The critical response to Ciaran O’Reilly’s Shadow of a Gunman is overwhelmingly positive. Many papers and blogs have given the production rave 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.
[W]hen the play takes its uncorrectable skid into tragedy, there’s enough dramatic force to make you feel for the characters, even the ones you laughed at. At nearly 100 years old, O’Casey’s play still packs heat.
The cast is miraculously right, though none of the 10 actors appear to be “performing.” Instead, they create the wholly persuasive illusion of being a group of ordinary people who are simply living their lives.
O’Casey is one of Ireland and the world’s great playwrights, and his talent is on full display in this taut, swiftly paced production.
[D]irector Ciarán O’Reilly presides over an embarrassment of riches from lead to bit player.
Some authors burden the stage with characters not integral to the plot. O’Casey illuminates shades of perspective. His players are rich and symbiotic.
The general excellence of Irish Rep’s production of The Shadow of a Gunman makes one look forward to seeing the next two shows in its O’Casey Cycle. Let’s mention, finally, that the playbill features several pages of historical context as well as a glossary that theatergoers likely will find to be helpful in appreciating these classic plays.
Click here for more information and to book tickets
The Irish Repertory Theatre, in New York, are marking their 30th anniversary by holding a Sean O’Casey Season from 30th of January until the 25th of May. There are several events that make up the festival with the centerpiece being stagings of all three of Sean’s Dublin Trilogy in repertory.
The very first play staged by the Irish Repertory Theatre was The Plough and the Stars, directed by Charlotte Moore and she is back to revisit the play as part of the festival. The festival will open with The Shadow of a Gunman, directed by Ciarán O’Reilly and also features Juno and the Paycock directed by Neil Pepe.
In addition to the repertory season they are putting on a series of readings of all Sean O’Casey’s plays. This is a great opportunity to hear some important works that are not often performed. The works presented are,
- The Silver Tassie (1928)
- Within the Gates (1934)
- The Star Turns Red (1940)
- Purple Dust (1940/1945)
- Red Roses for Me (1942)
- Oak Leaves and Lavender (1946)
- Cock-a-Doodle Dandy (1949)
- Three One Acts Part I: “Bedtime Story” (1951), “The End of the Beginning” (1937), and “A Pound on Demand” (1939)
- Three One Acts Part II: “Behind the Green Curtains” (1961), “Figuro in the Night” (1961), and “The Moon Shines on Kylenamoe” (1961)
- The Bishop’s Bonfire: A Sad Play within the Tune of a Polka (1955)
- The Drums of Father Ned (1959)
The readings are free but spaces are limited. Apply to the Irish Repertory Theatre box office for invitations.
There is also an exhibition of materials including scripts, correspondence and photographs at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, running 28th January until 23rd March. Also there will be a screening of Joseph Hardy’s 1972 film of The Shadow of a Gunman, featuring Frank Converse, Richard Dreyfuss, Jack MacGowran, and Sandra Morgan, on 21st and 22nd of February.
For further information and to book tickets contact the Irish Repertory Theatre box office online or call 212-727-2737.
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
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).