Labels by Miriam Gallagher

Comedy/ 8 Characters, 4 Men, 4 Women/ Full Length, Two Acts

Mrs. Dunphy is concerned that her son has been acting erratically lately. She consults his doctor, who’s preoccupied with his golf game and home renovations. So he writes her a prescription for an anxiety drug and sends her on her way. But when the head of an inquiry into doctors over-prescribing arrives to examine his clinic’s records — and Mrs. Dunphy’s son disappears — Dr. Porter suddenly has a lot more to worry about than his tee-off time.

Playwright’s Notes:

“Influences that compelled me to write this surrealist comedy include the death of Elvis from addiction to prescription drugs, the case in Dublin of four doctors accused and found gulty of over-prescribing, and the increasing dependence on pharmaceutical means to treat sick people. Working in the paramedical sector, I became a witness to this.

“While there is no ‘era’ for this play, it is set in Dublin in the early ’80s, when four doctors were found guilty of over-prescribing. The problems and situation addressed by the play still exist.”

“This full length play is based very much in the real world of tough human existence. Set in the medical world, Labels is a hard hitting social statement fused with ironic humour.”
– Phyl Herbert, Theatre Director, Dublin

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Miriam Gallagher
Playwright’s website:
Address: 53 Upper Beechwood Ave.
Ranelagh, Dublin 6

About the Playwright: Miriam Gallagher, Irish playwright, novelist and screenwriter, studied drama in London (LAMDA). Her work, staged and screened in Ireland, London, Paris, USA, and Canada with Irish, Dutch, Finnish and Russian translations, is included in the Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing and profiled in Irish Women Writers: An A-Z Guide (Geenwood Press). Her plays have been published in Fancy Footwork and 12 Other Plays (Soc. Irish Playwrights) and Kalahari Blues & Other Plays (2006). Commissions include The Ring of Mont de Balison (Ranelagh Millenium Project); Kalahari Blues(Galloglass Theatre Co), which toured nationwide; The Gold of Tradaree (Clare Arts Award); The Mighty Oak of Riverwood (Betty Ann Norton Theatre School 40 years celebration) performed at the Gate Theatre; and Fancy Footwork (Dublin Theatre Festival). Recently her play The Parting Glass was an international prizewinner of the Near & Far Playwrighting Contest (USA).

Miriam’s other books include Let’s Help Our Children Talk (O’Brien Press) and a novel, Song for Salamander (Trafford). She received Arts Council and European Script Fund Awards for her feature length screenplay Girls in Silk Kimonos (celebrating the Gore Booth sisters), and her film Gypsies has been screened at Irish Film Centre, Galway Film Fleadh, Foyle Film Festival, New York’s Lincoln Center, Plaza cinemas, San Francisco and at the International Children’s Film Festival at Hyderabad, India. A member of Irish PEN, Miriam has served on its committee and as vice president. She has also served on the Irish Writers Union committee, the council of the Society of Irish Playwrights, as a judge for the O.Z. Whitehead Play Competition, and on the Awards Panel for Arts and Disability Forum. She has been a guest lecturer at universities in Dublin, New York, Boston, and Pretoria, and her manuscripts are in the National Library, Dublin and film work in the Irish Film Archive.

Labels was first performed at the Dublin Theatre Festival by Alternative Theatre in October, 1985.