“We are over the moon!” – Lisa May, Artistic Director

Bruiser Theatre Company wins Best Ensemble at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2022.

This is a major achievement for Bruiser Theatre Company, an independent Belfast-based theatre company committed to showcasing the rich talent and culture of Northern Ireland.

Bruiser’s award-winning production of Mojo Mickybo by Owen McCafferty has toured venues across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, to London and was streamed online during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

It has been an unprecedented 24 months for the Irish theatre industry, yet great work has still been staged (Both online and in-person) despite the odds.

It felt like a big win for the entire theatre community at the 23rd Irish Times Theatre Awards ceremony on Sunday at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, in Dublin. Six months ago, venues, artists and producers across the island were still in lockdown, wondering when the live-performance sector might return to normality.

Lorelei Harris of The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards commented: “The extraordinary circumstances need to be acknowledged from the outset … The very act of [artists] making work at all needs to be celebrated as significant on its own. The sheer courage involved, where you had a cohort of theatre practitioners, isolated in the way we were all isolated during the pandemic, continuing with their practice in the service of an audience: it was just remarkable really and we were privileged as an audience to be there.”

Bruiser’s Patron, Dan Gordon, commented: “Bruiser were so good, they had to be listened to. They had to be acknowledged. Even just to be nominated, on the level with The Abbey Theatre, Rough Magic, Druid, The Gate… These people are working at the top level, and so is Bruiser.”

Bruiser’s Founder and Artistic Director, Lisa May, was also nominated in the Best Director category for the same production.

The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards took place on June 12th at the Irish Museum of Modern Arts, Kilmainham, Dublin


Mojo Mickybo shows the friendship between two boys growing up in Belfast – a friendship that at first is immune to the sectarian violence taking place around them, but which nonetheless is ultimately destroyed by it.

Mojo and his mate Mickybo are two nine-year-old boys from opposing sides of the sectarian divide. They are ‘thick as two small thieves’, playing headers, being mouthy, building huts, spitting from cinema balconies and re-enacting their favourite movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They are young cowboys in the making, with the violence of The Troubles only obliquely impacting on them – until finally their friendship is destroyed in a way that they only later come to understand.

Pure, undiluted storytelling in Bruiser’s trademark dynamic physical style. Fast-paced, darkly funny and action-packed. The show was brought to life by two of our finest local actors, Michael Condron and Terence Keeley.

Bruiser Theatre Company are renowned for their fast-paced, energetic, and engaging performances. Under the meticulous direction of Lisa May, Bruiser Theatre company is proud to showcase of bothNorthern Ireland’s talent and complex history through this critically acclaimed production.

Director, Lisa May commented: “To me, it feels like Owen McCafferty’s love letter to Belfast, warts and all, and shows how sectarian anger is so deeply buried into the psyche of those who have grown up during the troubles; it is passed on to generation after generation. Nostalgic yet damning, hilarious yet heartbreaking; Mojo Mickybo is sadly all too relevant for today’s audience, not just in Northern Ireland but around the world.”

Mojo Mickybo has been supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, The National Lottery, Belfast City Council, The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and Culture Ireland.


“Seeing this underlined the importance of theatre … This outstanding production of Owen McCafferty’s insightful Mojo Mickybo reminds us why theatre is so vital.”
– Jane Hardy, The Irish News

“Two stunningly energetic performances … an hour of action-packed entertainment”
– Broadway Baby

“Skilfully performed and presented. I loved every minute spent with Mojo Mickybo.”
– Everything Theatre
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

“A fascinating and thoroughly engrossing piece of writing brought to life by two amazing and talented actors.”
– London Theatre 1
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

“The vitality of the performances is remarkable.”
– UK Theatre Web
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

“What we have here is a stunning, breath-taking piece of theatre.”
– Conor O’Neill, Culture Crush NI

“This is a piece of theatre that deserves the biggest of audiences … The power and appeal of Mojo Mickybo and of this production lies in its wonderfully affectionate, instantly recognisable and wholly unsentimental depiction of childhood …
in the safe hands of Lisa May, Condron and Keeley at the top of their game and Bruiser doing what they do best, Mojo Mickybo sings.” – Cathy Brown, No More Workhorse

·      Bruiser Theatre Company was founded in 1997 by Artistic Director, Lisa May. Bruiser’s goal is to achieve maximum impact, using minimal set and props, placing the actor as the central mechanism for communication with the audience.

·      The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards Criteria: Excellence: brilliance, superiority, distinction, quality, and merit. Innovation and risk must come into the equation as theatre is all about creativity and therefore inventiveness, resourcefulness, vision, imagination, inspiration, and originality.

·      Bruiser are committed to Arts Education and keen to work with post-primary schools across Northern Ireland. Schools can find out more about our work and how they can get involved by emailing education@bruisertheatrecompany.com

·      Bruiser is dedicated to nurturing the talents of the next generation of theatre makers and audience members. Applications are open, and for their upcoming training courses for young people ages 12-18+ in Belfast this Summer. For more information, applicants should email summer@bruisertheatrecompany.com


Peter Heenan – peter@bruisertheatrecompany.com

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any further information or if you have any questions. Company available for interviews upon request.