Following a sell-out season at the Abbey Theatre as part of the 100th-anniversary celebrations of the 1916 Easter Rising, as well as a successful Irish and US tour, The Plough and the Stars heads to the Lyric Hammersmith as a co-production with the Abbey Theatre.
Set amid the tumult of the Easter Rising, The Plough and the Stars is the story of ordinary lives ripped apart by the idealism of the time.
The residents of a Dublin tenement shelter from the violence that sweeps through the city’s streets. A revolution that will shape the country’s future rages around them. What kind of Ireland awaits them?
This is a dynamic re-imagining: loyal to the spirit of O’Casey’s play whilst unleashing contemporary resonances for a modern audience.
The Plough and the Stars was first performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1926. The audience rioted. Now regarded as a masterpiece, this provocative play is an essential part of our understanding of Ireland in 1916.
Olivier Award-winning director Sean Holmes brings a new perspective to Sean O’Casey’s absorbing play, which was nominated for 4 Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2016.
Sean Holmes, said ‘It was a great privilege to direct Sean O’Casey’s seminal work on the Abbey stage during the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. It was also personally thrilling to discover how radical and masterful a playwright he was. And immensely satisfying to find a way to make the play speak to a modern audience whilst remaining true to its spirit. I’m delighted we are bringing the production to the Lyric and that London audiences will have the opportunity to see this radical reimagining of O’Casey’s revolutionary masterpiece.’
Cast: Ian Lloyd Anderson (Jack Clitheroe), Niall Buggy (Peter Flynn), Charlie Cassen (Sgt. Tinley), John Currivan (Bar-tender), Phelim Drew (Fluther Good), Hilda Fay (Bessie Burgess), Liam Heslin (Cpt Brennan), Julie Maguire (Mollser), Paul Mescal (Lieut. Langon) Janet Moran (Mrs Gogan), Ciaran O’Brien (The Young Covey), Kate Stanley Brennan (Nora Clitheroe), Adam Strawford (Corporal Stoddart) and Nyree Yergainharsian (Rosie Redmond).
Ian Lloyd Anderson plays Jack Clitheroe
Theatre credits include: Our Few And Evil Days, Sive, The Risen People, Major Barbara, Shibari, Alice in Funderland, Macbeth, The Rivals and The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui (Abbey Theatre); Common (National Theatre) Dublin Oldschool (National Theatre & Canadian Tour).
Film and television credits include: Dublin Oldschool, Game of Thrones and Love/Hate.
Niall Buggy plays Peter Flynn
Theatre credits include: St Joan (Donmar) On Blueberry Hill (Dublin Theatre Festival) The Importance of being Earnest (Pinter); You Never Can Tell, Translations (Sheffield Crucible/Rose Theatre; Broadway); The Hanging Gardens (Abbey Theatre); Murphy Season (Druid Theatre); The Weir, (Duke of York’s); Haunted (The Playhouse, Sydney/Royal Exchange/New York); Penelope (Druid/Hampstead/Edinburgh/New York/Washington); John Bull’s Other (Tricycle); After Play, Uncle Vanya – Irish Times Best Actor (Gate Theatre, Dublin); A Kind of Alaska (Gate Theatre); Dead Funny (Olivier Award, Best Actor) (Hampstead/Vaudeville); Juno and The Paycock – TMA Award (Albery); Rough Crossing, Love for Love, Threepenny Opera, School for Scandal (National Theatre); Aristocrats – Clarence Derwent Award, Time Out Award, Drama Desk Award, OBIE Award (Hampstead/New York).
Film and television credits include: The Duel, Mr Turner, Sleeping with the Fishes, Rufus Stone, Mama Mia, The Libertine, Father Ted and Cruise of the Gods.
Charlie Cassen plays Sgt. Tinley
Charlie trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. His credits whilst training include Three Sisters, Killer Joe, Dying For It and the Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe.
This is Charlie’s professional stage debut.
John Currivan plays Bar-tender
Theatre credits include: Black Beauty (Red Bridge Arts), The Commitments (Palace Theatre/UK/IRL tour), The Bockety World of Henry and Bucket (Barnstorm Theatre Company), Foreign Bodies, Scent of Chocolate (Polish Theatre Ireland), Bodach an Chóta Lachna (Fíbín), Future Is… (Little Room), Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice (devise+conquer), The Cappuccino Culture (Absolut Fringe 2010), The Ones Who Kill Shooting Stars (Upstate Theatre Project), The Rivals (Abbey Theatre).
Film includes: BBB, Kill Screen and Parricide (shorts).
Phelim Drew plays Fluther Good
Theatre credits include: Once (Dublin/South Korea); The Kings of the Kilburn Highroad (Livin Dred); Down and Out in Paris and London (Fishamble/ITI/Tiger Dublin Fringe). He has appeared in numerous productions at the Abbey Theatre including The Risen People, King Lear, Drumbelly and The Curse of the Starving Class. He has also worked at The Gate Theatre Dublin, The Almeida, The Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh and with Druid, Rough Magic, Decadent, Siren and The Focus.
