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Lafferty's Wake - Full Length Play, Comedy

Lafferty's Wake

Susan Turlish

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Full Length Play, Comedy

4m, 3f

ISBN: 9780573627576

"A real charmer! It'll steal your heart away." - Courier Post

"Full of Irish flavor." - Philadelphia Inquirer

"You don't have to be Irish to love it." - Northeast Times

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Author | Now Playing | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play



120 minutes (2 hours)

Time Period - Contemporary, Present Day

Settings Of Play -

Lafferty's Wake can be played on a proscenium stage or (ideally) in a Cabaret setting. The play is set in Rory's Pub. There is a bar, a coffin, a jukebox, a piano, sofa, chairs.  Stage can be dresses with typical pub decorations as well as flower arrangements. Suggested costume, set and properties plots are included in the script.


Audience Participation/Interactive, Play w/ Music

Interior Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


No Special Cautions


Appropriate for all audiences


Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Senior Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Our darlin' wild rover, Charlie Lafferty, is being waked in grand style in his home away from home, the local pub. The audience joins Charlie's widow, his sweet daughter, bumbling son-in-law, the parish priest, and the savvy innkeeper as they celebrate the life and times of ramblin', gamblin' Lafferty. Two hours of sheer fun replete with jokes, jigs, games, stories and songs including such old favorites as "Molly Malone", "Whiskey in the Jar" and "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" guarantee a festive, audience pleasing frolic.


"A real charmer! It'll steal your heart away." - Courier Post

"Full of Irish flavor." - Philadelphia Inquirer

"You don't have to be Irish to love it." - Northeast Times

Lafferty's Wake was commissioned by the Society Hill Playhouse and premiered at the Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia, PA in October, 1997.



4m, 3f


Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle), Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle), Parts for Senior Actors


"Lafferty's Wake" is an audience interaction and participation piece. Actors should be comfortable with this and be on their toes to the changes in response from performance to performance. "Lafferty's Wake" includes some traditional Irish tunes so actors should be able and willing to sing.  The play is enriched when songs are accompanied with musical instruments: ie piano, flute, guitars, etc.

RORY FINN - Owner and publican of 'Rory's Pub' and Master of Ceremonies for Lafferty's Wake. A great friend of Charlie Lafferty and his family for many years. Warm, funny, outgoing, he interacts easily with the mourners on stage and in the audience.
FATHER TERRANCE PETTIGREW - The parish priest, Father knows all and everyone in Ballyslattery. Father finds individuals in the audience who resemble film, TV or political personalities and uses this to involve audience members throughout the show.
KATHLEEN LAFFERTY - Charlie's widow and Mother of their thirteen children.  She is earthy, funny and very much the fighter when she has to be. She loved Charlie very much.
MARGARET 'MAGGIE' CLANCY - Lafferty's daughter, newly married to Patrick whom she adores.
PATRICK CLANCY - Lafferty's son-in-law, newly married to Maggie whom he adores. Not the brightest bulb on the tree but means well.
MOLLY GREANY - An old friend of Lafferty (unbeknowst to Kathleen) who appears at his wake. Attractive, sexy and full of life.
LAFFERTY-OF-OLD - The man himself. A rambler and a gambler, the quintessential Wild Rover.


Susan Turlish

Susan Turlish wrote "Lafferty's Wake" for the Society Hill Playhouse, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1997. The show became an immediate hit with Philadelphia audiences and played in the Society Hill Playhouse Cabaret Theater for five seasons. "Lafferty's Wake" was published by Samuel French in 2000 and has since received productions throughout the United States and Canada. Indeed, the Society ... view full profile

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