Juno and the Paycock: Reviews for the Irish Repertory Theater

Following on from the very positive reception for Shadow of a Gunman, the second production of the O’Casey season at the Irish Repertory Theater, Juno and the Paycock, has also received many glowing reviews. The production runs as part of the Irish Repertory Theater’s Sean O’Casey Season until 25th May. Click here for more information and to book tickets.

Newsweek

Juno is a masterpiece of 20th-century drama, and this production, with its great ensemble acting and expert direction, brings out its best qualities. Everything about Irish Rep’s O’Casey season has met its high expectations, and one can hardly wait for April 20, when The Plough and the Stars starts performances.

Time Out

Under the meticulously calibrated direction of Neil Pepe… this production is a gem of Irish realism, expertly transitioning from humorous banter to life-altering epiphanies.

New York Stage Review

… superb, searing revival.

The New Yorker

O’Casey presents a complex mixture of comedy, politics, song, and mourning, and the director, Neil Pepe, fashions it movingly.

Theatermania

Performed by a dynamic cast led by Ciarán O’Reilly and Maryann Plunkett, Pepe’s take feels fresh and relevant while remaining faithful to O’Casey’s nearly 100-year-old play.

Theater Time

[M]ay I direct your attention to a gem of a revival playing at the Irish Rep with some truly unforgettable performances. Sean O’ Casey’s “Juno and the Paycock” is one of the highlights of this current season.

Click here for more information and to book tickets

The Lost O’Casey at the Abbey Theatre

ANU Productions The Lost O’Casey will be at the Abbey Theatre from 25 – 30 June 2018. This production is based on Sean O’Casey’s 1924 play Nannie’s Night Out.

The play premiered at the Abbey Theatre 94 years ago staring Sara Allgood and Michael J. Dolan.  In The Lost O’Casey ANU Productions take the play out of the theatre and lead the audience through a journey exploring the play and its multiple endings, “the ending I wanted, the ending they wanted and the compromise.”

Sean Holmes’ Acclaimed Plough and the Stars at the Lyric and Gaiety Theatres

Sean Holmes’ 2016 production of The Plough and the Stars was widely praised during its first run at The Abbey Theatre and on its US tour. The production is being revived for performances at The Lyric Theatre in London (15 March – 7 April) and Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre (24 April – 5 May).

Reviews of the first run and tour were rightly very positive, so this is a great opportunity to catch up on what you missed or to revisit this wonderful production.

There is a great gallery of  Ros Kavanagh’s photos of both the production and rehearsal process available on Flickr.

You wouldn’t want to pass up a chance to watch the Abbey Theatre perform “The Plough and the Stars,” – The Washington Post

refreshed, high-energy restaging’  ★ ★ ★  – The Guardian

Buy tickets for the Lyric in London here

Buy tickets for the Gaiety in Dublin here

Actor Doreen Keogh 1924 – 2017

We are very sad to note the death of Doreen Keogh on 31st December 2017.

Doreen Keogh 1924 - 2017
Doreen Keogh 1924 – 2017

She will probably be most widely remembered for her television roles which were many and varied including a notable stint as Coronation Street’s barmaid. She also appeared with distinction in Ballykissangel, The Royle Family and Father Ted.

She has a strong connection with the plays of Sean O’Casey too, appearing in Sam Wanamaker’s UK tour of Purple Dust, Juno and the Paycock at the Aldwych, Silver Tassie at the Almeida and Shivaun O’Casey’s production of The Shadow of a Gunman.

Doreen trained at the Abbey Theatre School before joining the company at The Gate Theatre and later moving to London sparking a long career in television and radio in addition to her stage work.

There are several lovely obituaries available in The GuardianThe Telegraph and The Irish Independent.

Howard Davies, Director, 1945 – 2016

It is very sad indeed to note the death of Howard Davies. His recent productions of O’Casey plays were very successful indeed and as Rufus Norris, Artistic Director of the National Theatre says, “His work, particularly on the American, Russian and Irish canons, was unparalleled. His reputation among actors, writers, directors and designers alike was beyond question, and has been for so long that his name has become a byword for quality and depth.”

Howard Davies
Howard Davies

Howard won Olivier Awards three times for The White Guard, The Iceman Cometh, and All My Sons and was nominated a further three times. He took several productions from the UK to successful runs on Broadway and mounted several productions in New York. He was also integral in the founding of the Warehouse Theatre that went on to become the Donmar Warehouse.

You can find obituaries for Howard Davies at,

Shivaun O’Casey: National Theatre Platform Interview with Fergal Keane

Shivaun O’Casey was interviewed by Fergal Keane before a performance of Sean O’Casey’s Plough and the Stars at the National Theatre. The interview touches on the National’s production, the writing of the play, the reaction to the play and the effect of that on Sean and his relationship to Ireland.

The Plough and the Stars runs through October 22nd at the National Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting the box office on 020 7452 3000.

The Plough and the Stars at the National Theatre: Reviews

Jeremy Herrin and Howard Davies‘ production of The Plough and the Stars opened at the National Theatre on Wednesday 27th July and has received several very positive reviews.

[O]nce the play starts to exert its grip, it never lets go and leaves you shaken and stirred

Michael Billington, The Guardian

[T]he drama gathers in intensity to a final act of harrowing brilliance

If O’Casey had written nothing else, this portrait of the inhabitants of a Dublin tenement building would have put him among the great dramatists of the past two centuries

Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times

[T}his is a big, proper production of a historically cultural and significant play

Natasha Tripney, The Stage

It’s an extraordinary play and beautifully served by the production

Sarah Crompton, WhatsOnStage

O’Casey’s potent blend of comedy and tragedy really packs a punch

Radio Times

[S]uperbly crafted tragicomedy

Neil Dowden, Londonist

The production runs until October 22nd at the Lyttelton Theatre. You can book online or call the box office on 020 7452 3000.

Abbey Theatre Production of Plough and the Stars in Washington

Sean Holmes’ production of The Plough and the Stars for the Abbey Theatre has been a huge success at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC. Writing for The Washington Post Nelson Pressley writes,

It’s a grubby milieu that screams poverty and hardship, yet as always the O’Casey characters are joltingly alive. The production’s triumph is the fluid, splendidly balanced ensemble, which for harmony and power rivals any other cast seen in Washington this year.

He goes on to say,

[T]his vigorous performance, which will tour elsewhere in the United States later this year, convincingly reinforces the mettle of O’Casey’s great play.

Sean O’Casey’s Dublin Homes

Karl O’Neill writes in the Irish Times of taking a walking tour of the six houses Sean O’Casey lived at in Dublin. The tour starts at 85 Dorset Street and covers an area of just under a square kilometer of Dublin before ending at 422 North Circular Road where Sean wrote the plays of his Dublin Trilogy.

Place is an important part of any life. While Sean’s plays are very much about people, those people are the product of a very particular environment. We can’t travel back in time but we can traverse the same spaces.

The Silver Tassie in the BBC Radio 3 Minds at War Series

Playwright Elizabeth Kuti examines The Silver Tassie as part of the BBC Radio 3 Minds at War series. She looks at how the second act works to question the meaning of the war and how the final act places the meaninglessness of the war and its consequences back into the lives of the soldiers and their families.

Kuti goes on to put the play in context in Sean’s life looking at the rejection from W.B. Yates and support from G.B. Shaw as well as how the play fits in the context of other war plays including Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, Joan Littlewood’s Oh What a Lovely War! and Sarah Kane’s Blasted.