Jaki McCarrick

The Naturalists

In the aftermath of The Troubles, two brothers near the border to the North, harbour a guilty secret…

“Look, there’s no rules of the road out there. Not any more. So how do ya live? Ya 
use the only thing ya can. Best compass a man has. Only compass a man has. His 
own heart.”

Set in a rural hamlet in Ireland, the isolated lives of two brothers are disturbed by the arrival of a mysterious young woman. This is a story about secrets, atonement, and how, through the forces of love and nature, damaged lives are redeemed.


“The Pond Theatre Company’s latest production, a world premiere of The Naturalists by Jaki McCarrick, promises naturalistic contemporary drama. It delivers on that promise with a well-crafted family drama defined by the 1979 Massacre at Narrow Water.” Adrienne Sowers, The Reviews Hub

“Lovers of Irish theater and down-to-earth naturalism should like this one.” Diana Barth, The Epoch Times

“Perhaps unsurprising given the title, the play is striking for its naturalism.  Ms. McCarrick’s characters, especially as performed by this outstanding, all-Irish born leading trio, are painfully real and captivating to observe.” Robert Russo, Stage Left

The Naturalists introduces us to Jaki McCarrick, whom we will surely be hearing from again, such is her gift for singular, sharply drawn characters and dialogue with a touch of the lyric about it.” David Barbour, Lighting and Sound America

“This is fresh and authentic theater. The direction is deft. The characters capture you quickly; you never doubt them.  The script is a glimpse of a moment fraught with all the breakage engendered in the Troubles before, all the specific damage visited on these four people, and all the slim hopes of redemption.” Kathleen Campion, Front Row Center 

“McCarrick puts all the poetry of the play into Francis. He’s bursting with knowledge about the natural world and has the love of teaching others this as well.” Nicole Serratore, Exeunt NYC

“The Naturalists is a compelling look at how one’s “secret” past can suddenly and unexpectedly encroach on the present and delay one’s progress into the future.” David Roberts, Theatre Reviews Limited

Jaki McCarrick

Jaki McCarrick is an award-winning writer of plays, poetry and fiction. She won the 2010 Papatango New Writing Prize for her play LEOPOLDVILLE, and her play BELFAST GIRLS, developed at the National Theatre London, was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the 2014 BBC Tony Doyle Award. BELFAST GIRLS premiered in Chicago in May 2015 to much critical acclaim (Windy City Times Critics’ Pick) and opened this spring in Vancouver.

The West Coast Premiere of the play opens on November 17th in Portland Oregon. Jaki has also recently been selected for the Irish Film Board’s Talent Development Initiative to adapt BELFAST GIRLS for the screen.

In 2015, her plays BELFAST GIRLS, LEOPOLDVILLE and THE MUSHROOM PICKERS (staged at the Southwark Playhouse in 2006 to several 4 Star reviews), were published by Samuel French. Her play BOHEMIANS was read at RADA on January 18th 2017, starring Imogen Stubbs and Rob Jarvis, directed by Tilly Vosburgh. In 2016 Jaki was shortlisted for the St. John’s College, Cambridge’s Harper-Wood Studentship for her short play TUSSY about Eleanor Marx, a piece she is currently developing.

Jaki also won the 2010 Wasafiri prize for short fiction and followed this with the publication of her debut story collection, The Scattering, published by Seren Books. The book was shortlisted for the 2014 Edge Hill Prize. Winner of the inaugural John Lennon Poetry Competition, she has also had numerous poems published in literary journals including Ambit, Poetry Ireland Review, Irish Pages, Blackbox Manifold etc.

Recently longlisted for the inaugural Irish Fiction Laureate, Jaki is currently editing her first novel and a second collection of short stories called Night of the Frogs. Screenplay projects also include adaptations of her short story Hellebores and her first play, THE MUSHROOM PICKERS.

She has held numerous residencies including Writer-in-Residence at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris & also regularly writes arts pieces for the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), The Irish Examiner and other publications
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