Audio Drama Wiki

The Mad Islands is a radio play by Louis MacNeice. It was first broadcast on BBC Radio, Third Programme, on 04 April 1962. The play was inspired by MacNeice's interest in tales of ancient Irish voyages, particularly the legend of Maelduin[1].


On a quest to avenge his murdered father, Muldoon and his friends travel to strange islands. A surreal, fable-like adventure.


  • Muldoon - Denys Hawthorne
  • Cormac - Barry Keegan
  • Jester - Billy Quin
  • Mother - Eithne Dunne
  • Ursach - Rio Fanning
  • Skerrie - Margaret Gordon
  • Funster - John Glyn-Jones
  • Branwen - Catherine Dolan
  • Olwen - Elizabeth Morgan
  • Miller of Hell - Brian O'Higgins
  • Drowned Man - Robert Mooney
  • Queen of the Twilight - Cecile Chevreau
  • Inventor - Richard Pasco
  • Hermit - Norman Wynne
  • Harp played by Osian Ellis
  • Special sound effects by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
  • Produced by Louis MacNeice

Critical Reception[]


  1. MacNeice, Louis. The Mad Islands and The Administrator. Faber and Faber, London 1964