A DARK – very dark in places – comedy starring David Hayman has been playing at the Pavilion.

Set in Belfast, Cyprus Avenue is about a man called Eric, who has a loyalist background and is convinced his new baby granddaughter Mary-May is former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams.

The play, written by David Ireland, explores national identity through Eric’s eyes and is also shocking in parts, particularly in its language, where Eric goes into animated rants about “fenians”.

Glasgow Times: David Hayman in Cyprus Avenue

The grandfather tells his psychiatrist he is “anything but Irish” but later recounts a scene where he begins to doubt his own beliefs.

The humour turns darker and even sinister building up to an ending which by now most people in the audience know is not going to be happy ever after.


In a question and answer session on the opening night, the writer said other than Belfast he thought a Glasgow audience was most likely to connect with the themes.

He grew up in Belfast but came to Glasgow to study at the then RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) as an actor before he turned to writing.

It has previously been performed on Broadway in New York but audiences did not connect with it.

Mr Ireland said: “People were walking out. They just didn’t understand it. It didn’t translate.”

Mr Hayman, who plays Eric, said: “We are watching a man going mad over the course of 90 minutes.

“I think it is a work of genius.”

Mr Hayman is on stage for every scene and said playing the character compares to some of the classical Shakespearean roles he has played during his illustrious career.

On reading the script, he said: “I thought it was the most extraordinary piece of work I had read in 30 years. Extraordinary.”