in association with axis, Ballymun present
Starring Enda Kilroy, Laurence Lowry, and Karl Shiels.

“A sharply contemporary tragi-comedy… Meltdown is intelligent, funny compassionate comment on our national mess, with cracking dialogue, terrific direction (even more terrific movement direction…) and four walloping performances…”

- Emer O’Kelly, Sunday Independent

“Sex in the City for men…very very funny…a play for today…it’s warm your heart”

– ARENA -RTÉ 1


Previews: axis 5th and 7th September @ 8.00pm (click to book)
Opened: axis 8th September to 12th @ 8.00pm (click to book)
Opened: Project Arts Centre 16th to 19th @6.10pm Matinee Friday @1.30 (click to book)
Opened: Civic Theatre Tallaght 21st to 26th @ 8.00pm (booking 01 4627477)


A tale of friendship, football and financial insolvency. What do you do when your marriage breaks down, your job vanishes, your investment turns into debt and your team can’t get off the bottom of the league? What else can you do but rely on the old friendships, smoke a good cigar and play the beautiful game.

MELTDOWN Photographs by Futoshi Sakauchi

Writer Director Paul Meade says:
“In 2007 I worked on developing script ideas with two of the cast of Meltdown, Enda Kilroy and Gerry McCann … We were discussing the breakdown of relationships and how they can affect not just the couple directly involved but also their circle of friends and perhaps even a wider community. A story of four northside Dublin friends was sketched out. In April 2008 I was devising with movement director Cathy Ryan and bunch of Irish, Welsh and English actors in New York under the auspices of Origin Theatre Company. The actors provided me with much of the building blocks for Meltdown. A paranoid investment banker, a manic- texting developer, a cigar smoking builder and a lonely taxi-driver.

One of our actors, Gary Gregg (from Finglas but living in Queens) was playing soccer down near Battery Park once a week and over a pint during a Champions League match in the Village we decided to see if these guys could be bound by the common link of football on a Tuesday night. It worked beautifully and Gary’s experiences in Battery Park and mine in Bushy Park (and other places) came together in a couple of electric improvisations in a small room on McDougal Street. I knew I could recreate this when sitting down to write because I had been playing on an Astro Turf team for the last 15 years and in some ways this play is a sort of tribute to that team – The United Artists.

Walking down North King Street one day digesting the economic news that was now a staple of my diet I found the themes of football, friends and break-ups suddenly beginning to make sense together. I even had a title that was so obvious I almost didn’t dare to utter it. I felt that headlines don’t necessarily make the best drama but I reminded myself that Gúna Nua prided itself on providing stories that were contemporary in outlook and as I turned the corner onto Stoneybatter I tried out the word – Meltdown.”


“Fighting all the time. For promotion, success, money, sex, custody of the kids. Fighting… ”
“What sets us apart?”
“Doing things well. Doing things the way they should be done… ”
“Like Roy Keane?”
“Exactly!”

Meltdown captures the feelings and challenges of Ireland today as it follows the declining fortunes of four friends whose lives go into meltdown. As material success and wealth are written off the agenda, these characters have to find a meaning in their lives, a purpose that will give shape to their struggles and their friendship. They find this through football, through a rediscovery of the meaning of team spirit and loyalty and an understanding that it’s not the winning that matters – it’s how you play the game – even if that game is only 30 minutes each half and no-one plays the offside rule…