A Rough Magic and Abbey Theatre co-production

Children of the Sun

13 April - 11 May 2024

By Hilary Fannin after Gorky

Directed by Lynne Parker

Booking Information

Dates: 13 April 2024 – 11 May 2024
On the Abbey stage 

Times: Mon – Sat 7.30pm, Sat matinees 2pm

Midweek matinee: Wed 8 May 2pm

Tickets:  €15 – €45

Running time: 2 hours and 25 minutes, including an interval

Please note: This production contains strobe lighting, haze and loud noises.

Content advice: Please see here if you would like information on the themes in this production.

Sign language interpreted performance: Friday 10 May, 7:30pm

Touch Tour of Stage and Set: Saturday 4 May, 12:15pm

Audio-described and captioned performance: Saturday 4 May, 2:00pm

★★★★ The Irish Times ★★★★ Irish Examiner ★★★★ The Stage ★★★★ The Arts Review ★★★★ Irish Daily Mail

“I’m simply trying to think in this metropolis of need.”

The world premiere of Hilary Fannin’s radical adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s classic 1905 comedy reanimates the original, drawing it vividly into the here and now, as part of Rough Magic’s 40th anniversary celebrations. 

Children of the Sun is a gloriously explosive exploration of time, “the most valuable commodity on earth”, by Hilary Fannin, whose work “sears itself on the brain” (The Irish Times). 

A wealthy family in their beautiful but rundown estate distract and entertain themselves with neighbours, servants and friends. We meet a scientist, an artist, a wealthy widow, a vet – each at a moment of crisis. As one says, “life is a geographical Russian roulette,” and their world is being reshaped by unstoppable forces. 

In this contemporary exploration of time, is there a version of our lives where we made all the right decisions, and a different “us” could exist somewhere? 

Can our collective belief in science, God or art, help or hinder us?  

“We are Children of the Sun, set sail to eternity in a ship of dreams…”

 Developed in association with the Theatre Royal Waterford.

Show Trailer 

Video edit: Aileen Power
Camera: Steve O’Connor, Jose Miguel Jimenez


"Enormous fun... a frontal assault on our own fears and foolishness... extraordinary set design... first-class lighting design"
The Irish Times

"Hugely enjoyable ensemble playing, as Parker and her cast strike just the right comedic balance"
Irish Examiner

"One of the smartest, funniest social commentaries of recent times"
The Arts Review

"Fearless, flamboyant"
The Stage

"A refreshing, modern adaptation… a stellar cast"
Irish Daily Mail

"A courageous, quirky and highly intelligent work... A brilliant, inventive big-house play for a Europe in chaos"
Irish Independent

Show Programme 

Download the Children of the Sun show programme here.

Meet Hilary Fannin 

Production Imagery 

Images: Ros Kavanagh

Programme Note 

“Its portrait of a society on the verge of momentous upheaval – to which all but one of the family remains blind – gives this somewhat rushed, big-hearted play a timeless universality that almost seems to demand collaboration across time and space.”

Read playwright Hilary Fannin’s programme note here.

Meet the Cast 

Stuart Graham, Colin Campbell, Peter Newington, Rebecca O’Mara, Brian Doherty, Lynne Parker (Director), Aislín McGuckin, Hilary Fannin (Playwright), Rowan Finken, John Cronin, Ian Toner, Eavan Gaffney and Fiona Bell. Image: Ailbhe O’Donnell.


  • Writer: Hilary Fannin after Gorky
  • Director: Lynne Parker
  • Melania: Fiona Bell
  • Troshin: Colin Campbell
  • Vagin: John Cronin
  • Chepurnoy: Brian Doherty
  • Misha: Rowan Finken
  • Lusha: Eavan Gaffney
  • Protasov: Stuart Graham
  • Elena: Aislín McGuckin
  • Roman: Peter Newington
  • Lisa: Rebecca O'Mara
  • Yegor: Ian Toner
  • Set Design: Sarah Bacon
  • Costume Design: Sorcha Ní Fhloinn
  • Lighting Design: Sarah Jane Shiels
  • Composer and Sound Design: Mel Mercier
  • Hair & Make Up: Val Sherlock
  • Voice Director: Andrea Ainsworth
  • Casting Director: Deborah Pearce
  • Assistant Director: Lianne O'Shea
  • Assistant Sound Director: Aoife Kavanagh
  • Publicity Image: Ros Kavanagh / AAD
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26/27 Lower Abbey Street
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