Testing Time, Teddy Boy

Testing Time, Teddy Boy

1999 / Television

Funded by the Arts Council of Ireland, this critically acclaimed half-hour drama by Kevin McCann was screened several times on national television in Ireland and won several awards at film festivals.


In the borderlands of ‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland at the end of the 20th century, an old-timer has found himself in the right place at the wrong time.

“Why wouldn’t I be in bad form, surrounded by pagans and bloody road-men?”

With word that his cattle are to be taken away and pressure to sell his farm, Teddy Monday has had enough and has planned his last day - the day of the Ulster Drag Hunt; a traditional cross-community dog race to the finish where bloodhounds follow the scent of a dead fox circling a lake in the Irish borderlands.

To strengthen his might, Teddy has starved his champion bloodhound - a final show of disgrace - the gun above the kitchen door awaits.

As Teddy confronts this desperate day, the heavens open to wash the scent from the course, granting divine intervention to the underdog and his master.


  • Written, Directed & Produced by Kevin McCann
  • Cast: Noel McGovern, Josie Henry & Phil Gilbride
  • Photography by Conall McGarrigle
  • Edited by Seamus Callagy, Kevin Lavelle & Emlyn Lewis
  • Music by Brendan Perry (Dead Can Dance)
  • Co-produced by Marc Dowds & Penni Merren
Press ArticlesIMDB



"Already a favourite on the Festival circuit, Kevin McCann’s Testing Time, Teddy Boy is a blue-break rural drama that drips with menace from its opening frame. A story of isolation and desolation, this short feature has an air of authenticity, from the convincing performances of the central characters right down to the day-old turnover on the kitchen table.

Brendan Perry’s soundtrack adds the final edge to a well-crafted yarn."- RTÉ Guide / Ireland
"Compulsive. Visceral. Great"
- Film Ireland
"A rich and satisfying slice of Irish Gothic shot with a painter’s eye for the resonant landscape. I’ll be looking out for Kevin McCann’s name in the future" - Gavin Corbett, The Sunday Tribune
"A dark and brooding Cavan was the location of Kevin McCann’s superb short film Testing Time, Teddy Boy (TG4). Shot in sumptuous black and white and with a score by Brendan Perry, the film jumped off the screen. Bleak and uncompromising, menacing and desperately sad

It’s a film to watch out for when TG4 repeats it, as it surely will"
- Sunday Business Post
"Beautifully Directed....TV Drama of the Week" 
- Una Mullally, TV Critic
"Excellent.  A bleak moment in rural Ireland acted out by its people."- Shane Connaughton, Oscar Nominated Writer of "My Left Foot"
"'Testing Time, Teddy Boy' is terse tough and authentic. Shot in rich monochrome with a haunting soundtrack by Brendan Perry. It is well worth checking out. 
- Patrick McCabe, Writer of ‘The Butcher Boy’ & ‘Breakfast on Pluto’
"An unrepentant insight, wonderfully naturally performed with a well measured pace - extremely well crafted photography and editing" - Kevin Jackson, BBC NI Drama
"I was struck by how well the piece was realised and by the sense of menace and rural desolation with which the director had imbued it. I was reminded of bicycle thieves" - Barry devlin, Writer / Director
"Stark images and authentic performances convincingly suck the viewer into the bleak world of the central character" - Daniel O’Hara, Director
"A really centered piece of work. Authentic and haunting. In local parlance - powerful altogether." - John Kelly, The View, RTÉ
"A well made, engaging film using non-actors in an interesting and effective way" - Lenny Abrahamson, Director 'Room' & 'Adam & Paul'