A Night in November
© By Marie Jones
Kenneth is a simple, quietly bigoted Northern Protestant whose prejudice against Catholics is exposed at Windsor Park during a football match between Northern Ireland and the Republic. He undertakes a journey of defiance by following “Jack’s Army” to the World Cup finals in the USA.
Kenneth: I thought back to Windsor Park…I thought of those angry men and their Trick or Treat and their cold staring eyes and their hard bitter faces and I thought to myself, Gerry was right, what a pity, what a shame that they can’t allow themselves to be part of this….what a terrible pity.
Kenneth: I am free of it. I am a free man……I am a Protestant man, I’m an Irish man.
A Night in November, Copyright © Marie Jones (1994). All rights whatsoever nature on these plays are strictly reserved. No use may be made of this play of whatsoever nature without licence. All enquiries should be addressed to Curtis Brown Group Limited, Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4SP Email
Excerpt from A NIGHT IN NOVEMBER copyright © 1995 by Marie Jones is reprinted by permission of the publishers Nick Hern Books [www.nickhernbooks.co.uk], from whom the script is available in a volume which also includes STONE IN HIS POCKETS, ISBN 978-1-85459-494-5
Marie Jones transits perceived boundaries of religion, class and gender, epitomised by the voyage of Protestant Kenneth McCallister in A Night in November. As he leaves his bigoted, self -interested aspiring middle class wife, Debrah, and joins Ireland football supporters to the World Cup, he becomes wrapped in the warmth of Catholic abandon, in relaxed domestic schedules, bouts of drunkenness and general ease with life.
The truth of cliché is paramount to Jones. Kenneth’s apotheosis as confirmed ‘taig’ metaphors difference and heralds new, if possibly more than, irresponsible life.
Amarchlann Na Carraige, august 1994
First production staged by Dubbeljoint Theatre Company at Amharclann na Carraige/The Rock Theatre, Belfast, 1994.
The production has been staged throughout Ireland, the UK and internationally.
‘This two-act monologue, revived at the Irish Arts Center, is a tour de force that charts one man’s personal journey from an unexamined life as a bigoted Protestant in Belfast to an all-out embrace of Irish heritage and brotherhood — even with Catholics.’ The New York Times (Anne Midgette) 2006.
‘A Night in November, a one-man show first staged in 1994, is in its way another feel-good play, though it was written during the darker days of Northern Ireland’s Troubles.
Far from making me feel good, however, this revival, starring the comedian and all-purpose TV presenter Patrick Kielty, left me feeling faintly sick.
It’s a smug and dishonest little piece in which the dramatist and her central character wallow in liberal guilt before finally disowning the values of their Protestant background.‘The Telegraph (Charles Spencer) 2007.