Joe Murphy Talks New Play ‘Splash’

A new production which showcases the brilliant acting of Emmet Farrell. ‘Splash’ tells the story of a gay man coming to terms with his sexuality as he strives for acceptance. However, finds himself becoming hindered by the fear of exploitation in a liberal world.
I spoke with writer, Joe Murphy, about the message of the show, what the audience can expect, and how far Ireland has come with LGBTQ+ rights.
 How did this piece come about?
Splash is a piece I started to write about four years ago and quickly gave up after a couple of pages because I​
 had no idea where it was going. I think the character came to me before anything else, loosely formed;
Awkward, maybe gay, a little bit ‘’different’’. I just wanted to take note before I forgot about him.
I thought about Dylan a lot though, particularly how he would fit in to the narrative of the last few years and that
air of revolution. Off the back of an outstanding win in the marriage equality referendum however, I want
Dylan’s character to tell the story of how he interacts with people before, during and after coming out as a gay
man and at each stage how their words and actions are really responsible for his decisions.
 Why is the stage the perfect place to tell Dylan’s story?
Dylan is telling his story so I want his audience to be in the room with him listening. The set will be stripped
back and lacking in external distractions so it’s ideal really.
Ireland has come so far on its attitudes towards LGBT people. But do you think we have progressed
‘’Faggots out, faggot bar’’ and a swastika. If we had come far enough we wouldn’t be seeing these slurs strewn
all over one of the few gay spaces we have in Ireland, let alone Dublin. I think since voting yes there’s a
tendency to view it as a box being ticked, ‘’everything’s grand now let’s move on to the next agenda’’.
Obviously it’s a seismic move forward but there’s work to be done and that comes from discussion. We need
open and honest conversation about words and how when misused they can hurt far more than any physical
aggression because they can make you feel unwelcome; uncertain of where you stand in your own country.
With all that said I have no doubt that in Ireland, it is only a matter of time until you feel fully comfortable
regardless of what letter of the initialism you fall into.
Who else is involved in the production?
The amazing Splash ​team is made up of my two usual partners in crime Ciaran Gallagher and Kelley Gissane.
Our one man cast is Emmet Farrell. We also have Amy O’Brien, Colin Doran, Joanna Kelly, Megan Lynch and
Fiachra Fallon Verbruggen. It’s awesome to be surrounded by creatives like these who aren’t afraid to get
involved and I know won’t hesitate to give me their opinions on changing and developing our production in the
What do you hope the audience will take away from seeing this play?
For now, feedback. I would love to have the audience come away with some solid debates or discussions but
their critique good, bad or indifferent will help us strip the show down and develop it back up into something
even more wonderful in the future.
Interview by Kevin Worrall
Tuesday 27th & Wednesday 28th February at 8pm in the Main Space, Smock Alley Theatre

Created by: Joe Murphy
Directed by: Ciaran Gallagher
Performed by: Emmet Farrell
Produced by: Kelley Gissane
Costume Design by: Amy O’ Brien
Styling + Special Effects by: Joanna Kelly
Sound Design by: Colin Doran
Dramaturg: Fiachra Fallon Verbruggen

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