On a dark and stormy night, Barry, Cusack and Pa gather again for the anniversary of their childhood friend Liam – killed in a road accident when they were seventeen.

Expecting a crowd and tearing into the cans, the three slowly realise they’re the only ones coming. As they drink to their uncertain futures – and their receding youth – they’re forced to face up to home truths and the ghost that has held them together.

A haunting and darkly comic tale about bereavement, brotherhood and breaking away from your past. Award-winning playwright John O’Donovan revisits rural Ireland and draws inspiration from his own experiences and observations growing up in a small Irish community. Flights also shines a light on the devastating impact austerity measures had on a generation of young people and the mass exodus that followed.

John O’Donovan said: “I’ve been writing Flights on and off for about 5 years now. While I was sketching out an early draft, I got some bad news that someone from home had died by suicide. There was a few of us living over in London that weren’t going to be home for the funeral so we gathered at a pub in North London to share the stories we had of him. 

I’ve had lots of nights like that over the years. The weird thing about them is that they’re usually quite good craic; getting together, telling stories and remembering stupid things you used to do and get away with.  A kind of magic rises up over you, like you’re all young again and no time has past. And underneath, the bad news is still there, making sure you take all this stupid stuff seriously, for a couple of hours at least.

I wrote Flights then as a tribute, not just to the friends who have died, but also to the friends that have gathered in their wake. In memory of all the times we have gathered in remembrance.”

Flights is on at Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common North Side, Clapham Town, London SW4 0QW from February 11th – 29th. Times: Tues – Sat 7.30pm; Sun 4pm. Admission: £16, £10. {hone: 0207 498 4699

https://www.omnibus-clapham.org/flights/

Photos: Ste Murray