Smilin' Through and Still Ill
Two plays by Billy Cowan
On the eve of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, Kyle Morrow comes out to his fiercely Presbyterian mother, Peggy. When she tells him to get out he barricades himself into his bedroom and goes on hunger strike until she accepts his sexuality and agrees to let him stay.
Smilin’ Through is a savage comedy which won the 2002 Writing Out Award for Best New Gay Play organised by Finborough Theatre. It was nominated for Best New Play 2005 by the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards.
'A hard-hitting play and at times exhilaratingly surreal.' The Stage
'Unflinchingly ambitious.' The Metro *****
Ulster 2008. Ten years after peace, police stations are closing down and sex shops are opening up. When Tommy returns home he can’t believe all the changes, but then he bumps into Gary, his old friend and fellow fan of The Smiths. The two men start a dangerous affair that pulls Tommy back into a world of violence he hoped had disappeared.
Still Ill (ne: Transitions) is a tragic love story which won Warehouse Theatre’s 2010 International Playwriting competition and received a Special Commendation at the Verity Bargate Award.
'Cowan’s writing is the kind of challenging work from the regions that the National Theatre should be showcasing.' Birmingham Post