​Inis Nua Theatre Company Presents The Monster in the Hall By David Greig October 3 to 21, 2018​

The Monster in the Hall

Inis Nua Theatre Company will open its 15th anniversary season with the Philadelphia premiere of The Monster in the Hall, written by Scottish playwright David Greig. This funny musical play about family, love and really big motorcycles is the second production Inis Nua will stage by Greig, following the company’s 2014 breakout hit Midsummer [a play with songs]. Midsummer went on to earn four Barrymore Award nominations. Monster will be directed by Claire Moyer and stars Claris Park, Doug Durlacher, Eleni Delopoulos and Jamison Foreman. Previews run October 3 and 4, with Opening Night set for October 5, 2018. The show runs until October 21 for a total of 15 performances. All performances will take place at the Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake, 302 S Hicks Street in Philadelphia. Tickets are on sale now for $15-$35 by calling (215) 454-9776 or visiting inisnuatheatre.org.

“The Monster in the Hall is a perfect fit for Inis Nua’s milestone 15th season,” said Director Claire Moyer. “It is written by a playwright we know and love for his inventive storytelling, who builds stories within those inventive stories, and who uses pop culture references both for humorous effect and to push the story along. Greig uses aspects of classic teen rom-com movies from the 1960s to today and then subverts them to spin the story of one very unique girl.”

In the story, Duck Macatarsney and her widowed father are devoted to each other—but they are just getting by in the Scottish town of Kirkaldy. Her mother died in a motorcycle accident when she was just a baby and now Duck and her Hells Angel father take care of each other. But when Duck’s father wakes up blind from his ongoing struggles with MS, and a social worker is set to visit that day, Duck’s quest to prove to the world that she is totally normal will become a bit more challenging. Especially when Duck’s crush from school shows up with an unusual request and even more so when a strange woman with her face covered in piercings arrives from Norway.

Greig’s light-hearted play with music masterfully juggles true tragedy and typical teenage angst with the help of narration by a back-up band, The Marvelous Duckettes. Moyer added, “Think a fantastical version of the Shangri Las, and their tales of teenage heartbreak and motorcycle danger.”

The Guardian wrote, “Where many a writer would have tackled this theme sanctimoniously, Greig treats it with heady irreverence, acknowledging the truth of the dilemma while recognizing a teenage girl has other matters to deal with. Life was never so complicated for the Shirelles.”

Director Moyer points out that Duck just wants to be normal. She adds, “Duck is a young woman who doesn’t fit in, but she doesn’t really care about impressing the ‘in crowd’. She’s got more important concerns than that! The Monster in the Hall is not so much about her relationship with school as it is her bond with her father. She’s an oddball, an outsider, and the whole story is told through her point of view. She doesn’t want to escape her world­—she just wants her real-life world to be as wonderful as her interior life.”

Moyer has assembled a cast that brings their musical chops in tow. Claris Park (Duck) plays cello and keyboards. She’s also been making a splash in the Philadelphia theater scene, most recently at the Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Mini-Residency Showcase where her piece, “The DJZ,” was called the “standout performance” by the Broad Street Review. Doug Durlacher (Duke) has worked for many years for the Adirondack Shakespeare Company, but in addition to being an actor, he’s also an accomplished singer-songwriter. Eleni Delopoulos (Mrs. Underhill and others) was a Barrymore nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play for Radiant Vermin and has also designed costumes for Inis Nua. Eleni plays the banjo! Multi-instrumentalist/composer Jamison Foreman (Lawrence and others) also serves as music director for Monster. Foreman was integral to the success of Inis Nua’s production of David Greig’s Midsummer [a play with songs] in 2014, and he won the Barrymore Award for Outstanding Musical Direction.

While directing Monster, Moyer continues to serve as Inis Nua’s Literary Manager and Associate Director. She also played double duty this fall as one of the city’s busiest female directors, directing two shows at the same time with the recent production of Mary Rose by The Philadelphia Artists’ Collective (on top of The Monster in the Hall). Her work with Mary Rose received universal praise from the area’s theatre critics. She has also received past Barrymore nominations for her directing work on Radiant Vermin and Spine.

On the production side, look for set design by Apollo Mark Weaver, who works nationally as well as most recently with Azuka Theater and Orbiter 3. Costume designer Natalia de la Torre has designed many times for Inis Nua, including The Swallowing Dark. Longtime Inis Nuacollaborator Flannel and Hammer’s Joe Daniels and Lauren Tracy will serve as Technical Director and Production Manager respectively. Lighting design will be by Amanda Jensen, who Inis Nua fans will recognize from her work on Spine, Radiant Vermin, The Swallowing Dark, and Love, Lies and Taxidermy. Newcomer Sarah Sindelar will design props. Assistant directing the production is Alison Hoban of Found Theatre.

Tickets are on sale now for $15-$35 by calling (215)454-9776 or visiting inisnuatheatre.org. To join the conversation, please like Inis Nua Theatre Company on Facebook and follow @InisNua Theatre on Twitter.


David Greig is an institution in the contemporary Scottish theater world. His plays include adaptations and translations and range from avant-garde and experimental to straightforward and light-hearted. Many involve music as a path to discovery, and his frequent lack of stage directions heightens the bond that directors and actors form with his work. His plays have run in most major British theaters across the U.K., as well as in many theaters throughout the world. Greig currently serves as Artistic Director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. When he was appointed, Lyn Gardner wrote in The Guardian praising the Lyceum’s choice, saying, “Over 20 years, Greig has created a diverse range of work in which his exploration of the form of theatre has been as significant as content.”


Inis Nua’s mission is to produce contemporary, provocative plays from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales which reflect those cultures’ new identities in today’s world.  Inis Nua also seeks to cultivate and produce contemporary, provocative work from American playwrights who deal with the Irish-American, Welsh-American, Scottish-American and Anglo-American experiences.

To date, Inis Nua has produced one world premiere, seventeen American premieres and thirteen Philadelphia premieres. Inis Nua Theatre Company has been the recipient of grants from the William Penn Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, the Independence Foundation, the Samuel S Fels Fund, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Charlotte Cushman Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Virginia Brown Martin Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation. Inis Nua Theatre has also had eight playwrights visit during production of their shows.