In a Canadian TV interview, Donleavy described himself as
"...a comfortably burned out volcano."

Photo by Thomas E. Kennedy

Fairy Tales of New York
by J.P. Donleavy
27/11/2012 - 01/12/2012

Network Theatre 246a Lower Road Waterloo London SE1 8SJ.

cast-bios-head shots

The Network Theatre Company's production of J.P. Donleavy's iconic play "Fairy Tales of New York" was directed by Robin Lansman.
J. P. DONLEAVY I Write About People I Like
A film by Rina Sherman
VideoHD, 78 min, 2013, Production: ACA LTFA Distribution: Label K
VOICES Meetings with Remarkable People
A collection by Rina Sherman

A New Video Interview with JPD
J.P. Donleavy: I Write About People I Like, JPD interviewed at his estate by noted filmmaker Rina Sherman. One of the very best Donleavy interviews, covering the events in the writer''s live that led him to create and get published his famous novel The Ginger Man. Other topics include the author's formative years and adapting prose for the stage. A must-have DVD for all Donleavy fans.

J. P. Donleavy Performs: Social Climbing and Extinctions & Mortalities (based on The Unexpurgated Code)

J.P. Donleavy is in true form giving a hillarious spoken-word performance of material inspired by
The Unexpurgated Code. Download your copy
today at:



Ginger Man article/review in Spring issue of Slightly Foxed

The spring 2013 no. 37 issue of Slightly Foxed contains Andrew Nixon's wonderful "The Wild Ginger Man" - an article/review of J.P. Donleavy's classic novel The Ginger Man. Nixon's understanding of the nuances of the book gives would be new readers an excellent preparation for the multiple layers of the book and its complex protagonist.

Slightly Foxed

Johnny Depp meets with JP Donleavy to
discuss The Ginger Man movie project
Articles about Johnny Depp's recent visit to Westmeath to discuss The Ginger Man movie project with writer JP Donleavy and co-producers Philip Donleavy and Robert A. Mitchell have appeared in The Westmeath Examiner, The Irish Times, BBC News, Irish Post, Independent i.e., Irish Central and others. A Google search for Johnny Depp Ireland will bring up those articles which are still online.
Bill Dunn, J.P. Donleavy's archivist who has written numerous dispatches for the J.P. Donleavy Compendium, is also an author. Bill, who in a previous life was a reporter for The Detroit News and later USA Today, has written Sea Girt Lighthouse: The Community Beacon, just published by The History Press (

Sea Girt Lighthouse, on the New Jersey coast, flashed its first beacon December 10, 1896, lighting a dark spot midway between Navesink Twin Lights and Barnegat Lighthouse. The lively history, illustrated with 110 photos, some never before published, brings to life the colorful keepers who tended the light, including a Civil War veteran, a pioneering woman, and inventor and for one day the 20-year-old daughter of a keeper, as well as the Coast Guardsmen who converted the lighthouse to a watch tower and command center for beach patrols during World War II. A lighthouse of distinction, Sea Girt was the first land-based station in the world equipped with a radio fog beacon transmitter.

The book engagingly reports lighthouse challenges and transformations as its mission changed over the years. Long ago decommissioned, the lighthouse has been restored by the Sea Girt Lighthouse Citizens Committee, a local group of volunteers who are also committed to preserving the landmark's rich history through tours and special events, which attract people from down the block and around the world. Many rare artifacts, including a 4th order Fresnel lens, are on display at the lighthouse and shown in the book. Bill, one of the volunteers, is also the lighthouse historian. All royalties from the book sales go to the preservation group's maintenance and operation of the lighthouse. Click here for purchasing information.

Visit Sea Girt Lighthouse
larger view
News and Misc. Archive
Robin Lansman
New Production of The Ginger Man at UCLA
UCLA Theatre, June 5-9, 2012, MacGown Hall, Los Angeles - All performances of this production were sold out. Directed by Angela Scott. Set Design by Emily MacDonald, Lighting Design by Pablo Santiago, Sound Design by Micala Nuss Costume Design by Jacqueline Martinez, Stage Manager: Kourtnie Boeve. CAST: Sebastian Balfe Dangerfield - Derek Chariton; Marion Dangerfield - Megan Timpane; Miss Lilly Frost - Kristen Osborne; Kenneth O'Keefe - Garrett Langson

'New Works and Other Stories'

Was Held November 15th – December 1st

Matthews Auction Rooms, 116 Capel Street, Dublin 1.

