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June 19, 2015 / hbrowne4

The Twang Man

Dublin South Theatre Radio, present ‘The Twang Man’

a play for radio, written and directed by Kenneth Nolan.


Nolan’s play is a dramatization of the iconic Dublin Folktale/Street Ballad of the same name. The play is set in the year 1981. Issy is a young Dublin woman whose desire to marry her rogue boyfriend Johnny is regularly frustrated. Johnny, a soldier in the Irish Army becomes greatly affected emotionally by events he experiences while serving as a peace-keeper in Lebanon.  A hapless ‘Rag and Bone man’ gets caught in the middle.

‘The Twang Man’ will be broadcast as part of a double header, 

alongside  ‘The Outer Darkness’ by Daniel Wade,

on Tuesday the 23rd of June at 7pm.

Tune into Dublinsouth 93.9fm.

or logon to and click ‘listen live’.


 ‘Nolan is a fresh new voice, an up and coming sensation of original talent taking inspirations from the seeds given of older and more distant generations of Irish writers and themes. A sometime stand-up comedian, a performance poet and story teller of great skill. Nolan’s work has been widely published in his home town of Dublin. He is a regular on the Dublin performance scene.’ Michael J. Whelan MA Poet, Historian, Writer

‘While we were putting together Kenneth’s play ‘The Twang Man’, Kenneth had said to me that “he felt like he was waiting in the Rotunda, like an expectant father for his first child to be born”….. excited, apprehensive and maybe thinking “what if people don’t like my baby!! My play that I worked so hard to complete???” Well the proof is in the pudding as they say!!!  Here is a play that brings the song to life. For a song that is about 3 minutes long Kenneth gives us about 17 minutes of the story that is in The Twang Man. There is romance, jealousy, revenge and regret in this story. Something for everyone’s taste. With interesting characters and a little bit of comedy.  Kenneth brought together a group of actors who looked like they enjoyed working on the play. I really enjoyed working with Kenneth putting in all the sound effects. It was great to see it all come together. I can’t wait for Kenneth’s next play….stay tuned.’  Rob Curry, Sound Engineer

‘I got a late call-up for my mini-sausage (no ketchup required) in Kenneth Nolan’s play ‘The Twang Man’ and enjoyed it immensely. The process of recording it blew my brains out and smeared them over the four sound-proofed, yet cozy Dublin South fm radio station walls. Up with this sort of thing is what I say; more radio plays by Kenneth Nolan please kind sir!  If there’s only one radio play you listen to in your life then make it this one. It’s all good. Even the singing.’  Camillus John, (Stoney Pockets)


‘I knew Ken was very passionate about this particular story and when he asked me to play Johnny, I immediately said yes.’ Conor Flanagan (Johnny Twang)

‘As a Dubliner born and bred, I have always been enamoured by the myths and legends of the place. ‘Raised on songs and stories’ as they say. There are some great characters to call upon for us writers. From the more well-known like Molly Malone, to lesser known characters like Zozimus. I first heard the tale of ‘The Twang Man’ in song form as performed by the Dubliners.

 The original story was authored in the early nineteenth century and is accredited to Michael Moran of Blackpitts Dublin, aka Zozimus/’The Blind Bard of the Liberties’. It appears, at first, to be an inconsequential jaunty little sing-along. Though it is actually a cautionary tale. It is the telling of a vicious murder motivated by jealousy and madness.  I wanted to bring the story into the modern day, but I needed to keep a ‘days of yore’ atmosphere. I settled on the 1980s.

The decade lends itself to the notion of simpler times and also coincided with the formative years of my childhood. It’s a decade that holds a fund of creative mysticism for me. The process of getting the play ready for recording and finding the right people to play the roles was difficult but always enjoyable. I am very thankful to all who took part in making this happen. I couldn’t have asked for more from the hugely talented people who performed in the production, gifting their time and talent to me for no fee. The play wouldn’t have come together without the hard work of engineer Rob Curry. I also need to thank Dublinsouthfm for the opportunity and platform to make ‘The Twang Man’. I hope this dramatization does the original justice and audiences will enjoy listening to it’ Kenneth Nolan Writer/Director The Twang Man.


Conor Flanagan as Johnny Twang (The Twang Man)

Zara Burdon Yeates as Issy Midge (As fair as any a Midge)

Kenneth Nolan as Mickey Baggs (The Poor Oul Gather Em-Up)

Camillus John as Ceannach (Stoney) Pockets


Daniel Wade as Zozimus


Rob Curry and Paul Walshe

Additional sound effects were kindly provided by freesfx UK.


Twitter: Kenneth Nolan (@KNolanWriter)

Blog:  //

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