Abbie Spallen


Director Mike Bradwell Starring
  • James Doran
  • Orla Fitzgerald
  • Maggie Hayes
    Bush Theatre, Traverse Theatre
    Pumpgirl premiered at the Traverse Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2006 ina production by the Bush Theatre. It subsequently had a London run in the same year. Pumpgirl had its American premiere in 2007  at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York.

    There's one in every town, and they call her the Pumpgirl. She works in the garage, changes the oil and thinks she's one of the lads. She's sweet on 'No-helmet' Hammy, but he loves no-one but himself. He's out all night with his racing boys, whilst wife Sinead's off on a joyride of her own, with an ache that's about to be cured.

    Winner Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Stewart Parker Bursary, Dublin Corporation Bursary for Literature. Nominated for Irish Times Theatre Awards, Best Play.


    Spallen’s script captures the greyness of these lives in the border country of south Armagh and their fruitless attempts to enliven it Ian Shuttleworth
    Financial Times
    Full Review

    Abbie Spallen’s fiercely observed, unflinching play Caryn James
    New York Times

    a piece of sparky and intricately observed writing Lyn Gardner
    The Guardian

    crackling, minutely observed dialogue and heartbreakingly real characters. Jane Coyle
    The Stage

    Spallen’s language matches her elegant plotting. She writes in slangy Irish prose that makes room for beautiful images, so her characters sound like real people who just happen to understand metaphor. Mark Blankenship

    Spallen structures her play like a piece of music, seamlessly slipping between subject and counter-subject, orchestrating faster and slower movements, themes in a formidable coda Lynne Walker
    The Independent