The Abbey Theatre partners with Landmark Productions to co-produce Ghosts – a new version of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts written and directed by Mark O’Rowe, that boasts the stellar cast of Cathy Belton (Hidden Assets, Red Rock, Philomena), Simone Collins (Conversations with Friends, The Great Gatsby), Declan Conlon (Bailed Out, Come on Home), Lorcan Cranitch (Cracker, Bloodlands, Herself) and Calam Lynch (Bridgerton, Black Beauty, currently shooting The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power). Ghosts, one of the greatest plays ever written, is a devastating moral thriller in which ideas of love, duty and family are mercilessly put to the test. This spectacular new version, written and directed by one of Ireland’s leading playwrights, Mark O’Rowe, grabs you by the throat from the outset and refuses to let go – all the way to its electrifying climax.
Mark O’Rowe, Writer and Director of Ghosts said “I adapted Ghosts for Cathy Belton after she told me one day that she’d always wanted to play Mrs Alving. It’s an astonishingly powerful piece – complex and utterly relevant. Writing this version has been both a challenge and a joy, and I couldn’t be more excited or honoured to be presenting it as a Landmark and Abbey Theatre co-production.”
Anne Clarke of Landmark Productions said, “Mark O’Rowe is widely acknowledged as one of Ireland’s leading playwrights. What is perhaps less well known is what a brilliant director he is. It is a joy to see him reunite with Cathy Belton, who played a luminous Cora in Mark’s recent play The Approach, which Landmark brought to audiences in Dublin, Cork, Edinburgh and streamed online to 44 countries around the world. I am thrilled to be collaborating with Caitríona McLaughlin, Mark O’Brien and all at the Abbey Theatre, and delighted that this explosive new version of Ibsen’s classic play will have a home on the main stage of our national theatre.”
More info & tickets here.
In An Old Song, Half Forgotten, Deirdre Kinahan creates a unique drama of great truth, warmth and comedy that opens a window onto the fantastic inner life of an older actor living with Alzheimer’s. This co-production with SoFFT Productions and the Abbey Theatre is written for and performed by one of Ireland’s most celebrated artists, Bryan Murray (Fair City, Bread), who has recently been diagnosed with the same condition.
Playwright Deirdre Kinahan shared “I understood immediately, Bryan’s devastation at diagnosis and his heartbreak at the thought of never going on stage again. “Don’t worry,” I said “I’m sure I can write a play that you can still perform”! And so, I turned to frequent collaborators Meath Arts Office, SoFFT Productions, theatre director Louise Lowe and Caitríona McLaughlin at the Abbey Theatre. Every door opened because Bryan Murray is an extraordinary actor and holds the respect and love of the entire arts community. Why lose this extraordinary talent if we don’t have to?”
So, this April, accompanied by Matthew Malone (Once Before I Go, Tarry Flynn), Bryan will return to the Peacock stage – where his acting career began – inhabiting a new play that sings entirely to his distinctive voice and talent. Director Louise Lowe’s production will meet the challenge of Alzheimer’s head on, whilst also creating a powerful theatrical experience, with live music.
More info & tickets here.
The two new productions are on sale today, with an early bird booking rate available for one week only at abbeytheatre.ie. The two new productions shared today are in addition to the previously announced Abbey productions of Damien Dempsey’s Tales from the Holywell – a journey through Damo’s life in words, music and song, directed by Conor McPherson – and Tartuffe, a new version of Molière’s classic comedy by Frank McGuinness, directed by Caitriona McLaughlin, alongside a number of presentations in the Peacock. Get your tickets here.