The Naturalists



The Naturalists

a new play by Jaki McCarrick

  • Acclaimed Irish writer explores the aftermath of The Troubles
  • To coincide with New York premiere production in September 2018
  • Ideal for drama students, colleges, amateur theatre groups, local theatres and play reading groups
About the Play

“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


About the Author

Jaki McCarrick 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 has since had numerous international productions. In 2016 Jaki was shortlisted for St. John’s College Cambridge’s Harper-Wood Studentship for her short play Tussy about Eleanor Marx, a piece she is currently developing for Kibo Productions. She was longlisted for the new Irish Laureate.

Read our interview with Jaki McCarrick


Reviews of previous plays

“A superbly dark, taut thriller… A fascinating piece of theatre.” **** – RemoteGoat

“The tension builds and builds throughout the play culminating in a harrowing twist that both excites and disgusts in equal measure… Fantastic work.” ***** – Broadway Baby
“All the familiar ingredients are here: rustic eccentricity, colloquial lyricism, the

Troubles. … Yet fine performances and a subtle handling of the shades of morality lift this above the ordinary.” **** – Evening Standard


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