Profile of Dermod

Profile of Dermod


Dermod was a Director of the Lantern Theatre, Dublin and he was one of the moving forces behind the Lantern becoming one of the first theatres to facilitate a ‘New Irish Writing’ programme. This initiative encouraged other writers to submit their work, develop the work in house and present a fully rehearsed and costumed reading to the writers. This gave the writers a unique opportunity to see their writing as a work in progress, that could be developed further if required. Characters were lifted from the page and brought to life, thus the writer could add to or subtract from this now three dimensional presence.

Dermod maintains a keen interest in both Irish and American writing, Arnold Wesker and Harold Pinter being two of his favourites. One character in particular that Dermod loves to bring to life is Gregori Solomon from The Price.

As Gregory Solomon in The Price

As Gregory Solomon in The Price

He finds it a joy to play the 92 year old Jewish antique dealer. Dermod is constantly drawn to character roles and has brought that passion to musicals, film and television as well as theatre.

Dermod has also made his presence very much felt in the Dublin St Patrick’s Day parade as Charlie Chaplin, delighting both children and adults alike with his marvellous characterisation and quirky style.

Dermod is a well-known and extremely popular character in the annual Bloomsday celebrations and since 1972 has strolled the streets of Dublin dressed as Joyce himself. This love of Joyce led to Dermod devising a one-man show in collaboration with Pat Layde to pay homage to the great writer. The title of the piece is ReJoyce and it has travelled extensively all over the world from New York to Tasmania as well as being performed at numerous festivals.

Bloomsday brekkie, James Joyce Centre, 1984

Bloomsday brekkie, James Joyce Centre, 1984

Brendan Behan has also been the subject of Dermod’s portrayals, in his one-man show, Behan off the Cuff. Dermod portrays Behan as the ultimate entertainer who performed wherever he could find an audience; street corners, bars and the lobbies of television studios.

Dermod formed the production company 4 Squared Productions with Don Conroy and under its banner produced many memorable performances. With a host of invitations arriving from the UK and the USA, they formed a sister production company called Celtic Dawn Productions, dedicated to travelling abroad and performing old Irish classics such as Da and Sive.

Dermod has graced the stages of the Gate, Olympia and Gaiety in Dublin as well as the Lantern, Focus and New Theatre. His appearances in other theatres throughout Ireland and abroad are too numerous to name individually.

Dermod has played a wide range of characters but his favourite productions include:

  • At the Focus The Little Foxes, A Month in the Country, Twilight for a Romantic
  • At the New Theatre Of Mice And Men
  • At The Project All the Candles, Velvet Abattoir, A Doll’s House
  • At the Gate Ring Around The Moon
  • At the Lantern A Moon For The Misbegotten, Desire Under The Elms, Pictures in the Hallway
  • At the National Concert Hall Love Song playing Oscar Hammerstein, W.B.Yeats and James Joyce
Torvald Helmer, A Doll's House, Project Theatre, 1985

Torvald Helmer, A Doll’s House, Project Theatre, 1985

Dermod is available for and has performed in a variety of shows specifically for charity fundraisers and non-profit events the most notable being:

  • An Evening of Song, Poetry and Drama
  • Hero’s Walk
  • Ebb & Flow
  • The Write Stuff

(All of the above were devised by Dermod with music supplied by Danny Weir)

Dermod showcases his versatile acting style by performing many characters within one piece by manipulating his physicality and voice and also through use of subtle costume changes. With the simple wave of a chequered handkerchief, he can transform from a fully realised character into an altogether different persona. Some examples are as follows:

Behan, Off the Cuff, 1990

Behan, Off the Cuff, 1990

(12) Characters in Re:Joyce

(5) Characters in Pictures in the Hallway

(3) Characters in Kiss Me Bogart

(2) Characters in Goodbye To The Hill

(2) Characters in How To Succeed In Business

(2) Characters in C Oblique O (Film)

(1) Characters in A Crack In The Shell (Film) Progression from Fit Man to Dropout

(6) Character in Mack & Mabel (Musical)

Charlie Chaplin, c.1995

Charlie Chaplin, c.1995

Dermod’s Physical Description:

Hair: Light
Eyes: Blue
Height: 6ft
Age Range: 45/80
Irish Equity: Full Member