Wild in the Country


When it is suggested to Rose that her favourite superstar, Elvis Presley, is coming to town to perform in the local hall, she gives it her all to get ready for this great event. But when her plans to meet and seduce Elvis get interrupted by her Mozart loving husband, a washing machine, a local election, and Mother time herself, she decides she must take matters into her own hands if she is to fulfil her destiny.

The first draft of the play was written in 2002, and in 2003 was shortlisted for the prestigious Eamon Keane Full-Length Play Award at Listowel Writers’ Week.

Inspired by the Richard Thompson song ‘From Galway to Graceland’, this razor-sharp tragic-comedy is set in August, 1977, in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Wild in the Country was first performed on March 4th, 2020 by Enniscorthy Drama Group in The Presentation Centre, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.

ROSE ­– Housewife and seamstress. Elvis Presley fanatic. 
WOLFIE – Rose’s husband. A classical music teacher.
FATHER BILLY – Roman Catholic priest. Has a short left leg. 
MARIE – Councillor’s daughter. Dressed in plain clothes. 
JOHNNO – Teddy Boy. Sometimes speaks in a mock Elvis accent. 
COP – American police officer. 
DJ – Voice only on a local radio station. 

August, 1977. Outskirts of Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland. 

ROSE, WOLFIE, MARIE, JOHNNO and DJ have strong Enniscorthy accents. 

Script available on request.

The members of EDG enjoyed sell-out houses in the Presentation Centre recently for their performance of Paul O’Reilly’s ‘Wild in the Country’. Directed by Fintan Kelly, the story was based around a character named “Rose” who mistakenly thinks Elvis is going to perform in the local hall. The show had an outwardly humorous façade but there were a number of very serious undercurrents lurking just beneath the surface. Rose’s character is effectively a functioning alcoholic whose overall journey into mental breakdown and instability was executed brilliantly by Julie Fox. At times extremely funny, at other times tragic, her portrayal of Rose touched on many facets of the human condition, especially for those for whom life has lost direction and meaning … A fun-filled ride, ‘Wild in the Country’, at times, was also a study in the complexities of relationships and mental instability presented by a fantastic cast.

Brendan Keane, Enniscorthy Guardian

The packed house roared with laughter as Paul O’Reilly’s raunchy Rose exploded on to the stage in a tirade of truly brilliant acting ably abetted by her co-stars the hesitant but eager Fr Billy, the demure but willing Marie, the classical and staid Wolfie, the swinging and ever ready Johnno, and the polite but stern American Cop. If you haven’t already got your tickets, book them now or miss this home-grown gem.

Maria Nolan, Slaney News

An interesting, clear and strong voice at work.

Soho Theatre Company, London (Script review)

Imaginative and energetic, with a confident handling of character and dialogue.

Royal Court, London (Script review)

An engaging piece of theatre, particularly in its warm characterization and its involving relationships

Abbey Theatre, Ireland (Script review)

We found the writing rich, imaginative and vibrant. The piece had colour, texture and a strong dramatic charge.

Hampstead Theatre, London (Script review)

Teaser compiled for the 2020 premiere production by Enniscorthy Drama Group: