Behind the Scenes

The Abbey Theatre announces new season for 2012

5 Dec 2011 1 Comment
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A world premiere musical, award-winning independent theatre artists and exciting revivals for Ireland’s national theatre.

Monday, 5th December 2011 – The Abbey Theatre is delighted to announce its forthcoming season of productions from January 2012 until September 2012.

Across both the Abbey and Peacock stages the new season features new and established writers with new and revived work and the very best of independent theatre in Ireland.

Ireland’s national theatre is proud to present the world premiere of ALICE IN FUNDERLAND, a THISISPOPBABY commission, I (HEART) ALICE (HEART) I by Amy Conroy and HOTFORTHEATRE and SILENT by the award-winning Pat Kinevane and Fishamble: The New Play Company.

The Abbey Theatre is delighted to be staging the first ever revival of THE HOUSE by Tom Murphy since its world premiere in 2000. Commissioned by the Abbey, THE HOUSE is one of Murphy’s greatest works and takes on a new resonance in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. Back by popular demand on the Abbey stage in 2012 will be productions of BOOKWORMS by Bernard Farrell and Sean O’Casey’s THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS. The Dublin Dance Festival will return to the Abbey Theatre for 2012 presenting the Irish debut of Trisha Brown Dance Company.

Fiach Mac Conghail, Director of the Abbey Theatre said, ‘Collaborating with the finest theatre artists in Ireland, commissioning new plays and, indeed, reviving those new plays forms an important part of our engagement with artists and audiences at the Abbey Theatre. My promise to our audiences every year is that the Abbey Theatre will engage with Irish society with the best of Irish writers, actors and theatre artists.

This year is no exception and we will present and produce the best of new and established writers and theatre companies to the highest standards. We welcome back Tom Murphy with the first revival of THE HOUSE, which was an Abbey Theatre commission and I’m personally delighted that Annabelle Comyn has agreed to direct it. I’m looking forward to producing the world premiere of ALICE IN FUNDERLAND with the emerging generation who will now occupy our national theatre. It also gives me great pleasure to welcome the best of Irish independent theatre artists to the Abbey with HOTFORTHEATRE and Fishamble.

I am delighted this season continues our commitment to great Irish writers and a new generation of theatre makers and this is just the first half of next year, there is more new writing to come later in 2012.’

The Abbey Theatre is delighted to be staging a revival of BOOKWORMS by celebrated playwright Bernard Farrell as part of our strategy to extend the life-span of new plays commissioned by the Abbey Theatre. Other recent revivals have included THE SEAFARER, TERMINUS and THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD. Directed by Jim Culleton and following its successful run on the Abbey stage in 2010, BOOKWORMS is back to entertain audiences and brighten the winter evenings with its razor-sharp wit. In BOOKWORMS, everyone’s favourite Book Club reforms for more outrageous revelations where hostess Ann is struggling to stay calm, desperate to deliver the perfect evening of literary classics.

This will be followed by a new generation bursting onto the Abbey stage with the world premiere of the musical ALICE IN FUNDERLAND, a THISISPOPBABY commission, originally created by Phillip McMahon and Jennifer Jennings, and developed with Raymond Scannell, Wayne Jordan and the company. ALICE IN FUNDERLAND is a modern day fairy tale in which Corkonian Alice has a chance encounter with a delivery boy, sending her spiralling through the Dublin night, in an epic pursuit for meaning on the strangest night of her life. Phillip McMahon was Playwright in Association at the Abbey Theatre in 2009.

Phillip McMahon of THISISPOPBABY said,ALICE IN FUNDERLAND, the musical is a rollercoaster parable for our times. It reflects what’s been happening in Dublin over the past fifteen years, both on the dance floor and on the street. The Abbey hasn’t produced a new musical in over twenty years, and this is an ambitious project, it’s a challenge, but a brilliant one.’

Continuing our collaboration with the Dublin Dance Festival the Abbey welcomes the Trisha Brown Dance Company as part of the Dublin Dance Festival 2012, for its Irish premiere in May 2012. This evening of repertory will include a selection of old and new works, including the iconic SET AND RESET, WATERMOTOR, FOR M.G: THE MOVIE and LES YEUX ET L’ÂME, which premiered in Paris this autumn.

