'vivid, funny and touching...lovely, life-affirming work.' **** Telegraph 'a delicious sense of mischief...a gem of a show' **** Time Out Fri 16 Apr - Sat 22 May, 2010 Book tickets

A Guna Nua and Civic Theatre Production in association with the Bush Theatre

Three generations of Dublin women. One extraordinary year. A journey of courage, comedy and romance in the award-winning hit of the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Happy-go-lucky Amber, fresh out of school, is high on life, double sambucas and boyfriend Paul. That is until the 'indigestion' starts.

Her mother Lorraine attacks a customer at work and now she's seeing a 'head doctor'. She's told to do one nice thing for herself each week. Time to sign up for salsa classes.

Nanny Kay, meanwhile, is finding life on the wrong side of sixty frustrating. Ailing husband Gem doesn't like the neighbours coming in to 'mind' him, and she's missing more than just his conversation.

And if all that wasn't bad enough, Little Gem makes his presence felt and life is never the same again.

Little Gem is Elaine Murphy's debut play. Premiering at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2008, it picked up the Fishamble New Writing Award and the Stewart Parker/BBC Drama Award. In 2009, the play transferred to the Traverse Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award.

Post-show events

Writers' Response - Monday 17th May

In response to Little Gem, our resident company DryWrite Presents:
Sit down Mum, I have something to tell you...

What does it take for an audience, as a family, to choose one thing they can't forgive of one of their own?

For the last week we have been asking Bush audiences if they could imagine a family member doing something they would find unforgivable. Playwrights Steven Hevey, Tim Cowbury and Melissa Manteghi have each choosen one offense and will confess it to you, their family. All three will beg your forgiveness, but only two may be absolved...

Join us for an eye-opening performance about morality, family and forgiveness.

Free to all Little Gem ticket holders. Subject to availability

See the YouTube gallery

What the papers say

Read more reviews


'A tiny treasure...any woman out there facing down the barrel of marriage, childbirth or old age would be well advised to ditch the sambuca and come to Little Gem instead'


Time Out

'Elaine Murphy's Little Gem is indeed a little gem of a play, vivid, funny and touching...The writing is so honest, the language so vivid that the happy ending seems genuinely earned, and the performances are outstanding...this is lovely, life-affirming work'




Direction - Paul Meade
Design - Alice Butler
Lighting - Mark Galione
Sound - Carl Kennedy
Video Design - Jack Phelan



Amelia Crowley
Sarah Greene
Anita Reeves



Dates - 16th April 2010 - 22nd May 2010
Mon - Sat - 7.30pm
Satuday matinees - 24 April, 1, 8, 15, 22 May, 2.30pm £15 (£7.50 concessions)
Previews - 16, 17 April £15 (£7.50 concessions)
Press Night - 19 April
Audio described performance - 1 May, 2.30pm
Captioned performance - 15 May, 2.30pm
Equity Night - 21 April (£15 for Equity Members)
Prices - £20 (£10 concessions)