Barry McGovern

Barry McGovern (born 1948) is an Irish stage, film and television actor. He was educated at Castleknock College, Dublin.


McGovern is a former member of the RTÉ Players and the Abbey Theatre Company. He has worked in theatre, film, radio and television, as well as written music for many shows, and co-written two musicals and directed plays and operas. He is known internationally for his award-winning one-man Beckett shows I'll Go On and Watt which the Gate Theatre presented at the 1985 and 2010 Dublin Theatre Festival respectively. McGovern revived "I'll Go On" for a run at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City for L.A.'s Center Theatre Group in 2014.


Year Title Role Notes
1987Riders to the SeaBartley
1990Joe Versus the VolcanoLuggage Salesman
1991Billy BathgateFather McInerny
1992Far and AwayMcGuire
1995BraveheartKing's Advisor
1996The Disappearance of FinbarAction Committee Chairman
1997The InformantCourtroom Judge
1998The GeneralIRA Man 1
1999Felicia's JourneyGatherer
2001Waiting for GodotVladimir
2015My Name Is EmilyDr. Golding
2018PenanceThe Commandant
Year Title Role Notes
1979Play for TodaySean1 episode
1984Caught in a Free StateEamon de Valera4 episodes
1987Foreign BodiesDermot #1TV movie
1990Dear SarahGiuseppe ConlonTV movie
1991The TreatyEamon de ValeraTV movie
1995The GovernorSolicitor1 episode
1995-1996Finbarr's ClassMannix Beatty24 episodes
1998BallykissangelCon Casey1 episode
1998Miracle at MidnightRabbi Ben Abrams1 episode
2007The TudorsBishop Bonnivet2 episodes
2008School RunPadraig Ó Cinnéide2 episodes
2010Na CloigneCeannfort Ó Sé3 episodes
2010An CrisisPiaras De Barra1 episode
2014Game of ThronesDying ManEpisode: "Mockingbird"
2016VikingsFrench Archbishop1 episode


  • (on his one man show "I'll Go On")[1]
    • "McGovern illuminates the accessibility of the novels, their Irishness and their brilliant, bitter humour...brilliant" - The New York Times
    • "Barry McGovern's dazzling one-man performance…makes for wicked, compulsive fun" - The Irish Times
    • "An outright triumph…arrestingly funny" - Time
    • "90 minutes of laughter, bitterness, compassion and verbal music to leave you rapt" - New York
    • "Superb one-man show…. Without doubt one of the best interpreters of Samuel Beckett's work, McGovern's performance is masterful" - Sunday Business
    • “Barry McGovern’s astounding performance was not only the best of the festival, but also among the best I’ve ever seen… genius, no other word for it." - Sun Herald

Awards and nominations

Ovation Awards

  • 2012: Nominated for Lead Actor in a Play for the role of Vladimir in the Center Theatre Group production of "Waiting For Godot"[2]


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