Allegiance (2005)

The story of the meeting between the Irish Republican Michael Collins and Winston Churchill at Churchill’s private residence, it explores the unlikely fascination that grew between Collins and Churchill.

In 1921 his friend and leader Eamon de Valera ordered Michael Collins to travel to London, with the Irish delegation, to negotiate the Treaty that followed the Truce and the War of Independence. Churchill was Colonial Secretary in charge of Ireland, and the two men were prepared to detest one another.

Yet, at a point when the Treaty talks seemed to be stagnated, Churchill and Collins spent a night drinking together, talking, arguing, even singing and reciting poetry. They emerged from this session fascinated by each other, and formed an unlikely friendship which helped decide the fate of two warring nations.

  • First given a public reading in Dublin, at the New Theatre, and subsequently in London, at the Reform Club.
  • The public reading was filmed by Third Man Films, but is unavailable for viewing. The play moved to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006, with Michael Fassbender taking over the Michael Collins role.
Michael Collins
Mary Kenny
Brian Gilbert
New Theatre, Dublin; Reform Club, London
Additional Cast:
Mel Smith
One-off performance in September 2005