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.
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
[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.
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.
Both The Guardian and The Stage have reacted very positively to Sean Holmes‘ production of The Plough and the Stars at the Abbey Theatre. Tickets are already hard to come by for the performances at the Abbey and these reviews may well increase demand.
[T]his production succeeds in being very moving, while asking insistent questions about social justice that often get lost in the fray.
Helen Meany, The Guardian
In a bold update for Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, director Sean Holmes makes the best work of O’Casey’s Plough in years.
Chris McCormack, The Stage
[D]irector Sean Holmes has, for want of a better expression, absolutely nailed this.
James Dunne, Pure M Magazine
The production will tour Ireland starting on 26th of April with five nights at the Cork Opera House before moving on to The National Opera House, Wexford (Wednesday 4 – Saturday 7 May), Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick (Tuesday 10 – Saturday 14 May) and Town Hall Theatre, Galway (Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 May).
Mark O’Rowe’s production of Juno and the Paycock has opened at the Gate Theatre and is receiving very positive reviews for his interpretation of this classic play.
In the Irish Independent Katy Hayes describes the production as,
A Juno of rare Chekhovian power
[T]his excellent production of this classic play is a must-see
Chris McCormack writing in The Stage describes how O’Rowe portrays,
[T]he punishing binds of addiction, poverty and religious conservatism seem aimed for the present
The production runs through 16th April at the Gate Theatre.
The Gate Theatre in Dublin is mounting a new production of Juno and the Paycock for 2016. The production will be directed by Mark O’Rowe with sets, costumes and lighting by Paul Wills, Joan Bergin and Sinead McKenna respectively. The cast will include Declan Conlon, Peter Coonan, Ingrid Craigie, Derbhle Crotty, Emmet Kirwan and Bríd Ní Neachtain.
Previews will begin on Thursday 11th February and
opening night is Tuesday 16th February.
“A wonderful and terrible play of futility, of irony, humour and tragedy.”
Juno and the Paycock is set in Dublin in the early 1920s during the Irish Civil War. Jack Boyle and his friend Joxer Daly are two Dublin tenement dwellers who put more effort into avoiding work than most do in securing it. Jack’s wife Juno is the breadwinner and moral powerhouse, but she can’t stop her life unravelling.
You can book tickets online now.
The Plough and the Stars will be part of the Abbey Theatre’s Waking the Nation season in 2016. Abbey Theatre Director Fiach Mac Conghail has announced a major programme of work, “to commemorate and acknowledge the major historical events of 1916”.
The season will include productions of The Plough and the Stars, directed by Sean Holmes, and Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme. In addition there will be several new works performed by writers such as David Ireland, Sean P. Summers and Phillip McMahon.
The Plough and the Stars will run at the Abbey from 9 March – 23 April 2016 and then embark on a tour of Ireland taking in Cork Opera House; The National Opera House, Wexford; Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick and Town Hall Theatre, Galway. In addition there will be a tour of North America to Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater (Massachusetts); the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia); Montclair State University’s Peak Performances, (New Jersey) and Southern Theatre, (Ohio).
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is to open its first theatre season with a production of Juno and the Paycock. The Albert L Jeffers Theatre was built in 1931 but this is the first production of the newly instituted UTRGV.
Assistant Professor and designer Jennifer Saxton said of the choice of production,
“I think one reason we picked the play was that there were so many universal themes in it that struck us as relevant. It’s about family, and loyalty, the civil war turning neighbor against neighbor rather than uniting against an outside force now that they have left, what it means to be a mother, and the effects of poverty.”
The play will run from 7th October to11th October to If you want more information or to book tickets contact Elva Galvan at the University Theatre box office, (956) 665-3581.
The National Theatre has announced a new production of The Plough and the Stars to open in July. The production will be directed by Howard Davies, following on from his critically acclaimed production of The Silver Tassie last year.
This production of The Plough and the Stars will mark the centenary of the Easter Rising and ninety years since the premier of the play.
The Abbey Theatre and The Lyric Theatre’s co-production of The Shadow of a Gunman is running on the Abbey Stage in Dublin until the 1st of August.
Wayne Jordan’s production, starring Mark O’Halloran, Amy McAllister and David Ganly, has received an enthusiastic reception.
- “High theatrical energy is kept aloft by the colourful parade of O’Casey’s tenement dwellers, and equally the parade of O’Casey’s brilliant writing talent.”
- “Nothing is more absurd in O’Casey’s 1923 play than the notion that art couldbe indifferent to politics. Set just three years earlier, itsnear-vaudevillian succession of intrusions leading towards something more shattering, was first performed during a vicious Civil War. It was a dangerous weapon itself, a tragedy played for laughs.”
- “The drama packs a punch… as O’Casey reminds us ‘it’s the civilians who suffer’.”
- “All poses have dropped away, and this impressively lucid production leaves us with the question: what would we have done in his place?”
Book now online or contact the Abbey Theatre box office at, 0035-3187 87222.