As the evenings grow shorter, the thoughts of warm winter lights start to flourish. A cosy pub, a trip to the theatre, a day with family; Christmas is a time to catch up with loved ones and a marker of time. This Christmas at the Abbey come gather, reflect and engage in shared experiences.
While The Weir and The Long Christmas Dinner are two individual productions, both speak to time passing, love and loss and how the sharing of stories can shift the lens. It is the women in particular that change the narrative in these plays. In a rural pub with the fire lit and men sharing stories nestled around their pints, one woman’s truth changes the narrative, and leaves the biggest impact in The Weir. With The Long Christmas Dinner the family table showcases the powerful presence of the men, yet it is the women who propel the story forward.
“These plays give us a moment to pause and reflect on our cultural history, a connection with our ancestors and the things that we care about,” Caitríona McLaughlin, Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre.
The Weir by Conor McPherson
Directed by Caitríona McLaughlin
In a bar in rural Ireland, the landlord and three of his regulars share tales with one another, and with Valerie, a young woman who has recently arrived from Dublin – their stories come with a supernatural slant. But when Valerie shares her own melancholic and ghostly story, it leaves the men believing that salvation may be possible.
Written by Olivier-winning and Tony nominated writer Conor McPherson, currently an Abbey Theatre Senior Associate Writer, this play showcases Irish storytelling at its finest. Cast announcements will be made in the coming weeks.
The Long Christmas Dinner by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Sarah Jane Scaife and Raymond Keane
With a shortened run due to Covid in 2021, the Abbey’s critically acclaimed production of The Long Christmas Dinner returns in 2022, having picked up 5 Irish Times Theatre Award nominations. In this meditation on togetherness and separation, birth, death, and renewal, we visit successive generations of the Bayard family at their Christmas dinner table spanning a period of 90 years. This heart-warming family drama happens over a seamless 50 minutes. The Long Christmas Dinner gives us a moment to pause and reflect on our own families, what has been lost to us, and what Christmas means for each of us.
Some of Ireland’s best-loved talents reunite to present this joyous Christmas celebration – the cast includes Rachael Dowling, Máire Ní Ghráinne, Bryan Burroughs, Emmet Byrne, Rachel O’Byrne, Will O’Connell, Liam Bixby, Fionnuala Gygax and Fiona Lucia McGarry with new additions in Benjamin Reilly and Una Ní Bhríain.
For further info and booking information on both productions click here.
A trip to the national theatre can make the perfect gift all year round. In the lead up to the festive season, get ahead on your Christmas shopping with an Abbey Theatre Gift Voucher for the theatre-lover in your life.