Film and television credits include: Striking Out, Drummer & The Keeper, Clean Break, Ripper St, Angela’s Ashes; The Commitments and My Left Foot.
Hilda Fay plays Bessie Burgess
Theatre credits include: The Plough and the Stars (US Tour), Tina’s Idea of Fun, Oedipus, The Risen People, Perve, Little Gem, The Playboy of the Western World, Threepenny Opera, Little Gem, The Woman Who Walked into Doors, Green, Kiss ‘n’ Tell, Girl’s Night The Musical, Annie, Alice Devine, Trojan Woman and Macbeth.
Film credits include: The Cured, Float like a Butterfly, Finbarr’s Class, Ordinary Decent Criminal, Saltwater, Though the Sky Falls; Proof, Prosperity; Kisses, The Clinic, Whistle-blower, Fair City.
Liam Heslin plays Captain Brennan
Theatre credits include: The Plough and the Stars (Abbey Theatre/US Tour); The Good Father (Rise Productions); On Corporation Street (Anu/Home Mcr); King Lear (Second Age Theatre Company); East of Berlin (Brinkmanship/Project Arts Centre); A Boy Called Nedd (Bitter Like a Lemon and Theatre Upstairs); Pals: The Irish at Gallipoli (Anu Productions); Borstal Boy (Verdant Productions); Rigoletto and Samson et Delila (Gaiety Theatre); The Clearing, Into the Woods, The Night Season, Mary Stuart, Scenes from the Big Picture, Poor Little Boy With No Arms, The Rover, The Suppliants and Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Lir Academy).
Film and television credits include: Dublin Oldschool, Kaleidoscope and Fair City.
Julie Maguire plays Mollser
Theatre credits includes: They Called Her Vivaldi (Theatre Lovett), Toilers (Painted Bird), Anna Karenina (Abbey Theatre), Gloworm (Dublin Fringe Festival), It Only Ever Happens in the Movies (NYT).
Theatre whilst training: The Provoked Wife, The Cradle will Rock, Buddleia, Once in a Blue Moon, By the Bog of Cats, Agamemnon, As You Like It, The Petty Bourgeois, The Seagull.
Paul Mescal plays Lieut. Langon
Paul trained at the The Lir.
Theatre credits include: The Great Gatsby, The Red Shoes (The Gate Theatre, Dublin)
Janet Moran plays Mrs Gogan
Theatre credits include: Ulysses, The Plough and The Stars, Juno and the Paycock (National Theatre/Abbey Theatre); Shibari, Translations, No Romance, The Recruiting Officer, The Cherry Orchard, She Stoops to Conquer, Communion, The Barbaric Comedies, The Well of the Saints and The Hostage (Abbey Theatre); Car Show, Dublin by Lamplight, Everyday, Freefall and Desire under The Elms (Corn Exchange Theatre, Dublin); The Weir, Pineapple, Xaviers, Royal Supreme, Her Big Chance, Unravelling the Ribbon, Dancing at Lughnasa, Playing from the Heart, Guess Who’s Coming for the Dinner, All’s Well That Ends Well.
Film and television credits include: Trivia, Love/Hate, Love is the Drug, T, Dublin Oldschool, The Bailout, The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto, Milo, Minim Rest, Bono and My Ex, Moll Flanders, Nothing Personal, Volkswagen Joe and Quirke.
Ciaran O’Brien plays The Young Covey
Theatre credits include: The Plough and The Stars, Drum Belly, The Government Inspector, Curse Of The Starving Class, Arrah Na Pogue, The Comedy Of Errors, The Resistable Rise Of Arturo Ui, Julius Caesar (Abbey Theatre); Oirson’s Shadow, Playboy Of The Western World (Southwark Playhouse); Of Mice And Men (Birmingham Rep); Translations (UK Theatre); Elevator (Thisispopbaby); The Great Goat Bubble (Fishamble); Travesties (Rough Magic); Durang Durang (Project Arts); Perve (Peacock Theatre); Between Foxrock And A Hard Place, The Shawshank Redemption, Philadelphia Here I Come! (Gaiety Theatre); Observe The Sons Of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme (Livin’ Dred); This Is Our Youth (Bedrock); Peter Pan (Pavillion Theatre); The Magic Tree (Dublin, Cork And Edinburgh Festival); Lil Red And Sk8ter Jack (Civic Theatre); Fewer Emergencies (Randolf Sd); Saved (Peacock Theatre); How Many Miles To Babylon (Second Age); Myrmidons (Ouroborus); Oliver Twist (Gate Theatre).
Film and television credits include: Pursuit, Misfits V, Ripper Street II, The Last Security Man, The Tudors, Detained, Fair City, Bloom, Prince William, Fear / Incredible Studio Stories, Custer’s Last Stand Up, David Copperfield, The Boy From Mercury.
