the boat factory

(All The Queen's Men)

Written By Dan Gordon

with DAN GORDON
and MICHAEL CONDRON

Directed by PHILIP CRAWFORD

Audience comments

  • "Dan Gordon's brilliant two-man play....they constructed a picture of boat-building, male friendship, hardship, humour and heroism as carefully as the men they portrayed built the Titanic"

  • "Dan, Michael  - what an experience!!. As the son of a 'Yard Man ' it was an amazing 2 hours. A real tour de force and a privilege to have been there on Wednesday evening"

  • "Saw `The Boat Factory` at Titanic Belfast last night.  Just wonderful!  Two men and a bit of scaffolding - had me completely entranced for two hours.  What a fabulous bit of writing and performing. "

  • "I attended the last performance in the Titanic Suite during the Titanic festival and my only regret is that I didn't bring family and friends to enjoy the wonderful, fascinating and hilarious show."

  • "Watched 'The Boat Factory' in Brussels last night. It was absolutely incredible and a great taste of home for our expats out here. Please bring more productions this way."

Dan Gordon

Dan is a qualified and registered Teacher but doesn't do it as its too hard, so is chiefly an actor - director - writer - documentary maker - newspaper columnist (Sunday Life) - social commentator - presenter - after dinner speaker and occasionally stand up. He wants to live and work in Ireland, so has diversified in recent years because acting roles are limited.

He is on the board of the Lyric Theatre Belfast and the NI Actors Equity Committee, is an Artist in Residence for the Prison Arts Foundation, a member of the Arts & Business Advisory Committee and a Patron of Bruiser Theatre Company (along with Duke Special and Sue Townsend). Dan is Vice Chair of 'Friends of the Academy' (Belfast Royal Academy - oldest school in Belfast), an advisor in Drama to CCEA (Exam Council) for GCSE - and involved with the Thomas Devlin Trust , Brooke Advisory Services and The David Ervine Trust.


Dan is probably best known for his portrayal of lovable (?) psychopath Red Hand Luke in 10 series of the BBC NI television programme Give My Head Peace. Viewers may be interested/glad to know that under the terms of the Good Friday agreement he has recorded his last episode ever and hopes to return from Spain just as soon as the Assets Recovery Agency is disbanded.

In Theatre his performance in the one man show by Marie Jones, A Night in November, was a major contribution to the Irish stage. He has a long theatrical career as an actor and has garnered many plaudits and awards for best production, supporting and leading actor along the way.

 He has many directing credits to his name most recently The Hypochondriact by Molière adapted by David Johnston for the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching towards the Somme by Frank McGuinness in a prison, which was the subject of a 4 part documentary series for the BBC.

Over the last few years, as well as acting and directing, he has presented and co-authored many documentary and factual programmes for BBC Television and Radio. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Ulster programme schedules including programmes as diverse as Thought for the Day and The Book Programme.

He won the inaugural BBC NI Radio Drama Playwriting competition with We didn't just build the Titanic you know. He has written extensively for BBC NI Education with two series for children and many other stand alone programmes.

He was nominated in the Best Actor category in the 2007/8 Irish Times Theatre Awards for his multi-role performances at the Lyric Theatre in Tim Loane's hit comedy To be Sure. Last year he completed a two month run in Spokesong by Stewart Parker for Rough Magic/Lyric Theatre Productions in Dublin and Belfast.

His documentary for BBC NI celebrating the restoration of the Crown Bar in Belfast has just been broadcast and he is presently producing and directing a documentary on the 2 year rebuild of the Lyric Theatre. Dan has just directed Women on the Verge of HRT by long time collaborator Marie Jones, which he also starred in alongside Marie at the Grand Opera House Belfast in August 2008 and is being brought back in June this year.

He has just been trampled by a bull in a new Hammer House of Horror film, appeared in the Belfast Festival in a series of Stewart Parker play readings and starred as the Dame in 72 performances in the Waterfront Hall Christmas Panto. He has just written and directed a DVD for the Health Service Executive in Dublin as well as writing and performing corporate seminars in 2009 for Ulster Bank, Brooke Advisory, Disability Action, Mental Health, Odyssey Trust, Arts & Business, Chest Heart and Stroke and Creative Youth Partnerships.

Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, his play The Boat Factory has just been produced by six different schools under the guidance of the Lyric Theatre and the Ulster Scots Agency and he is currently writing a further two plays which will be performed by 12 different primary schools during the next academic year.

the team

  • Angela is the Producer for the Boat Factory.  Angela has worked in the arts in Northern Ireland for over twenty years and has extensive experience in theatre production, event management and fundraising. She was an integral part of the team that built the new Lyric Theatre in Belfast, which opened to great acclaim in May 2011.

    As Development Director, she led the Lyric through the planning and design development, and played a central role in the highly successful £18 million capital fundraising campaign. She has been involved with 'The Boat Factory' from its earliest stages of development.

  • Dan is a qualified and registered Teacher but doesn't do it as its too hard, so is chiefly an actor - director - writer - documentary maker - newspaper columnist (Sunday Life) - social commentator - presenter - after dinner speaker and occasionally stand up. He wants to live and work in Ireland, so has diversified in recent years because acting roles are limited.

    He is on the board of the Lyric Theatre Belfast and the NI Actors Equity Committee, is an Artist in Residence for the Prison Arts Foundation, a member of the Arts & Business Advisory Committee and a Patron of Bruiser Theatre Company (along with Duke Special and Sue Townsend). Dan is Vice Chair of 'Friends of the Academy' (Belfast Royal Academy - oldest school in Belfast), an advisor in Drama to CCEA (Exam Council) for GCSE - and involved with the Thomas Devlin Trust , Brooke Advisory Services and The David Ervine Trust.

  • Born in Belfast, Philip is a graduate of Queen's University and later trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. He has been based in England for the past 12 years.

    He returned to Northern Ireland in 2008 to set up Happenstance Theatre Company and then directed their first production: a World War 1 drama by Stephen MacDonald, based on the lives of poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Not About Heroes played in 10 venues across the Province, with companion workshops in schools and a lecture by Sassoon's friend, Dennis Silk CBE, which was hosted by the Linen Hall Library, poignantly on 11th November.

    For the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, Philip is the Project Director for Pat & Plain, a series of plays written by Dan Gordon and commissioned by the Ulster-Scots Agency for Key Stage 2 children. Six primary schools in the greater Belfast area performed The Boat Factory last year, the success of which has led to a further twelve signing up to present 2 new plays in this current academic year.

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  • Michael was born in Toronto and now lives in Belfast. Some previous Theatre credits include: John Bull's Other Island, Santa Claus...What The Reindeer Saw, To Be Sure, A Very Weird Manor, Much Ado About Nothing, Charlotte's Web, Xmas Eve Can Kill You (all at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast).

    Other theatre credits include: Mirandolina (Manchester Royal Exchange); Mojo-Mickybo (Lyric Hammersmith); Da (Art NI), Sign Of The Whale and Revenge (Tinderbox); Oh What A Lovely War, Threepenny Opera, Blue Remembered Hills, The Government Inspector (Bruiser Theatre); Almost Human (Replay); Borderland (7:84 Theatre Company) and Colleen Bawn (Big Telly).

    TV and Film credits include: Last Man Hanging, Fairytales (BBC); The Tudors (HBO)

    Michael took part in All the Queen’s Men (Happenstance Theatre Company) – the script development phase of The Boat Factory, in November 2009.

  • As a theatre composer Chris’ recent credits include complete soundtracks for the 2010 PAT & PLAIN PROJECT (commissioned by the Ulster-Scots Agency and co-funded by the Lyric Theatre), A CHRISTMAS CAROL AS TOLD BY JACOB MARLEY – DECEASED (Brother Wolf Productions), TWELFTH NIGHT (The Marlowe Society), BLACKBIRD and SEXUAL PERVERSITY IN CHICAGO (The Norwich Theatre Royal Actor’s Company), BOAT MEMORY (Generation Theatre), THE ODYSSEY and GRADGRIND (Icon Touring Theatre), THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE (Coterie Theatre, Kansas) and THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (Ironduke Theatre Company).

    Youth theatre credits include scores and songs for OLIVER TWIST, A WALK IN THE PARK, THE JUNGLE BOOK and THE WITCHES (Broadlands Theatre Group) and sound design for LET DOWN YOUR HAIR (Full House Theatre Company).

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