Frank Carson is a Rebel Without A Pause

Dan Gordon as late comedian Frank Carson
Dan Gordon as late comedian Frank Carson
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Following critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Dan Gordon’s one-man play about Northern Ireland’s best-loved comedian, Frank Carson: A Rebel Without A Pause, will return to Belfast in November for a limited run of six performances.

Belfast funnyman Carson blazed a comedy trail for over 50 years. His quick-fire gags and infectious laugh delighted audiences in variety shows The Comedians, The Good Old Days, Seaside Special, Royal Variety, Noel’s Houseparty, Tiswas and many more. In 1976 alone he did 41 network TV shows. He was Mayor of Balbriggan (twice), King of Blackpool, Clown Prince of Ireland and Prime Minister of Fun.

But there’s more. In this acclaimed one-man show, written and performed by Dan Gordon, audiences journey with Frank from his Belfast boyhood - where life was so tough ‘even the arms on the chairs had tattoos’ - through his adventures in the army, and into the world of showbiz where he entertained royalty and never forgot where he came from.

Dan Gordon decided to write the play after being approached by Tony Carson, Frank’s son, following a performance of Dan’s play The Boat Factory in London. The show is the culmination of three years of research, during which he was given access to Carson family archives as well as notes and tapes left by the comedian.

The play charts Frank’s tough upbringing in the docklands of Belfast where he was raised in poverty. His beloved brother was killed in WWII and Frank himself later served in the Middle East. On returning to Belfast, Frank performed in talent shows, parish teas, charity and variety shows. Through the 1960s he played a pivotal role in St Columb’s Hall Sunday night variety shows in Londonderry, then built a huge following across the UK as he toured the working men’s clubs before appearing on our television screens.

This show is billed as a ‘75-minute whirlwind comedy drama celebrating the man, the myth and the mouth - it’s a cracker!’

The production is directed by Ian McElhinney and presented by Happenstance Theatre Company.

Frank Carson: A Rebel Without A Pause, Lyric Theatre, Belfast, November 1-5. Visit or call the box office on 02890 381081.