The true story of Ireland’s only hangwoman.

How she murdered her son.

How she escaped the gallows and how she ended her days as Queen of the long drop in Roscommon Gaol.

Set in the West of Ireland around the time of the French Revolution, this visceral tale is beaten out in words, music and dance.


Written by Declan Donnellan, with music by Paddy Cunneen. Produced by Cheek by Jowl. The first performance of Lady Betty was at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds on 18th September 1989.

Venue City Country Dates No. of Performances
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds UK 18/09/89 6
Arts Theatre Cambridge UK 25/09/89 7
Wilde Theatre Bracknell UK 03/10/89 5
Brewhouse Theatre Taunton UK 09/10/89 7
Theatre Royal Winchester UK 16/10/89 7
Civic Theatre Scunthorpe UK 24/10/89 5
Towngate Theatre Basildon UK 30/10/89 6
Festival Theatre Chichester UK 06/11/89 6
Almeida Theatre London UK 28/11/89 27
Sally DexterBetty
Tim McMullanJohn / Oliver / Captain Mills
Gerard O'HareFather Malloy / Michael Flynn
Catherine WhiteNight / Bridie O'Byrne
Lawrence EvansSilence / George / Reverend Blakeney
Phil McKeeCold / Liamog Hanrahan
Roy McBrideO'Leary / Liam Hanrahan
Charlotte MedcalfMrs Mills / Peggy Hanrahan
Patrick ToomeyDunno / Christie O'Flaherty

DirectorDeclan Donnellan
DesignerNick Ormerod
Musical DirectorPaddy Cunneen
Movement DirectorJane Gibson
Lighting DesignerBen Ormerod
Company Stage ManagerLouise Yeomans
Dialect CoachSally Grace

eye witness text
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