Ballymaloe Grainstore
28 February
Maura Laverty, This Was Your Life - Fri 28 Feb 2020 - Ballymaloe Grainstore | | Ring of Cork

Ballymaloe Grainstore

Pre-Show Dinner in Ballymaloe House Will Feature Recipes from Maura Laverty’s Iconic Cookery Book, Full and Plenty

Friday 28 February 2020

The sparkling new play, Maura Laverty – This Was Your Life, comes to Ballymaloe Grainstore on Friday 28 February at 8pm. It tells the rollercoaster life of the broadcaster, playwright, novelist and agony aunt, Maura Laverty.

A household name in Ireland for three decades, her work was often controversial and her novels were banned by the censors for their sexual frankness.  In the 1960s her cookery books, with their unique blend of recipes and stories, were found in nearly every home in the country.

Maura is spirited back from the dead as a guest on a surreal TV show called This Was Your Life. She cooks a recipe on stage from her iconic 1960 cookbook, Full and Plenty, and talks about her dramatic and difficult life.

The host gets Maura to reveal dark secrets and confront the price she paid for her success.  Moving from comedy to tragedy, the play reassesses the legacy of a trailblazing Irishwoman and examines a life of triumph and heartache.

A pre-show dinner inspired by Maura’s Full and Plenty recipes will be served in Ballymaloe House at 6pm.  Head Chef Dervilla O’Flynn has created a three-course menu of deliciously ‘retro’ choices. Booking [€53 per person] is essential on 021 465 2531. A special ‘Play and Stay’ accommodation package includes overnight in Ballymaloe House, dinner, show tickets and breakfast.  Packages are from €185 per person sharing.

The Curious Ensemble production is written by Yvonne Quinn and Bairbre Ní Chaoimh, the authors of the enduringly popular award-winning Stolen Child. It stars Bairbre Ní Chaoimh as Maura and Malachy McKenna as television host, Rip Riley.  It is directed by Joan Sheehy.

Running time is 1 hour and 20 minutes with no interval.

Tickets for Maura Laverty – This Was Your Life in Ballymaloe Grainstore on Friday 28 February at 8pm are €22.  They can be bought online at or by phone on 021 475 7200.



 Cream of Spinach Soup


Winter Salad of Farm Eggs, Beetroot and Lettuce with Traditional Dressing

Main Course

 Steak and Kidney Pie


Duck Rineanna with Apple and Cider Stuffing

Duchesse Potatoes, Leeks au Gratin, Glazed Carrots


Floating Islands with Poached Rhubarb or Plums


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. Bairbre Ní Chaoimh (who plays Laverty in this hugely enjoyable production) cooks a Spanish omelette as the show progresses.  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 Independent

A witty and entertaining journey through the writer’s life, with Ms Ní Chaoimh in splendid form as the pugnacious Laverty. – Irish Mail on Sunday

Event Details

Organiser: Ballymaloe Grainstore

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