The Irish Wake of Paddy O’Toole, A Comedy Play Licensed


A Comedic Play with Poignant Moments.  The idea of celebrating at an Irish wake takes on a new angle when Patty O’Toole shows up for his own wake.  Patty hears stories from fellow townspeople as he learns about himself and he considers moving on.

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The delightful and mischievous Paddy O’Toole has passed away, and all his friends have gathered to say their last goodbyes. The Funeral Director brings everyone to order and the eulogies begin. Things start rather normally until suddenly, the ghost of Paddy O’Toole appears to participate in his own wake. It seems there is a delay in processing, and he is in a holding pattern before he is able to go to the great beyond, so he thought he might as well see what everyone has to say about him while he’s waiting.

At first, they’re all very upset by his being there, but somehow, they find a way to continue. As they all begin to relate their memories, it soon becomes apparent that not all of their memories were filled with hearts and flowers. This results in a knock-down, drag out fight between Bernadette and Maureen, Father Shawnasee on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Aidan Donnelly in hot water with his wife over a Jersey, and a not-so-happy memory of a flatulent dog at Michael’s Pub.

Then there’s all the stories about Paddy, the Leprechauns, the Banshee, a clock that runs backward, and all the little children in the village that just happen to look just like him. (Uh Oh!)

And through it all, Paddy proves to be the playful instigator of trouble every bit as much as when he was alive.

All the emotions rise to a fever pitch when, finally, Paddy is called to move on. It’s only then that they all realize just how dull and boring life is going to be without him and they say their heartfelt “Good-byes”.

Lots of fun! Lots of laughs! And a real look at what it’s like to be Irish!

Cast of Characters

* All should be able to speak with a good Irish accent.

  1. The Ghost of PADDY O’TOOLE – A true jovial Irishman type, with a twinkle in his eye.
  2. FUNERAL DIRECTOR – Staunch formal Irishman. Obsessed with the positioning of the microphone.
  3. RYAN FITZGERALD – Boyhood friend. Often speaks with a high pitched, squeaky voice.
  4. BERNADETTE McDEVITT – A former girlfriend. Very buxom. Impatient and defensive.
  5. LIAM HARRIGAN – Boyhood friend. Always drunk. Could care less what anyone thinks.
  6. CONNIE O’BOYLE – Tomboy type. Grew up playing with all the lads as if one of them. She wears a herringbone “newsboy” hat so she can hide the gambling money in the forward part of it.
  7. MAUREEN McCLEARY DONNELLY – A former girlfriend. Became Aidan’s wife.
  8. AIDAN DONNELLY – Boyhood friend. Timid. Always trying to placate his wife, Maureen. Must be able to sing “DANNY BOY”.
  9. MICHAEL McCOOLE (or MARY McCOOLE) – Local Pub Owner. Large man or woman. Jovial and somewhat commanding and mischievous.
  10. OFFICER SHAMUS O’ROURKE – Fine Irish Cop.
  11. FATHER SHAWNASEE – Priest. Always trying to keep things in line but, in over his head most of the time.

Script Sample

Production Notes


SET: A Funeral Parlor in Ireland. There is a closed casket with a kneeling bench in front of it, and funeral flowers where desired. There is also a large picture of PADDY and his dog, GUINNESS, on an easel either next to the casket or positioned at the entrance with a second podium that has a “guest book” on it for the audience to sign in. On stage, there are two rows of seats and a podium for those who will be eulogizing. There is also a “window” for O’ROURKE to run to in the second Act.

The microphone at the podium should be on a “goose neck” microphone stand so as to allow the FUNERAL DIRECTOR to be able to spend time to adjust it. It would also be good if the flexible “goose neck” could make uncomfortable squeaking/groaning sounds as he moves it. It doesn’t have to be “live”.

“Suggested” seating diagram: (The two rows are positioned stage right of the podium and the seating is staggered to allow the actors to be seen clearly. The podium is just stage left of the chairs. The casket is positioned to far stage left with a “kneeling bench in front of it. The “window” is positioned stage right where O’ROURKE can get to it easily.


COSTUMES: Paddy is wearing a suit jacket with the back seam split most of the way up the back (Funeral Directors do this for ease of dressing the deceased.) He is wearing a white dress shirt and bright green tie. He is not wearing any pants. He is wearing boxer shorts with green shamrocks on them and bright green socks. He also wears a wool “newsboy hat”.

Except for the priest and the cop, all other costumes are “street dress”.

Connie is dressed in pants, a shirt, green suspenders, and a newsboy hat where she hides her money for gambling.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: For additional fun for the audience, they can be Informed in advance, through the advertising and box office sales, that they will be attending an Irish Wake and it is advisable for them to dress appropriately for the services out of respect for the fact that we are mourning the dearly departed.

Also, if possible, you may choose to allow the audience the ability to go up to the casket to say their “goodbyes”. The Funeral Director can stand at the door to invite the “attendees” to sign the “guest book” and then point them to the casket where they can say their good-byes before taking their seat.

Materials Package

Your Materials Package Includes:

  • 19 Scripts
  • 1 Press Play Sound Effects CD

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