• Created by Brian Irvine & Netia Jones
  • January 2023
  • London

Least Like The Other

An explosive and thought-provoking work of experimental music theatre. It traces events in the life of Rosemary, eldest daughter of Joe and Rose Kennedy, sister younger sister of JFK, using heavily redacted materials from the archives, and only recently pieced together by biographers and academics.

The events in Rosemary’s difficult life leading up to her disastrous lobotomy at the age of 23 by the “kings of lobotomy,” Walter Freeman and James Watts, create an exploration of definitions of intelligence, expectations of gender, medical showmanship, patriarchy, the impact of the media and the demands of this extraordinary family. Rosemary’s tragic life constitutes a portrait of America in the 1940s and 1950s. It is a picture that is as relevant today as it was then.

Sung in English with English surtitles.

Running time: 70 minutes with no interval.

Please note, there is strobe lighting used in this performance.

General booking opens on 26 October 2022.

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“Irvine’s score has immense variety: dramatic brass dominates, creating musical reflections of psychic dissonance and signalling violence and violation . . . . a striking and memorable show” - Irish Independent
“a thought provoking and intense 70 minutes of musical theatre that gives a fresh perspective on the Kennedy back story” - The Irish Examiner
“sung with pathetic intensity by mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O’Connell” - The Irish Times
“Conducted by its artistic director Fergus Sheil, this was . . . further evidence that with INO, opera in Ireland can be for all, and can be vibrant, relevant and compelling” - ★★★★★ The Irish Times

Presented in association with the Royal Opera House

Originally presented by Galway International Arts Festival


Cast & Creative Team


Singer Amy Ní Fhearraigh
Actor Stephanie Dufresne
Actor Ronan Leahy
Voice-over Artist Aoife Spillane-Hinks

Creative Team

Conductor Fergus Sheil
Improvisors Conductor Brian Irvine
Director / Designer / Video Designer Netia Jones
Lighting Designer Sinéad Wallace
Sound Designer David Sheppard
Choreographer Muirne Bloomer
Assistant Director Aoife Spillane-Hinks
Irish National Opera Orchestra