Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man's award-winning Edinburgh Fringe play coming home to The MAC

A true coming of age comedic play about Belfast, masculinity, friendship, family, love, grief and testicles is coming to The MAC.

My Left Nut, a play which tells the true story of Belfast man Michael Patrick’s childhood, was one of the recipients of the Summerhall Lustrum Award at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The play, set in Belfast in the early 2000s, will be showing at The MAC from September 7-15.

My Left Nut tells the true story of Michael who developed hydrocele testis when he was 14, a condition which caused one of his testicles to start swelling.

Too embarrassed to tell anyone, he ignored it and watched it grow until it was the size of a can of coke.

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Michael Patrick receiving the Summerhall Lustrum Award from Robert McDowell, owner of the Summerhall Arts Complex in Edinburgh.

Michael stars in the one-man play, which was co-written by himself and his director, Warrenpoint man Oisin Kearney.

Michael’s father died from Motor Neurone disease when he was very young and the play shows how he slowly came to terms with the death while he deals with his own illness.

It touches on the inability of men to talk about their problems, and on the difficulties single mothers can have in raising young boys.

In sharing his tale, Michael hopes to encourage men to seek help for their problems and remove stigma from such issues.

“We need more stories that tell men it’s alright to be vulnerable and talk about your problems. I didn’t tell anyone about my condition for three years, and I was terrified the whole time," said Michael.

"Thankfully I was fine in the end, and I can laugh about it now. We hope presenting the issue through a comedic play can help others open up and talk about things.”

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The one-man play is as much a tribute to his mother, Pauline, as it is about him tackling a difficult period in his life through theatre.

"I'm very proud to share my story, much of the play is about how my mother coped with the loss of her husband and how she brought up four children on her own," said Michael.

My Left Nut also made the Guardian and Sunday Times lists for Best Shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018.

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