The Abbey Theatre announces national tour of John B. Keane’s Sive


14 May 2014: The Abbey Theatre today announced its national tour of Sive by John B. Keane.Tickets for Sive went on sale at 11.00 am today at seven venues across the country. It opens in John B. Keane’s heartland of Kerry from mid-October. Then tours to Donegal, Limerick, Belfast, Cork, Galway and Wexford, returning midway to the Abbey Theatre for a two week run. The Abbey Theatre will present a total of 55 performances of Sive this autumn.

Speaking at the Abbey Theatre’s photocall to announce the tour, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said:Sive is one of John B. Keane’s, and indeed Ireland’s, greatest plays. I had the pleasure of attending a performance of Sive at the Abbey Theatre earlier this year and I am not surprised that it enjoyed a sell-out run. I am delighted that the Abbey is going to be taking this production on tour and I am especially pleased that this tour will include Belfast. This is the start of a new North/South touring initiative agreed by myself and Minister Ní Chuilín, and I would like to commend the Abbey Theatre and the two Arts Councils for bringing it to fruition.”

Sive was seen by over 30,000 people on the Abbey stage earlier this year. Directed by award-winning Director Conall Morrison, this sell-out production of Sive was a huge success, attracting Irish and international audiences during its two month run.

Fiach Mac Conghail, Director, Abbey Theatre said: “I am delighted to be touring one of the great plays in the Irish literary canon. In partnership with our seven regional venues, this joint funding from both Arts Councils enables the Abbey Theatre to reach new audiences across the whole of Ireland. Rooted in the social fabric of rural Ireland, Sive is one of John B. Keane’s most celebrated plays and speaks universally to us all about human cruelty and greed.”

The Abbey Theatre has a long running association with Sive, having first welcomed the Listowel Drama Society to perform the play on the Abbey stage in 1959. A previous production toured to the Gaiety Theatre and to Cork Opera House in 1994. In February this year, two members from the original 1959 cast attended opening night, bringing 55 years of the play’s history full circle.

Set in North Kerry in the 1950s, Sive centres on the beautiful eighteen year old Sive who lives with her uncle Mike and his wife Mena. Local matchmaker Thomasheen Seán Rua convinces Mike and Mena that Sive should marry the rich but old and haggard Seán Dóta. They agree to the arranged marriage in return for two hundred pounds but the deal proves disastrous for all.

The full cast for the Sive tour will be announced shortly.

The Abbey Theatre is currently on tour in Germany, at the RUHRFESTSPIELE in Recklinghausen, with its award winning production of Quietly by Owen McCafferty. The tour opened in mid-March and travelled to venues around Ireland before returning to the Abbey Theatre’s Peacock stage for a two week run. After Germany, the final leg of the tour is a four week run at London’s Soho Theatre from 27 May to 22 June.

The Abbey Theatre gratefully acknowledges the support of

The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Abbey Theatre on tour with Sive:

Siamsa Tíre, Tralee: 14 – 18 October
An Grianán, Letterkenny: 21 – 25 October
Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick: 28 October – 1 November
Lyric Theatre, Belfast: 4 – 9 November

Abbey Theatre, Dublin: 12-15 November and 17-22 November
The Everyman, Cork 25 – 29 November
Town Hall Theatre, Galway: 2 – 6 December
Wexford Opera House, Wexford: 10 – 12 December


Tel: 01: 878 7222

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For further press information:

Mary Folan

Press Officer

Abbey Theatre

Mobile: +353 87 737 6288


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