Reviews of The Dead School Thus Far



“Boys and girls, I hope you are all well. The story I have for you this morning is about two teachers and the things they got up to in the days gone by…”

The Dead School by Patrick McCabe has been critically acclaimed in both theatre and literary circles. Galway International Arts Festival commissioned a production of The Dead School in the summer of 2015 so it received a number of reviews. While Patrick McCabe’s 1995 novel was seen as a literary achievement by the manner in which it dealt with the notion of generational and ideological change.

So to give you a good idea of what our production of The Dead School is like we have collated some reviews of both the 2015 production and the 1995 novel.

Sit down, relax and take in what reviewers have had to say about The Dead School.

The Dead School Production Reviews

“Top of the class… Director Andrew Flynn pulls out all the stops… Pat McCabe at his best.”

★★★★ The Sunday Times

“This charismatic adaptation of Pat McCabe’s 1995 novel is bursting with energy and teeming with ideas… The set works small miracles… The costumes are also fantastic… This is bold and bracing theatre.”

Irish Examiner

“The play is realised with terrific brio and inventiveness… Anyone has not yet booked a ticket for The Dead School should remedy that post haste – this is one of the best shows in the Galway International Festival.”

Galway Advertiser

The Dead School Book Reviews

“The big challenge for an Irish writer is to move in a new direction from the magisterial accomplishment of Joyce, Yeats, and Beckett, and to do it within the remarkable scope of Irish English. McCabe is the man. “

The Irish Times

“It is truly a simple modern classic like Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America or Carson McCullers’s The Ballad of the Sad Cafe.”

The Guardian

“Flann O’Brien meets The Mayor of Casterbridge. A nasty triumph.”

Irish Independent

“Mr. McCabe suffuses this book with undeniable power.”

Washington Post

“McCabe is as skilled and significant a novelist as Ireland has produced in decades.”

The New York Times

“The Dead School makes compelling literature….The writing is seamless, the effect shocking: Imagine Apocalypse Now cheerfully narrated by Jimmy Stewart.”

The Times

The Dead School tours nationwide to Galway Town Hall Theatre, Civic Theatre Tallaght, The Everyman Cork, The Watergate Theatre Kilkenny and Pavilion Theatre Dún Laoghaire in February and March 2016. See our Tour Dates page for more information. 

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