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Tuesday, 22 October 2019


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 
CV of published material available on request. & @JoeCushnan

I have a number of free copies of this play, self-published in a handy paperback, to send, primarily, to drama schools/groups in Northern Ireland for table-reading/acting practice. Schools/groups outside NI will be considered.

I want nothing in return, except feedback.

The play was written as a 45-minute radio drama, but it has not been performed - yet.

It is fiction, based on several facts from my life. 

A 60-year-old son tracks down his 89-year-old father to question him on why he left the family home, a wife and seven young children. In the quest to find out about the 'missing years', the son finds it hard to suppress simmering anger and the father clings to hope of reconciliation. 

The script is adaptable for the stage and would be useful for student actors to practice their skills.

Apart from a brief introductory scene, this is a two-hander.

In mid-2015, I sent the play to BBC NI radio producer, Heather Larmour, who declined it because a daughter/father drama had already been commissioned. She said: 

Thank you so much for sending ‘Shaking Hands’, it’s a very thoughtful, emotional and intelligent script which I very much enjoyed reading.  I thought your treatment of the relationship between father and son was very interesting and viscerally drawn - you really could feel the anger and frustration and hopes and vulnerabilities of the characters as they negotiated the stages of the meeting.  Although I was secretly hoping for a happy ending, I also very much admired how you left the piece, with no resolution possible given the past, but perhaps some understanding for the characters. Unfortunately however, we have recently had a piece commissioned, which tackles the story of a daughter tackling her father about the secrets of his past, and although the two pieces are of course very different, we just felt that the subject matter was too similar at the moment and that Radio 4 would be unlikely to be looking for another piece in the same territory.”

If you are interested in a sample copy, please contact me via

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