Theatre: The Hard Man

Posted by Caroline Lofts

“I’m a lunatic. A right bad lot. What the Judge always calls, “A menace to society”. I’m speaking to you tonight from a Scottish prison where I am serving a life-sentence for murder. What you are going to see is my life as I remember it”.

Commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, and another in its series of acclaimed rediscoveries of Scottish playwrights, the first London production since 1985 of Tom McGrath and Jimmy Boyle’s The Hard Man opens at the Finborough Theatre for a limited run of nine Sunday and Monday evening and Tuesday matinee performances from Sunday, 2 March 2014

Glasgow, the 1970s. Johnny Byrne is a young schoolboy involved in petty crime and violence. But when he meets Deadeye, he soon finds himself known as a ‘hard man’ and being convicted of murder. But it is when he is serving his sentence in Barlinnie that the real acts of brutality occur…

Based on the life of Jimmy Boyle, co-writer of the play and – at the time of its production – still a prisoner in Barlinnie Special Unit, The Hard Man is his compelling and shocking study of a brutalised man in a brutalising system.

One of multi-award-winning playwright Tom McGrath’s most enduring works, The Hard Man now receives its first performances in London since 1985 in a new production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre.

Finborough Theatre
118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at
Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 March 2014
Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm. Tuesday matinees at 2.00pm.
Tickets £18, £16 concessions. 


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Theatre: The Hard Man
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