An exhibition of new paintings by J.P. Donleavy, not an auction.
Exhibition was open daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

"It goes without saying that your opponent upon whose pastel walls you leave your greasy hand prints,
is rich and also well known for hiding his best drink and victuals while shoving at you all the old stale
contents from his larder. Which ingredients should, just as they pass your lips, be exploded back out
onto the carpet for starters. Canine befoulment carried liberally on your instep and wiped off somewhere
where it shouldn’t be, is a really lousy ill bred dirty stinking trick. Which your host may deserve for his
stinginess. But the more serious destructions should be wrought approaching objects d’art backwards
with your hands behind you snapping off a leg on all the Tang horses you can find. Beware of bronze
specimens of other dynasties, as busting these can lead to your detection. Especially when you grunt,
struggle and sweat wielding a hoof off one of these exceptionally strong ancient works of art."

- J.P. Donleavy from The Unexpurgated Code

J.P. Donleavy Art Exhibit in New York, a Success
The JPD art exhibition/retrospective was held May, 2007 in New York City at the National Arts Club. The show also featured works by daughter, Karen Donleavy, who creates specialized, high-quality ceramics. For details go to the JPD National Arts Club page.

To purchase books by J.P. Donleavy, go to the Buyers' Guide.

JPD was the guest on Desert Island Discs BBC 4 Sunday March 4, at 11:15 a.m. local time (Ireland). The show was repeated Friday March 9 at 9:00 a.m. local time (Ireland). Kristy Young hosts the popular show where celebrities are asked which 8 musical recordings they would want with them if stranded on a desert island. The selections are then played with discussion between selections. JPD's picks.

J.P. Donleavy Exhibit at UCLA Powell Library Rotunda
The library's exhibit "God's Mercy: The Works of J.P. Donleavy From the Collection of Lawrence Grobel" was presented in April of 2006 and featured a wide array of JPD editions as well as many letters. Grobel was asked why JPD signs correspondence with friends as "Mike." He didn't have an answer. Mike was the nickname JPD received while serving in the Navy during WWII. The name stuck, although for business matters the name used remains J.P. Donleavy. Many thanks to Mr. Grobel for organizing this event and lending so many items from his personal collection to display for the students.

JPD Dublin Art Exhibit a Sell-out!
JPD's art exhibition and retrospective held February, 2006 at the Molesworth Gallery, Dublin was a complete success, all works being sold!
Click for details!

Gala Party in New York City Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Publishing of The Ginger Man

On October 29 2005, a party was held at The Ginger Man Pub (owned and operated by Bob Precious) in New York to honor JPD and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Ginger Man. A grand time was had by all. Among the crowd was singer/songwriter Shane MacGowan, lead man for The Pogues. Special thanks to Maike Schulz for the excellent photography.

From left to right: Philip Donleavy, Bob Precious (owner of the Ginger Man Pub) and JP Donleavy. Photo © 2005 Maike Schulz
JPD with Bob Mitchell and Bob's triplets.
Photo © 2005 Maike Schulz
JPD reads from The Ginger Man and other selected works.
Photo © 2005 Maike Schulz
Shane MacGowan performs for the gathering.
Photo © 2005 Maike Schulz

McDaids Bar on Harry Street, just off Grafton Street, was a popular watering hole for JPD, Brendan Behan and co. Thanks to John O' Mahony and Dave Phillips for providing information. Photo courtesy, Charles Carter.

The infamous "Catacombs" in post-WWII Dublin, where JPD, Behan and many of the creatives of the day frequented, then had a dentist's office on the top floor with a brothel beneath. A sign once read "Extractions above. Insertions below."

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JPD giving some insight into his work, while Charles Carter, Deborah Drylie and other gallery patrons look on and a documentary film crew records the moment. Photo by Charles Ruppmann.
J.P. Donleavy returns to a legendary haunt
"The Catacombs..." RTÉ Radio 1 broadcast, made and presented by Ciaran Cassidy. Back at the original site, JPD,
Steve Willoughby, Joan De Frenay and Shelia Bradshaw talk about The Catacombs and the people who frequented the now famous hub of post-war Bohemian Dublin. First broadcast May 19, 2007. Replays of presentation are still available on the
RTÉ website as of this posting. Listen to the show.

Author, playwright and artist J.P. Donleavy - best known for his novel The Ginger Man (which for the past fifty years has never been out of print) - came to Trinity College after the war to take up student life: drinking, partying, writing and painting. He befriended brendan Behan. Donleavy opened the proceedings with a talk on Behan as he knew him.

Screened first was: MEET THE QUARE FELLA - 1960 • BLACK & WHITE • 35 MIN.

