James Son of James


James Son of James is a story of accidental heroism, hero worship, sadness, love, power, betrayal and revenge, told through dance, theatre, live song, original music and slapstick. James returns home for his father’s funeral having been away for eleven years. He is late and misses the burial. He becomes embroiled in the lives of ten characters: the local politician, his wife and son, the policeman and his wife, a farmer, a doctor, a merchant, his daughter and a young woman from the East. His arrival awakens the potential for compassion and kindness among the villagers of this small rural village. Yet, over time this hope turns sour, as James becomes the victim of local rivalries, jealousies and fear.

A Fabulous Beast co-production with Dublin Theatre Festival, Barbican BITE 08 and Dance Touring Partnership. First performed at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin, September 2007. Also performed on UK tour and at the Barbican, London, Spring 2008.


Writer and Director.
Michael Keegan-Dolan

Philip Feeney

Merle Hensel

Lighting Design.
Adam Silverman

Sound Design.
Alexis Nealon

Emmanuel Obeya, Simon Rice, Daphne Strothmann, Rachel Poirier, Michael Dolan, Khamlane Halsackda, Cliodhna Hoey, Lorena Randi, Angelo Smimmo (vocalist), Vladislav Sóltys, Milos Galko and Neil Paris.


Undoubtedly the most sophisticated piece of storytelling Fabulous Beast has yet embarked upon… less visceral, less instinctive than its two predecessors. But, taken as a whole, the Midlands Trilogy looks like a substantial achievement, melding various aspects of dance, theatre and music in an entirely convincing and satisfying way.

Sarah Crompton, The Daily Telegraph

Magnificent… a raucous tragicomedy told through dance, physical theatre, slapstick and song… dance theatre at its very best.

Lucy White, Metro ★★★★★

It is not just that the dialogue and choreography ultimately fail to do the work required, but that the storyline lacks a compelling inevitability. There are laughs to be had, but unlike Giselle or The Bull, the tragic wheel does not turn.

Judith Mackrell, The Guardian ★★★

Other Work

The Bull