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The Man in the Woman’s Shoes has been performed nationally and internationally over 100 times. It premiered in New York in 2015 and returns to the Irish Arts Centre in 2016. The show’s UK debut takes place at London’s Tricycle Theatre in April 2016. We commissioned this show with Sligo Arts Service in 2012.


Bealtaine Commission 2012

The one-man show The Man in the Woman's Shoes was originally commissioned by the Hawk’s Well Theatre and Sligo Arts Service for Bealtaine 2012.  Written by and starring Mikel Murfi, this play which has been described as a 'love letter to Sligo' has toured extensively to venues around Ireland. It won the Stewart Parker BBC Radio Drama Award in 2013, was nominated for Best New Play in the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2014 and won a Zebby  award (Irish Writers Guild) for best theatre script in 2013. The play toured to the Irish Arts Center in New York from February 24 – March 14 2015 and is returning for a repeat run at the Irish Arts Centre this Spring. The 100th performance of the show was celebrated at Peacock stage of the Abbey Theatre after its 3 week run in April 2015. It's  debut in London will be in April 2016 where it will be part of the Spring programme of the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn running from the 4th to the 23rd of April.

The next performances at the Hawk's Well Theatre are on Monday 9th of February and Thursday 11th of February (sold out).

The story of The Man in the Womans Shoes

It’s October 1978. Pope John Paul the First is not long dead, autumn is closing in and Pat Farnon has ‘some business’ to do in town. The Man In The Woman’s Shoes follows Pat as he walks the five miles from his white cottage to town and back again. He meets unforgettable characters along the way, including water diviner Huby Patterson, GAA enthusiast extraordinaire Kitsy Rainey, big voiced Casimir Marshall, an array of farmers all named Gilmartin and Kemp, a man whose idea of a good time is to direct traffic wherever he may find it. Pat may be an aging man but he has a boundless enthusiasm for life. Hilariously funny, tender and at times downright daft, The Man in The woman’s Shoes, will leave you uplifted and in love with life again.
"I think none of us is old, me heart has never been old ..."

A physical comedian, blessed with plastic features, and with the vocal range of a ventriloquist, Murfi makes sheep, pigs, dogs, and even bees, come to life.
– Irish Theatre Magazine

"An enchanting show… Hilarious…One of the most delightful theatrical experiences I've had in a long time"
– Gay Byrne, RTÉ Lyric FM

"I absolutely loved the play and Mikel's performance. There is such humanity, compassion, humour and wisdom in it and he has found the universal in the local. We live in an ageist culture which doesn't value the elderly (who in a way are made mute through our indifference ) yet worships at the altar of vacuous youth. When old people die their stories and life experiences die with them - we should be out recording in every town and village the way Seamus Ennis collected music - there is no such thing as an ordinary life. All lives are extraordinary. Mikel illustrates that by giving voice and honouring a man we might pass on the road and judge superficially.
It’s a privilege to witness such work. It will stay with me in the way that the best theatre does."

-Gabriel Byrne

About Mikel Murfi

Mikel is from Sligo. He trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Paris. As an actor his work at the Abbey and Peacock Theatres includes The Playboy of The Western World, The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors and The Morning After Optimism. He was a founding member of ‘Barabbas … The Company’. Mikel most recently appeared in The Man in The Woman’s Shoes, a one man show he devised with members of active age groups in County Sligo. He played in The Clerk and The Clown by Mark Doherty at the Galway Arts Festival and in Ionescu’s The Chairs, with the Blue Raincoat Theatre Company. He appeared in Enda Walsh’s The New Electric Ballroom for Druid Theatre Company which won a Fringe First, a Herald Angel Award and a Best Supporting Actor award for Mikel in The Irish Times Theatre awards. He has directed Diamonds in the Soil and The Lost Days of Ollie Deasy for Macnas. He directed Trad for Galway Arts Festival which went on to win a Fringe First in Edinburgh before touring internationally. Mikel directed the Enda Walsh plays Penelope and The Walworth Farce for Druid both of which won Fringe Firsts in Edinburgh . Most recently he directed The Country Girls for Red Kettle and The Far Off Hills for Nomad Theatre Network. Murfi has just starred opposite Cillian Murphy and Stephen Rea in Ballyturk written and directed by Enda Walsh which played to sold-out houses in Galway, Dublin and at the National Theatre in London. He is a founding member of Barabbas Theatre Company and was last in New York when he directed Penelope by Enda Walsh at St. Ann’s Warehouse. His films include The Commitments,Guiltrip, The Butcher Boy, Ella Enchanted, Intermission and Jimmy’s Hall directed by Ken Loach.