A trio of musicians are playing from the corner of the bar as we enter with Guinness in hand. We are seated at a round table and learn it is quiz night at our local – The Harp and Hound. Our table’s team – three couples of strangers – take a stab at ten questions – theme: canine. As we await the main attraction, it’s a relaxing start to what will be a tumultuous show in a battered former wool hall, which Slingsby has craftily turned into an Irish pub.

Our introduction to Martin McKenna – the boy who talked to dogs – comes with reluctance on his behalf. His story must be told correctly; with the words he has learned to believe about himself. This is the first indication that all has not been well in the McKenna household.

Bryan Burroughs in The Boy Who Talked to DogsBryan Burroughs in The Boy Who Talked to Dogs. Photo © Andy Rasheed

Adapted for the stage by Amy Conroy from the memoir by Martin McKenna, The Boy Who Talked to...