22 -26 February 2011
  • Riverside Theatres (also at the Seymore Centre)

Little Gem  – Love, sex, birth, death, dildos and salsa classes: three generations of Dublin women on a wild and constantly surprising journey.

Kay’s got an itch that Gem can’t scratch (but maybe Kermit can)… Lorraine attacks a customer at work and her boss wants her to see a psychiatrist… Amber has fierce bad indigestion and the sambucas aren’t getting rid of it. And then there’s Paul, the bollix, who is just using Amber until he can get to Australia… and there’s the hairy man who fancies Lorraine but fails to rise to the occasion … and of course Gem , who doesn’t like the neighbours coming in to ‘mind’ him. If all that wasn’t bad enough, Little Gem makes his presence felt and life is never the same again.

Produced by acclaimed Irish theatre company Gúna Nua Theatre, the award-winning Little Gem has performed sell-out seasons in London, Paris, New York and Edinburgh.

Directed by Paul Meade (Artistic Director of Gúna Nua Theatre) the cast interweave their characters’ life experiences as they cope with modern life’s daily pressures and the heart-breaking toll of inevitable tragedies, blending slapstick humour and sharp comic timing with strength, courage and honesty.

Elaine Murphy is an actress and writer from Dublin. As an actress she has appeared in numerous Television shows and films including Lenny Abrahamsson’s Prosperity, Becoming Jane alongside Anne Hathaway, and the award winning Pure Mule. She has recently wrapped filming on the romantic comedy Happy Ever Afters and will appear in RTE’s The Clinic this year as patient Gerri Foley. Her next play In Dublin set in a Lap dancing club will be produced by Bedrock Theatre Company in 2009. Little Gem was her debut play.

Paul Meade first read Elaine Murphy’s Little Gem in 2008 and promptly staged and directed the impressive debut in the Dublin Fringe Festival where it won several awards and went on to great acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009.

Little Gem Awards
Dublin Fringe Festival/Fishamble Best New Play and Best Female Performance Awards, awarded to the entire Cast and was nominated for Best Play and Best Actress.
Awarded the BBC Northern Ireland Drama Award.
Awarded the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award.
Won the Best Theatre Script awarded by the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild.

In the role of Kay is Anita Reeve whose  most recent appearance was in the Abbey Theatre as the Nurse in Romeo & Juliet.  Anita Reeve was the Winner for Best Female Performance, Dublin Fringe Festival 2008 for Little Gem and nominated for Best Actress, Irish Times Theatre Awards 2008.

Neilí Conroy, who plays the role of Lorraine, is well known as a screen and stage actress since her teenage years. Recent appearances on stage include Little Gem, Mum’s The Word, All Around My Head, One, The Sugar Wife, Pilgrims in the Park, Done up like a Kipper, Down the Line, Mrs Sweeney and The Plough and the Stars.

Birdy Beaman, playing Amber, is a graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting’s full time course. She has previously appeared in Casa Lisa by Ken Bourke and directed by Liam Halligan at Project Arts Centre and in Talking Shop Ensemble’s promenade piece Anne and Barry at NCAD as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2009.

Little Gem  is a play that, like its characters, gurgles and giggles with life even in the face of death. Murphy and her brilliant cast make us care about every breath these women take, and make you want to hug them. – The Guardian

Little Gem at Riverside Theatres cnr Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Dates: February 22 -26
Times: Tues 22, Wed 23, Fri 25 at 7.30pm; Thurs 24 at 6.30pm; Sat 26 at 2.15pm & 7.30pm
Ticket Prices: Adult $55; Conc & Grp $50; 30 & Under $43
Bookings: Riverside Theatres Box Office on 8839 3399 or

Little Gem is also playing at the Seymour Centre.

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