This is a rare opportunity to see the now infamous encounter between Eamonn Andrews and Brendan Behan. Filmed in Ardmore studios, meet the Quare Fellas shows us a Behan obviously at ease with his interviewer, who could, as much as Behan, play the archetypal dubliner. Andrews elicits frank responses from his subject regarding the topics of writing, fame, religion, his time in borstal and his Connections with the clandestine IRA, resulting in a candid glimpse into the personality of Behan towards the end of his life.

Screened second was: BRENDAN BEHAN’S DUBLIN - 1966 • COLOUR • 27 MIN.

In Norman Cohen’s poetic documentary, the spirit of the city is presented through the eyes of one of its most talented and colourful Citizens. Written by Carolyn Swift and featuring Ray McNally as the ‘voice of Behan’, the film is evocatively photographed by Robert Monks with musical ballads sung by The Dubliners. Interviews with Behan’s parents and wife add to the intimacy of the piece.

Special thanks to Bill Dunn for sending this news report.

J.P. Donleavy introduces an evening celebrating Brendan Behan
Watercolor and ink portrait of Behan by J.P. Donleavy

(From the Irish Film Institute Site)

July 18, 2007 - The Irish Film Archive screened two films made on this most gregarious literary figure, beloved of Dublin, and with a legacy that is as much about Behan as about his work.

Photo courtesy The Irish Film Institute
Final catalogue cover (this one signed by the artist) Photo courtesy of Damien Matthews Fine Art and Mr. Donleavy.

Farmer J.P. Donleavy takes a stand against Genetic Modification
Many JPD fans don't know that he is an experienced farmer in addition to being a novelist, playwright and painter. JPD has 170 acres surrounding his Levington Park estate near Mullingar in County Westmeath, and he raises cattle on them, the herd varying from 40 to 80 head. Concerned about the growing threat of Genetic Modification in agriculture, JPD has gone on record to oppose such scientific intrusion by declaring his estate the first GM-Free farm in Ireland. See "The Agrarian Reforms of Organic Farmer J.P. Donleavy" by Bill Dunn for more on this and JPD tractor rider in general.
June, 2004. JPD and friends making a public statement against Genetically Modified farming. Photo by Photocall Ireland.

J.P. Donleavy and Tom Stoppard headline Dublin Writers Festival 2008

The lineup for the Dublin Writers Festival 2008, included special appearances by J.P. Donleavy and Tom Stoppard. A group of over 40 Irish and international writers culled from all disciplines gave readings, public interviews, talks and took part in debates regarding their work. J.P. Donleavy took part in a retrospective Q & A event with RTÉ radio at the Project Arts Centre.


Photo by Noel Boivin
J.P. Donleavy part of Dublin Salon
J.P. Donleavy was among the artists exhibiting their work at a salon hosted by Jennie Guy, June 20 - 22 at Studio 6 Temple Bar Galleries, Dublin 2. Performance artists, writers & theorists also took part in the event. For more information visit
Larger view.

J.P. Donleavy Interviewed

J.P. Donleavy was interviewed at the Athlone Literary Festival by Fintan'Toole.
The interview was conducted at 3:30, Saturday, September 20, at The Prince of
Wales Hotel.

Athlone Literary Festival, Custume Place Athlone, Co Westmeath

Compendium Linked at Princess Grace Library

It is an honor to be linked as the Internet reference source on J.P. Donleavy at the Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco.

J.P. Donleavy interviewed, then gives reading at All Ireland Poetry Day

JPD followed an interview with a reading culled from his works, Dublin, October, 2008.

Maeve Hickey exhibition to feature portrait of J.P. Donleavy

The portrait (left) of J.P. Donleavy taken by Maeve Hickey at Donleavy's Levington Park estate, Mullingar, County Westmeath, will be part of a exhibit called "America in Ireland."

The show will open November 18, 2008 at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Boston, Massachusetts in the Burns Library. Reception at 6pm.

The exhibition was funded by a grant from the Clinton Institute, UCD. Plans are in the works to take the show to other locations, including Boston College, Dublin, Ireland.

Visit Maeve's website:

J.P. Donleavy at Levington Park, photographed by Maeve Hickey © 2008.

Larger view

J.P. Donleavy Guest of Honor at Queen's University, Belfast
J.P. Donleavy was guest of honour at the Ulster Arts Club Annual Christmas Dinner at the Great Hall, Queen's University, Belfast recently. Information courtesy of Peter Mac Hugh, hononorary Secretary of the establishment. Special thanks to Peter for this addition to the site.

