My Left Nut

"Bitter Sweet Symphony" by The Verve. "Fly Away" by Lenny Kravitz. Some song by the Spice Girls. My Left Nut's pre-show soundtrack alone does a great job of taking us back to 1998, although it's left to Michael Patrick to give us the geographic context of Belfast. Not the Belfast of the Troubles, or the signing of the Good Friday Agreement; this is the Belfast of an eight-year-old boy being told his father has died.

Thanks to Patrick’s brilliantly engaging and energetic performance, we truly connect with both him and his mates.

In many respects, My Left Nut perfectly fits the blueprint for a show on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It comes with an innuendo-laden title and superficial subject - specifically, growing up with an enlarged testicle - which actually covers far deeper topics, such as mortality, or a boy growing up without the influence of a father. Not only that, it does so with real tact, literary skill and genuine understanding. The accompanying programme makes a point of noting this is the first play either Michael Patrick or Oisin Kearney have written; if nothing else, that suggests we have two talented playwrights here.

Having a great script is one thing, but its value is limited without a brilliant performance and appropriate direction. As seems increasingly common in Edinburgh in August, the set here is a single wooden chair on an empty stage; it's thanks to Patrick's brilliantly engaging and energetic performance that we truly connect with both him and his mates – those "beautifully cocky, terrified guys" – as they attempt to discover how the world works and also how they can meet girls. Patrick, under the guidance of producer Una NicEoin, director Kearney and mentor/director Emma Jordan, easily holds our attention from start to finish.

This is a show not only full of humour and buzzing energy, but also one unafraid to pause and give breathing space for those quieter, emotional beats that, once you connect the dots, properly show us Patrick's own growth from Sega "Streets of Rage"-playing eight-year-old towards an adult beginning to emphasise with his mother’s experiences. An undoubted and wonderfully entertaining tour de force that deserves to be seen sooner rather than later.

Reviews by Paul Fisher Cockburn


One of Two

Scottish Storytelling Centre

Moira in Lockdown

Laughing Horse @ Bar 50

Love and Sex on the Spectrum

Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

400ml. That\'s how much liquid was drained from Michael\'s left testicle when he was a teenager. More than a can of coke. He should have told someone sooner, but who could he turn to? His dad died ten years ago and besides, school is full of rumours about what the giant bulge in his trousers actually is. Who wants to stop that? The true story of a Belfast boy growing up with no father guiding him through and a giant ball to weigh him down. \'Laughing one minute, crying the next... a terrific performance\' (Irish Sunday Times).

Most Popular See More

Grease the Musical

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets