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29 March 2010

Druid Raises the Curtain on 2010 - 2011 Programme


Druid announces its May 2010 – June 2011 programme.
239 Performances in 26 theatres in 5 countries.

Building on the success of 2008 and 2009 which saw Druid break all previous records, audiences at home and abroad can look forward to more world-class theatre in 2010 and 2011. The sheer breadth of Druid’s touring is unrivalled by any other Irish arts organisation and this year Druid increases its geographical spread with a debut on mainland Europe (Helsinki, Finland) and in 2011 will begin the biggest tour of the USA in the company’s history.

Mary Hanafin TD Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport said,

“In theatre terms, Druid is a force of nature. Since 1975 it has been in the vanguard of all that is great about Irish Theatre. Internationally, it is the totem by which standards of stagecraft are set. Its 2010/2011 programme, while demanding, standard-bearing and challenging, is well within the compass of a company for where the world is now its stage. I wish this wonderful company and its brilliant director, Garry Hynes, every success.”

Druid’s partnership with one of Ireland’s most celebrated and innovative writers, Enda Walsh, continues in 2010 with the premiere of PENELOPE in Druid Lane Theatre this July as part of Galway Arts Festival. Featuring the creative team behind the multi-award winning hit, The Walworth Farce, Enda’s new play is an original and exhilarating interpretation of the story of Penelope and her suitors from Homer’s Odyssey.

Penelope is a dark and funny story of just how far men will go to win over a woman’s heart when their ultimate salvation is at stake. The production will mark Druid’s third visit to the Traverse Theatre in four years, when it features as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and it will also herald Druid’s debut on mainland Europe when it plays the Stage Festival in Helsinki, Finland. Penelope will return to Galway for a run at the Town Hall Theatre and will finish its tour with a weeklong run in Dublin from September 14th – 18th.

For this production, Druid welcomes back actor Denis Conway who recently won the Best Actor award at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards for his role as The Irishman in Druid’s production of The Gigli Concert by Tom Murphy. Denis created the role of Dinny in the original staging of The Walworth Farce and will also be joined by Tadhg Murphy (The Walworth Farce 2007-2010) and Karl Shiels, who joins Druid for the first time.

Druid’s previous partnerships with Enda (The Walworth Farce and The New Electric Ballroom) have led to sell out runs in London, New York and Edinburgh winning awards and wowing critics alike in six countries. The Walworth Farce world tour closes in Sydney on April 24th following 209 performances in 22 cities across six countries, making it one of the most successful and widely toured productions in recent theatre memory.

Directed by Garry Hynes, Sean O’Casey’s THE SILVER TASSIE promises to be the biggest single production to tour Ireland this year. From the tenements of Dublin to the trenches of World War One, The Silver Tassie is an epic dramatic work. Famously rejected by Yeats at the Abbey Theatre and leading to O’Casey’s exile from Ireland, The Silver Tassie is a play of tremendous ambition and scope.

Premiering in the Town Hall Theatre in Galway on August 28th, The Silver Tassie will also tour to Oxford and Manchester. Druid intends for the production to tour to a further five Irish cities, including Dublin, but are awaiting the outcome of an Arts Council touring grant decision.

This is Garry Hynes’s first production of an O’Casey play for Druid having previously directed Brendan Gleeson in The Plough and the Stars for the Abbey (1991), and Michael Gambon in Juno and the Paycock for Noel Pearson’s production at the Gaiety Theatre (1999).

Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council said,

“We are delighted to see Druid continuing its programme of ambitious and exciting theatre. Druid continues to lead the way on the national and international stage, and offers a strong example of Ireland’s deserved reputation for world class theatre production.”

Eugene Downes, CEO with Culture Ireland, commented

“For an Irish theatre company to mount one of these tours would be impressive; staging multi-venue international tours of three major productions in the one season is an extraordinary achievement. We are delighted to work in partnership with Druid to bring world-class Irish theatre to new international audiences, venues and festivals.”

Commenting on Druid’s plans for 2010, Artistic Director Garry Hynes said,

“Druid’s motto for 2010 is ‘No retreat’. This is a difficult year for all of us in the Irish theatre industry where many of our colleagues in other organisations are facing significant cuts with subsequent loss of creativity and employment. While continuing to be prudent and responsible I think that it is important that those of who have suffered lesser cuts keep faith with the whole principle of government funding of the arts, through The Arts Council and Culture Ireland, by presenting as ambitious a programme as possible to as wide an audience as possible.”

From January to June 2011, the widely acclaimed multi-award winning Druid and Atlantic Theater co-production of THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN by Martin McDonagh will undertake a major tour of the USA as well as an exciting Irish tour which will include visits to Dublin, Galway, Roscommon and each of the three Aran Islands.

First staged by Druid in September 2008 and directed by Garry Hynes, The Cripple of Inishmaan toured Ireland and the UK, and went on to attract the highest attendance ever for a production at the Atlantic Theater in New York. It subsequently won a total of nine awards; six New York theatre awards, two UK awards and one Irish Times Irish Theatre award including Best Production, Outstanding Director and Outstanding Ensemble.

This major tour which kicks off in January 2011 will play 14 theatres in over 21 weeks and is Druid’s longest single run of a production on tour in the company’s history. The eight city, 14-week tour of the USA is the biggest US tour undertaken by an Irish company since the 1930s and will include stops in Washington DC, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Druid will return to some of America’s most prestigious venues including the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC and the Shakespeare Theatre in Chicago as well as debuting at Ann Arbor in Michigan, and a four week Los Angeles run at the Center Theatre Group. This will be Druid’s fourth visit to Los Angeles in just three years and Druid would like to acknowledge Culture Ireland for their support of this momentous tour which will place Irish theatre centre-stage right across the USA in 2011.

Druid’s celebrates its 35th birthday this year with a very special event, FROM GALWAY TO BROADWAY AND BACK AGAIN, for two nights only at Galway’s Town Hall Theatre on May 21st and 22nd.

Directed by Garry Hynes and Mikel Murfi, some of Ireland’s leading actors, including Marie Mullen, Denis Conway, Cillian Murphy, Derbhle Crotty, Sean McGinley and Eamon Morrissey, will recreate moments from a selection of Druid’s most memorable productions ranging from The Playboy of the Western World to Bailegangaire and The Beauty Queen of Leenane to The Walworth Farce. Druid also invites the public to cast their vote for their favourite show with the most popular choice forming part of the programme for the evening. Proceeds will go towards Druid’s Education Outreach initiative (The Silver Tassie) and its ongoing New Writing programme.

In the 35 years since its inception in 1975, Druid has staged over 130 productions and won numerous awards both at home and abroad including four Tony Awards for The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh. The company has toured to every nook and cranny in Ireland and toured extensively overseas making it the premier Irish theatre company in the English-speaking world.

Druid would like to acknowledge the continued support of the Arts Council in funding the company’s work and also the support of Culture Ireland in funding its international touring programme.

This page was archived on 28/03/2017 and is no longer updated.

The contents of this page may be out of date or incomplete. Go here to browse our current site