Stage play about Dunlop road racing dynasty coming to NI

A new stage play about road racing royalty, the Dunlop family, is to open in Londonderry next month.

‘The Safety Catch’, which opens at the New Theatre in Dublin tomorrow (November 1), is coming to Derry’s Playhouse on November 25 for one night only.

The play, written by journalist and biker Nick Snow, centres around Michael Dunlop who is pondering his future in road racing after his elder brother, William, had become the latest member of his family to be killed while following his passion on the roads.

The author portrays Michael talking with his mentor, Liam Beckett, his late father Robert’s best friend and mechanic, as he decides whether to go on racing or whether to save himself and his family more exposure to the risk of the racing on the roads.

'The Safety Catch' (from left) author Nick Snow, Andrew McCracken who plays Michael Dunlop and Fra Gunn who plays Liam Beckett

‘The Safety Catch’, which was first performed in May of this year in Manorhamilton, will star north coast actor Andrew McCracken as Michael Dunlop with Fra Gunn as Liam Beckett.

Andrew trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. His stage credits include A Walk Is Not Just A Walk (Lyric Theatre Belfast) and A Doll’s House (Richard Burton Company) while his screen credits include: Drive (BBC Wales),Bleeding Out (Northern Ireland Screen), and Whistling Dixie (Frontier Pictures).

The play’s director Joe O’Byrne, said: “This is a play about life and death. The story is a verbal battle between two characters as they try to understand why they do what they do, why they couldn‘t not do what they do. With so much at stake it is a fierce encounter, full of emotion, passion and dark humour. But it is more than that, it is an ode to adventure, to ambition and ultimately a true affirmation of life.”

With the tagline ‘no risk no reward’, the play poses the question: ‘What would you put on the line to become the very greatest at what you do? What if that was one of the most dangerous sports on the planet, a sport that close members of your own family had paid the ultimate price for while pursuing the very same goal?’

North coast actor Andrew McCracken as Michael Dunlop

To find out more about ‘The Safety Catch’ go to

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