The Abbey Theatre on tour with new Irish writing

The Abbey Theatre on tour with new Irish writing

52 performances of 3 plays in 3 countries

This summer and autumn the Abbey Theatre is on tour showcasing three new Irish plays. From Tallaght, to Edinburgh, to New York, 52 performances of plays commissioned by the Abbey Theatre will be seen by national and international audiences in three different countries. This is in addition to the 40,000 people who have enjoyed over 180 performances at the Abbey Theatre already this year.

Aideen Howard, Literary Director said: “The Abbey Theatre has a long term commitment to commissioning and producing Irish playwrights. I am proud that we are touring new plays by Elaine Murphy, Owen McCafferty and Eamon Morrissey – Irish writers across three generations. It is also exciting that whilst we are on tour, back home in Dublin we have the premiere of Frank McGuinness’ play The Hanging Gardens on the Abbey Stage.”

With the Abbey Theatre on tour, Irish and international audiences will get an insight into the issues and topics that are currently occupying the minds of Irish writers.


After premiering on the Abbey Stage, Elaine Murphy’s new play Shush tours to the Civic Theatre Tallaght from 23-27 July and then transfers to the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire from 30 July to 3 August. Shush features an all female cast of Eva Bartley, Barbara Brennan, Niamh Daly, Deirdre Donnelly and Ruth Hegarty. This new comedy from the award winning writer of Little Gem is an hilarious and insightful story of female friendship.


In August, Quietly by Owen McCafferty opens at the Traverse Theatre from 1-25 August as part of this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Quietly is a powerful story of truth and forgiveness and reflects the reality of life in Northern Ireland today. The production features two of Ireland’s best known actors Patrick O’Kane and Declan Conlon and Polish actor Robert Zawadzki. It premiered on the Peacock Stage in 2012 and was credited by The Irish Times as “the best new play of the year”. Quietly features as part of the Culture Ireland showcase at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and we gratefully acknowledge Culture Ireland’s support. The Abbey Theatre last toured to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Terminus by Mark O’Rowe in 2008, winning a Scotsman Fringe First Award.

Maeve’s House

Following its premiere in this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival Maeve’s House, a delightful one-man show written and performed by Eamon Morrissey, will tour to New York. It is presented at the Irish Arts Center in New York from 17 October-3 November. Eamon Morrissey, one of Ireland’s best loved actors, grew up in the same Dublin house in Ranelagh as Maeve Brennan, one of Ireland’s greatest short story writers. In Maeve’s House he tells the fascinating story of their shared experiences and brief encounters in extracts from Maeve’s writings for The New Yorker. We gratefully acknowledge that this New York tour is supported by Culture Ireland and the Irish Arts Center in New York. The Abbey Theatre has a long tradition of touring to America, having first toured there in 1911.

The Abbey Theatre on tour in recent years

Over the last five years the Abbey Theatre has toured far and wide, from Sydney to Limerick, New York to Belfast, and many places in between. Shows including Ages of the Moon by Sam Shepard, Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman in a new version by Frank McGuinness , Terminus by Mark O’Rowe, B for Baby by Carmel Winters, The Plough and the Stars and Juno and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey have wowed audiences all around the world.

In 2012, the Abbey Theatre toured The Plough and the Stars by Sean O’Casey to three Irish venues and to Belfast, Cambridge, Birmingham and Bath.

In 2011, Terminus by Mark O’Rowe was performed 99 times at 12 venues worldwide, from Boston to Sydney, during a six month tour. It previously toured to New York in 2008 and to Melbourne in 2009. Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman in a new version by Frank McGuinness toured to the BAM Harvey Theater in New York in January and February 2011. Back in Ireland in 2011, B for Baby by Carmel Winters toured to the Tampere Theatre Festival in Finland and to 15 venues nationally, while a co-production of Juno and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey transferred to the National Theatre London after its run at the Abbey Theatre, as part of the 2011 Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival.

Other touring by the Abbey Theatre includes an extensive national tour of Outsiders by David McWilliams in 2010 and a tour of The Seafarer by Conor McPherson to three national venues in 2008.

Abbey Theatre now on tour:

23 – 27 July
Civic Theatre, Tallaght

30 July – 3 August
Pavilion Theatre Dún Laoghaire

1 – 25 August
Traverse Theatre, as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Maeve’s House
17 October-3 November
Irish Arts Centre, New York

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