Dublin’s award winning Abbey Theatre brings their outstanding production of The Plough and the Stars to Birmingham’s Old Rep Theatre from 9 to 13 October.
Sean O’Casey’s masterpiece The Plough and the Stars premiered at the Abbey Theatre in 1926, amid riots and complaints from audiences who rejected its interpretation of recent history. Since then the play has become a classic of the Irish drama repertoire and this Abbey Theatre revival follows a hugely successful 2010 production directed by Wayne Jordan.
Set amid the tumult of the 1916 Rising, The Plough and the Stars is the story of the ordinary lives ripped apart amid the idealism of the time.
Fiach Mac Conghail, Director of the Abbey Theatre said: “I believe every generation should see The Plough and the Stars. With Wayne Jordan, Associate Artist at the Abbey directing, we have a new generation looking at this play with fresh eyes. I’m delighted we are touring to Birmingham with this important play”.
The Plough and the Stars features a sterling cast and creative team. Cast includes Barry Ward (as Jack Clitheroe), Kelly Campbell (as Nora Clitheroe), Frankie McCafferty (as Peter Flynn), Laurence Kinlan (as The Young Covey), Gabrielle Reidy (as Bessie Burgess) Deirdre Molloy (as Mrs Gogan), Roxanna Nic Liam (as Mollser), Joe Hanley (as Fluther Good), Mark Fitzgerald (as Lieut. Langon), Dara Devaney (as Capt. Brennan), Gavin Fullam (as Corporal Stoddart), Keith Hanna (as Sergeant Tinley), Kate Brennan, (as Rosie Redmond), Tony Flynn (as a Bar-tender), Gillian McCarthy (as The Woman from Rathmines) and Karl Quinn (as The Figure in the Window).
The creative team for the production includes set design by Tom Piper, lighting design by Sinéad Mc Kenna, costume design by Joan O’Clery, the composer is Conor Linehan, sound design is by Ben Delaney, movement director is Sue Mythen and the design assistant is Lily Arnold.
Sean O’Casey’s work is synonymous with the Abbey Theatre, his plays The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924) and The Plough and the Stars (1926) all premiered at the Abbey Theatre. A co-production between the Abbey Theatre and the National Theatre of Great Britain of O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock completed its run in London in February 2012. Over 60,000 people saw the production between Dublin and London, including two Irish Presidents; Mary McAleese and Michael D. Higgins.
Sean O’Casey was born in Dublin in 1880, his birth name was John Casey until 1906 when he learned Irish and changed his name to Sean Ó Cathasaigh, later to be known as Sean O’Casey. His last play The Drums of Father Ned, which had been scheduled for the 1958 Dublin Theatre Festival, was disapproved of by the Archbishop of Dublin. This led to the playwright banning his own work from professional productions in Ireland. This ban was lifted in 1964 and the Abbey Theatre presented Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars at the World Theatre Festival in London, held to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. Sean O’Casey died in 1964.
The Plough and the Stars
The REP @ The Old Rep Theatre, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY
Tuesday 9 October – Saturday 13 October
Performance Times: 7pm on Tuesday, 7.30pm Weds to Sat. Matinee at 2pm on Thu 11 and Sat 13 Oct.
Tickets: £10 – £28 with concessions available
After Dark discussion with the acting company: Thu 11 Oct
BSL Interpreted Performance Fri 12 Oct 7.30pm with Harjit Jagdev
Box Office: 0121 236 4455 Book Online: birmingham-rep.co.uk