Kate Stanley Brennan plays Nora Clitheroe
Theatre credits Include: The Plough and The Stars (also USA Tour), Hedda Gabler, The Risen People, The Playboy Of The Western World, The Resistable Rise Of Arturo Ui (Abbey Theatre); Walk For Me, A New Day (Bewley’s); Crestfall (Druid Theatre Co); The White Devil (Shakespeare’s Globe); Invitation To A Journey (Cois Ceim / Fishamble); The Night Alive (Lyric Belfast/Gaiety Theatre); Wuthering Heights, Salome (Gate Theatre); Best Man (Everyman And Project); Foxfinder (Theatre 503); Feel Sad About Japan (Southwark Playhouse); Tiny Plays For Ireland (Fishamble); The Making Of ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Siren Prods); Yerma (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Sanctuary Lamp (Arcola Theatre/Irish Tour); Terminus (Peacock Theatre/Irish Tour/Melbourne); The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot (Making Strange Theatre Co); Love And Money (Hatch Theatre Co); Caligula (CHRG); Translations (Ouroboros); Macbeth (Second Age); Saved (Peacock Theatre); Mother Goose (Gaiety Theatre); Macbeth (Second Age); Sonnets For An Old Century (X-Bel-Air Theatre).
Film and television credits include: Float Like A Butterfly, Inspector Jury, Thanks For Nothing, Chasing The Green, Doll’s House, Dublin In Pieces, Raw; Fair City, The Tudors, Speed Dating, Daybreak and T.X.
Adam Strawford plays Corporal Stoddart
Adam trained at the Guildford School of Acting.
Theatre credits include: Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare in the Squares), Behind Closed Doors (Old Vic Labs).
Film and television credits include: Silent Witness and Faces.
Nyree Yergainharsian plays Rosie Redmond
Nyree graduated with a BA Acting studies from Trinity College Dublin and an MA in Performance Making from Goldsmiths University London.
Theatre credits include: The Plough and the Stars, The Government Inspector, As you are now so once were we (Abbey Theatre); The Hostage, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Samuel Beckett Centre); Phaedra’s Love (Loose Canon Theatre Company); Top Girls (Galloglass Theatre Company); Wedding Day at the Cro-Magnons (Bedrock Theatre Company); Where do I start?, Who is Fergus Kilpatrick? (Project Arts Centre); An Oak Tree (The Lir); Politik (Dublin Theatre Festival); The Rest is Action (Project Arts Centre). Film and television credits include: Fair City, Pure Mule, Dublin in Pieces
John Casey was born in Dublin in 1880. In 1906 he learned Irish and changed his name to Sean Ó Cathasaigh, later to be known as Sean O’Casey. He played in Boucicault’s The Shaughraun in 1895 in the Mechanics Theatre, later rebuilt as the Abbey Theatre. He worked as a labourer on the Great Northern Railway of Ireland. During the famous Lockout and the General Strike led by Jim Larkin, he was secretary to the Women and Children’s Relief Fund. The Story of the Irish Citizen Army was published in 1919. In 1924 he gave up his labouring job to earn his living from writing alone. His plays The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924) and The Plough and the Stars (1926) all opened at the Abbey Theatre. The Silver Tassie was rejected by the Abbey Theatre in 1928 and opened in London in 1929. He began his six volume autobiography in 1931. Within the Gates opened in London and in New York (1934), The Star Turns Red opened in London in 1940, Red Roses For Me opened in Dublin (1943), Purple Dust opened in Liverpool (1945), Oak Leaves and Lavender opened in London (1947), Cock-a-Doodle Dandy opened in Newcastle-on-Tyne (1949) and Bedtime Story opened in New York (1952). The Bishop’s Bonfire, starring Cyril Cusack and directed by Tyrone Guthrie, opened in Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre (1955). His last play The Drums of Father Ned, which had been scheduled for the 1958 Dublin Theatre Festival, was disapproved of by the Archbishop of Dublin. This led to the playwright banning his own work from professional productions in Ireland. This ban was lifted in 1964 and the Abbey Theatre presented Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars at the World Theatre Festival in London, held to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. Sean O’Casey died in 1964.
Sean is Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith. For the Lyric: The Seagull, Terror, Shopping and F**king, Bugsy Malone, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (UK Tour/Manchester Royal Exchange/Brisbane Festival/Dublin International Festival), Herons, Secret Theatre Shows 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7, Cinderella, Desire Under the Elms, Morning, Have I None, Saved, Blasted – winner Olivier Award 2011, Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky, Ghost Stories (also Duke of York’s/Liverpool Playhouse/Panasonic Theatre, Toronto/Arts Theatre), Three Sisters and Comedians. In 2016 Sean directed The Plough and the Stars at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin (also Irish/US Tour). Sean was an Associate Director of the Oxford Stage Company from 2001 to 2006 and has also worked at the National Theatre, RSC, Tricycle, Royal Court, Donmar Warehouse, Chichester Festival Theatre and the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.
Writer Sean O’Casey
Director Sean Holmes
Set Designer Jon Bausor
Costume Designer Catherine Fay
Lighting Designer Paul Keogan
Composer and Sound Designer Philip Stewart
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The Plough and the Stars
Thursday 15 March – Saturday 07 April 2018