Michelle Dooley Mahon
MDM is the author of the groundbreaking memoir Scourged and the award-winning playwright of its adaptation to stage The Scourge which she has performed throughout Ireland to rave reviews touring as part of the First Fortnight Festival in January of 2019
The Scourge premiered in New York at the Origin First Irish Theatre Festival in The Irish Rep off Broadway in Jan/Feb of 2020.
She was the Writer In Residence for Wexford County Council documenting the Covid Care Concerts, due to be launched in Spring, 2023.
She also wrote a short play called Boots which was performed as part of the One Voice Festival: Tales from the Quay in August 2021.
In 2022, mdm was commissioned by University of Wales to write essays about Holy Wells for a Map Book of the Ancient Connections Wexford to Pembrokeshire Pilgrimage.
She is the writer and presenter of the mdm podcast on Spotify.
After receiving a diagnosis of Autism and ADHD at 57, mdm is currently processing her life in editing her diaries to publish a trilogy of books called Spiders Don’t Eat Biscuits.
She and filmmaker, Ted Moran, are currently editing SeeShell: six years of documentary footage capturing her live performances and a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the day-to-day life of a Scourge.
MDM is a writer, performer and host of the mdm podcast. She is the author of Scourged – a memoir about her beloved Mother, Siobhán and her decade long battle with Alzheimer’s. She is also the playwright and performer of its adaptation to stage The Scourge. The Scourge was commissioned for adaptation to the stage by Elizabeth Whyte (Director of Wexford Arts Centre) and was subsequently produced by her. The piece was directed by Ben Barnes.
Following a spectacular debut at the Wexford Arts Centre, The Scourge returned by popular demand for a short run during Wexford Festival Fringe and then undertook a nationwide tour including Dublin Civic Theatre, An Gríanán in Donegal, Theatre Royal, Waterford, and Visual, Carlow as part of the First Fortnight International Theatre Festival in Jan. 2019.
The Scourge opened as part of the Origins 1st Irish Theater Festival at The Irish Repertory Theater, New York in January 2020. She was nominated for Best Playwright and also Best Actor for her role as The Scourge. The production was also nominated for Best Design. She won the Special Jury Award for the writing from judges Cynthia Darlow, Harry Haun, Kate Shea Kennon and Sadhbh Walshe “For her work as a Writer bringing under-exposed issues vital to women in contemporary Ireland to an International audience”.
Michelle has performed in Ted Talks about Alzheimer’s and has been a key-note speaker for Carers featuring in multiple interviews and podcasts on RTE, Newstalk, Beat, KCLR, and South East Radio. She was awarded the Dylan Thomas Literary Residency in Sweden and has been a guest Author at the Write by The Sea Literary Festival in Kilmore, Co. Wexford.
MDM currently lives with her dogs in her hometown, Wexford.
“… a cross between Joan Didion and David Sedaris, delving deep into the seam of the everyday, mining the ores of tragedy and comedy, shining a single headlamp as she digs, until the unsuspecting reader, laughed out and cried out, is forced to go for a lie down.” – Eoin Colfer
“Scourged is a beautiful read. A raw and honest insight into a life, an illness, and also the coping mechanisms used in the struggle with the highs and lows of an exhausting creative mind. I cried buckets towards the end recognising my own bereavement and grief and found the words to be cathartic.” – Elizabeth Whyte (Director of Wexford Arts Centre)
“In Scourged MDM comes damn close to describing the ineffable , I felt swept up in the lyrical passionate prose, and truly touched by its heartbreak and wisdom.” – John Noerdlinger
Contact MDM by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for signed first editions via Paypal
“A deeply moving testament to the power of emotional resilience, The Scourge is a captivating tribute to the human spirit, and Mahon is an international treasure.
The most common definition of scourge people will know today is “a person or thing that causes great trouble or suffering.” So, of course, in the context of Mahon’s story, Alzheimer’s disease is obviously, and very definitely, a scourge. The irony, however, is that throughout the piece Mahon refers to herself as a scourge. As her monologue unfolds, the reason for this becomes clear: Mahon is a troublemaker of the first order and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Whip-smart with a sly sense of humor, she would be right at home at any dinner party and there’s no doubt she would know exactly what to do if you had a body of which you needed to dispose.
But Alzheimer’s disease and the slow, cruel loss of her beloved mother Siobhan, knocks Mahon down for the count and it takes years, seven years to be exact, for her to fight her way back to the human race. In the 85-minute The Scourge, her laser-like observations about the healthcare system, long-term disability facilities, and her families response to their mother’s illness have a biting poignancy which are distilled through Mahon’s own life-tested personality.
Simply directed by Ben Barnes, the former artistic director of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, The Scourge and Mahon benefit tremendously from the intimacy of the Irish Rep’s W. Scott McLucas Studio space. Mahon’s voice seldom rises above a mezzo forte and she frequently delivers entire passages in a voice barely louder than a whisper. But she doesn’t need volume to make her point. It’s with her words that she heals herself and, by extension, she heals us too.” – David Hurst, Talkin‘ Broadway
“…. Beautifully written and deeply personal…. Filled with rich imagery and luscious turns of Irish phrase” – Theatre Mania.
“Each line of the play packs a powerful emotional and literary punch, and they collectively weave a tapestry depicting a woman of unstinting bravery in the face of her worst fears. The Scourge is also a raw but moving tribute to Ms. Mahon’s mother and her less than ideal life. It’s not always a pretty picture, but it’s a worthwhile ride and an authentic preview of what’s likely in store for most of us.” – Interludes – Viewpoints on The Scourge
“Michelle Dooley Mahon is delightful, sad, funny, heroic and prophetic in a performance that moves and inspires us to be much more aware of the positives in grief.” – New York Irish Arts
“The Scourge is a rich stew of many parts and each morsel is a distinct flavor bursting with the kind of self-truth and self-reflection that is universal to life. Michelle’s telling of her tale makes a banquet of story and a buffet of observation so that you’ll leave the theater satiated and carrying a huge bag of leftovers that will feed you in some form the rest of your life.” – The Front Row Center
“The Scourge” is no less than a paean to her beloved mother, and the piece is rich with feeling, with a text that is often lyrical and even poetic. The striking looking Michelle Dooley Mahon strongly holds stage for the presentation.” – The Epoch Times
“I had to close my eyes to listen to the lilting cadences of the language” – Niall Cranny – Stage Director, An Gríanán Theatre
“… moved and almost overcome by the humanity, hilarity and heart rending of The Scourge … raised me up and plunged me down on an emotional rollercoaster.” –
Liam Murphy, Munster Express
“Mother Courage….a characteristic blend of wit and wicked powers of observation, and all delivered in a language that is at times quite poetic … a stimulating mix of a heart-aching sadness, anger, and despair, all tempered again by her indomitable humour…not just a magnificent local work but one that will resonate nationally and internationally too.” – Jackie Hayden, Arts review
“… hugely courageous performance. This is flesh and blood writing, sentient and animate, rooted in grief. And as Dooley Mahon knows only two well, grief has two acts: loss, followed by the remaking of a life.” – Tom Mooney, The Rest is Jazz blog, Arts Review
“Raw, witty and poetic, Michelle Dooley Mahon’s ‘The Scourge’ had a huge impact.” – Anna Hayes, Wexford People/Gorey Guardian/Independent.ie
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