Maura Laverty - This Was Your Life is an exciting new play by Bairbre Ní Chaoimh and Yvonne Quinn, which premiered in the Viking Theatre in Dublin in September 2019. Following on from the success of that first production, the play will now be staged in venues across Ireland from January 2020 until April 2020.

What the critics said:

The Irish Independent (Katy Hayes 7/9/2019)

‘Writer Maura Laverty’s life is a fascinating tale of talent and tenacity; she is brought back to life in this charming play full of detail, wit and tragedy. The play mimics the form of the old biographical BBC TV show hosted by Eamonn Andrews called This Is Your Life. In this case, a forgotten celebrity is dug up and taken through her life story in front of a live audience (us) with plenty of internet commentary and Twitter interaction. This televisual light-entertainment shape is an ingenious solution to covering the biography of someone about whom little is know. Writers Bairbre Ní Chaoimh and Yvonne Quinn knit much psychological subtlety into this schematic shape… 

Laverty was the original female multi-tasker and Ní Chaoimh (who plays Laverty in this hugely enjoyable production) cooks a Spanish omelette as the show progresses… There are many highlights including herself and Orson Welles singing ‘The Internationale’ out the window of the Gate Theatre green room… Set designer Naomi Faughnan uses classic 1960s visual references to create a charming vintage-vibe TV studio. Director Joan Sheehy maintains pace with plenty of showman brio from Ryan and depth from Ní Chaoimh… For those who remember Tolka Row, this hugely enjoyable show will give them an insight into the manically hard-working and clever mind that produced the play and TV series. For younger audiences, this is a fascinating picture of how a strong woman refused to play nice in the restrictive post-war decades and worked her way bang into the centre of Irish cultural life.  Her ghost will be well pleased.’

The Irish Mail On Sunday (Michael Moffatt 8/9/2019)

‘The play tells the story of the prolific Irish novelist and playwright, radio agony aunt, cookery writer and journalist, who had to work exhaustively to support her three children and husband… The main part of the show is a witty and entertaining journey through the writer’s life, with Ms Ní Chaoimh in splendid form as the pugnacious Laverty.’ 

To hear an interview on RTE’s arena, with Bairbre Ni Chaoimh, about the play, click on link below:


Bairbre is an award-winning actor and director, who has worked extensively on stage, screen, radio and television. She has written and co-written a number of plays and short films. Maura Laverty – This Was Your Life is the second play she co-created with her friend and writing partner, Yvonne Quinn.


They previously penned the enduringly popular award-winning play Stolen Child, which tells the story of a woman adopted at birth setting off on a personal odyssey to discover her true identity and the secrets of her family history.


It had its first professional production and national tour in 2002 and is still produced regularly by professional and amateur companies up and down the country. Yvonne trained as an actor in The Focus Stanislavski Studio under Deirdre O’ Connell and subsequently at the Oscar School of Acting.


While working as an actor and mime artist she wrote a number of plays for radio, which were produced by RTE and the BBC. She is also an accomplished writer of short stories, several of which have been produced on BBC Radio 4 and RTE and in a range of publications. Whilst living in England, she was the recipient of an Arts Council bursary to write a novel.

Nationwide tour January 2020 – April 2020

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