J.P. Donleavy adds works to local St. Patrick's Day exhibition
J.P. Donleavy agreed to exhibit his art along with Mullingar's Brosna Art Group and to attend the opening which took place Saturday, March 15, 2008 in the Barlo Room at the Annebrook Hotel. Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland is where JPD has been living for quite some time and he often takes part in the local cultural scene.

The event, part of Mullingar's St. Patrick's Day celebration, was officially opened Saturday, March 15 by artist Ursula Meehan. The well-attended event was then open to the public March 16-17.

Thanks to Virginia McGillycuddy, assistant to Mr. Donleavy, for providing details.

J.P. Donleavy art exhibition, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, April 30 - May 9, 2008
Damien Matthews Fine Art presented an exhibition of art by J.P. Donleavy at The Molesworth Gallery 16 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, 01 679 1548,

The show was comprised of 69 pieces representing J.P. Donleavy's work from the 1950s to present. For more information visit the Compendium Molesworth 2008 exhibition page

Photo © 2008 Bobbie Hanvey
J.P. Donleavy gives an encore reading of "Remarks on Barry Flanagan"
J.P. Donleavy's "Lobbing Hand Grenades: Remarks on Barry Flanagan" a speech first given to open Mr. Flanagan's sculpture exhibition June 27, 2006 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, was repeated at the Mullingar Arts Centre, November 30, 2007 for the IMMA to video tape the talk for its archives.
Barry Flanagan
"The coms up", 1978
"Six-foot Leaping Hare on Empire State" 2002
"Bug", 2003

The Lilliput Press publishes new series of J.P. Donleavy e-books
The Lilliput Press, the distinguished Irish book publisher, has published 10 Donleavy e-booksbefore: The Saddest Summer of Samuel S, An Author and His Image, The History of The Ginger Man, A Singular Country, Meet My Maker The Mad Molecule,The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B, The Onion Eaters, The Unexpurgated Code, The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms and Wrong Information is Being Given at Princeton. Read Bill Dunn's in-depth report on the E-books page for more about this outstanding new series.

Now, follow JPD on Twitter
Excerpt from new JPD novel and photo spread in Port Magazine
In the Spring issue of the UK magazine Port, there are an excerpt from J.P. Donleavy's soon-to-be-published novel A Letter Marked Personal, an excellent photo spread by photographer Jamie Hawkesworth and an equally fine biography of JPD by Robert A. Mitchell.

Check the Compendium for more on A Letter Marked Personal and other JPD news.
J.P. Donleavy at Carrick Water Music Festival
Photo © 2008 Bobbie Hanvey
St. George's Terrace,
Co. Leitrim
Tel: 071 9650828
Reading by JP Donleavy

Saturday 08th August 2.30pm

Trinity Rare Books in association with Cox's Pharmacy presented
JP Donleavy.

It was a wonderful opportunity to hear the words read by the master himself.

A selection of Mr. Donleavy's paintings was shown as well.


JPD Exhibition, Molesworth Gallery, March 4 - 19, 2010

Damien Matthews Fine Art and in accordence with the tenents of "The Unexpurgated Code" presented an exhibition of works by
J.P. Donleavy.

As usual, the show was a success with many works being sold.

JPD Guest of Honor at Mullingar Chamber Awards
April 15, 2010 the Mullingar Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner and awards. JPD, this year's Guest of Honor, was also presented with a lifetime achiement award.
US JPD Exhibition in Cambridge, MA, April 15 - May 20, 2010
Currently showing at the Pierre Menard Gallery, Cambrige, MA is a collection of JPD's paintings and drawings, titled "Identities in the Original." for more information, visit the Menard Gallery page here in the Compendium.
Catalogue and price list
Pierre Menard Gallery
JPD gives art exhibition, Gloucesttershire, November, 2010
November 2010, JPD's art was shown by Damien Matthews at the Dollar Street Gallery in Gloucesttershire to great success. Keep informed on the Compendium for news of forthcoming Donleavy exhibitions.


J.P. Donleavy in new book of writers who are also artists

The Writer's Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers

by Donald Friedman | Cloth | Mid-List Press, September 11, 2007 - ISBN 9780922811762

JPD included in a collection of writers who are also artists. Other author/artists in this collection include: Dostoevsky, Henry Miller, Joseph Conrad, W. B. Yeats, e. e. cummings, Kurt Vonnegut, D. H. Lawrence, Sylvia Plath, Goethe, Hermann Hesse, Vladamir Nabokov & John Updike.