posted on May 10th, 2018

Dan Gordon’s Hit Show Comes Home to Belfast!

Dan Gordon in Frank Carson: A Rebel Without A Pause, which comes to Belfast’s Lyric Theatre from 13 to 30 June.

Happenstance Theatre Company is delighted to announce that Dan Gordon’s one-man play about Northern Ireland’s best-loved comedian will be returning to Belfast in June for a limited run.

Belfast funnyman Frank Carson blazed a comedy trail for over fifty years.  His quick-fire gags and infectious laugh delighted audiences in variety shows, on telly and in clubs across the land – The Comedians , The Good Old Days, Seaside Special, Royal Variety, Noel’s Houseparty, Tiswas, and many more. In 1976 alone he did 41 network TV shows. He was Mayor of Balbriggan (twice), King of Blackpool, Clown Prince of Ireland and Prime Minister of Fun.

But there’s more. In this acclaimed one-man show, written and performed by Dan Gordon, we journey with Frank from his Belfast boyhood – where life was so tough ‘even the arms on the chairs had tattoos’ – through his adventures in the army, and into the world of showbiz where he entertained Royalty, delighted Pope John Paul II and never forgot where he came from.

Dan Gordon decided to write the play after being approached by Tony Carson, Frank’s son, after a performance of Dan’s acclaimed play The Boat Factory in London.  The show is the culmination of three years of research, during which he was given access to Carson family archives as well as notes and tapes left by the comedian.

The play charts Frank’s tough upbringing in the docklands of Belfast where he was raised in poverty between two world wars.  His beloved brother was killed in WWII and Frank himself later served in the Middle East.  On returning to Belfast, Frank performed in talent shows, parish teas, charity and variety shows. Through the sixties he played a pivotal role in St Columb’s Hall Sunday night variety shows in Derry / Londonderry, he then attracted affection across the UK as he toured the working men’s clubs before bursting onto our television screens and staying there for fifty years.

This is 75-minute whirlwind comedy drama celebrating the man, the myth and the mouth – it’s a cracker!


Frank Carson: A Rebel Without A Pause runs from 13-30 June at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. Tickets: £20, Matinees: £16.                                Box Office: 028 9038 1081 |