Multi award-winning Irish playwright Owen McCafferty (pictured) will make his London directorial debut with his new play Cold Comfort, which comes to the fringe Theatre 503 in Battersea from 16 May to 3 June 2006, following its premiere in the playwright’s native Belfast.

In the one-man play, fellow Irishman Patrick O'Kane is Kevin Toner, a labourer living in London who returns home to Belfast to have a last, drunken 'conversation' with his recently dead father. O’Kane created the role when Cold Comfort premiered last year at Belfast’s Old Museum Arts Centre, where it will run again from 5 to 14 May 2006 prior to its London season.

O’Kane has also appeared in McCafferty’s Scenes from the Big Picture and Closing Time (both at the National) and Shoot the Crow (at Manchester’s Royal Exchange). He was most recently seen in A Whistle in the Dark at the Royal Exchange and London’s Tricycle Theatre. His many other stage credits include Popcorn, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Playboy of the Western World, Miss Julie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Life of Stuff and The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme.

For 2003’s Scenes from the Big Picture, an epic piece for a 21-strong ensemble, which was directed by Peter Gill in the NT Cottesloe, Owen McCafferty won a hat trick of the UK’s top playwriting awards - the John Whiting, Evening Standard Charles Wintour and Meyer-Whitworth Awards – marking the first time that any dramatist won all three in a single year. His other plays in London have included last year’s adaptation of JP Miller's Days of Wine and Roses at the Donmar Warehouse and Shoot the Crow, starring James Nesbitt and Conleth Hill, at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios.

Cold Comfort is presented in Belfast and London by Prime Cut Productions, which was formed in 1992 to champion contemporary international theatre in Ireland.

- by Terri Paddock