In June 2012, the Abbey Theatre presents Tom Murphy’s THE HOUSE. An allegory of Ireland, Tom Murphy returns to the topic of the emigrant in this tragic tale of the search for home. Annabelle Comyn directs on the Abbey stage for the first time since her hugely successful production of PYGMALION in 2011. Murphy’s most recent work THE LAST DAYS OF A RELUCTANT TYRANT was staged at the Abbey in 2009.

THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS by Sean O’Casey and directed by Wayne Jordan returns to the Abbey stage for a seven week run during summer 2012 following its sell-out run in 2010. A classic of the Abbey Theatre repertoire THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS is set in a tenement house, against the backdrop of the Easter Rising in 1916. O’Casey’s JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK is currently enjoying a run at the National Theatre in London following its sell-out run on the Abbey stage.

On the Peacock stage, the Abbey continues to showcase the best of independent theatre with I (HEART) ALICE (HEART) I by Amy Conroy and HOTFORTHEATRE which won two ABSOLUT Fringe awards in 2010. A fresh, human and hilarious piece written and directed by Amy Conroy, I (HEART) ALICE (HEART) I explores the monumental journey of a most unlikely couple. Amy Conroy is currently a participant in the Abbey’s New Playwrights Programme 2011.

Amy Conroy said, I (HEART) ALICE (HEART) I will catch you off guard, it’s funny, moving, tender and powerful. It’s a seldom told story about seldom seen people, scratching at the surface revealing the beauty beneath. I’m very excited to present this show on the Peacock stage; I hope it stays with the audience long after they’ve left the theatre.’

Also on the Peacock stage the Abbey continues to invite companies to present work of excellence on its stages with Fishamble: The New Play Company in summer 2012. SILENT is written and performed by one of Ireland’s outstanding actors Pat Kinevane and directed by Jim Culleton. SILENT is a touching and challenging story of homeless McGoldrig, who once had splendid things. He has lost it all, including his mind and now dives into the wonderful wounds of this past through the romantic world of Rudolph Valentino. The production won both Fringe First and Herald Angel Awards in Edinburgh this year.

The Abbey Theatre acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council.

Priority booking for Abbey Theatre members opens on Tuesday 6th December 2011.

General booking opens on Tuesday 13th December 2011.

Booking available online or phone box office on (01) 87 87 222.

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For further information please contact:

David McCadden, Press Officer / (01) 887 2229

Maura Campbell, Press and Marketing Assistant / (01) 879 7268


By Bernard Farrell
Directed by Jim Culleton
Thursday 9th February – Saturday 17th March
(Previews Tuesday 7th & Wednesday 8th February)

Alice in Funderland
Book & Lyrics by Phillip McMahon
Composed by Raymond Scannell
Directed by Wayne Jordan
Wednesday 4th April – Saturday 12th May
(Previews Friday 30th March – Tuesday 3rd April)

Dublin Dance Festival 2012 in association with the Abbey Theatre.
Trisha Brown Dance Company
Thursday 17th May – Saturday 19th May

The House
By Tom Murphy
Directed by Annabelle Comyn
Wednesday 13th June – Saturday 14th July
(Previews Thursday 7th June – Tuesday 12th June)

The Plough and the Stars
By Sean O’Casey
Directed by Wayne Jordan
Wednesday 1st August – Saturday 15th September
(Previews Thursday 26th July – Tuesday 31st July)


I (Heart) Alice (Heart) I
Written and directed by Amy Conroy
Wednesday 1st February – Saturday 18th February
(Previews Monday 30th January & Tuesday 31st January)

Fishamble: The New Play Company
Written and performed by Pat Kinevane
Directed by Jim Culleton
Wednesday 30th May – Saturday 16th June

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Your Comments & Reviews

1 Comment

I always enjoy the Abbey productions and I hope to see The Plough and the Stars this coming years along with The House.  Juno is one of my favourite plays along with An Inspector Calls and I am very happy that the former is having a run in England.
Good luck to you all.  PDB

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