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6 March 2015

DruidShakespeare details announced


New adaptation by Mark O’Rowe
Directed by Garry Hynes

‘Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown’
-Henry IV, Part II

Druid today announced full details of one of the company’s most ambitious ever undertakings, DruidShakespeare, a challenging but fitting project to mark the company’s fortieth anniversary year.

An epic story of families and wars and the making of nations, DruidShakespeare is an exploration of English history through an Irish lens. “The question we are asking is how, in the context of the historical relationship between Ireland and England, do we as Irish artists produce these plays today?” says Druid Artistic Director Garry Hynes.

With an ensemble cast of thirteen actors this major new theatre-event will premiere in Druid’s home, The Mick Lally Theatre in Galway before embarking on an extensive Irish tour to Letterkenny, Sligo, Limerick, Skibbereen and will premiere internationally in New York at the prestigious 2015 Lincoln Center Festival. In August Kilkenny Arts Festival in association with Druid will present a site-specific production of the plays in the castle yard, which has a special significance as both Richard II and Henry V stayed in Kilkenny Castle when fighting their respective ‘Irish wars’.

Directed by Tony-award winner Garry Hynes, Mark O’Rowe’s new pared down version of Shakespeare’s four history plays, the key foundational narrative of the English monarchy—Richard II, Henry IV (Pts. 1 & 2), and Henry V, will be presented as an epic theatrical experience, performed by a superlative cast which includes members of the hugely celebrated Druid Ensemble.

“Druid commissioned one of Ireland’s most exciting writers, Mark O’Rowe to adapt these great plays,” says Ms. Hynes. “This collaboration, along with a cast of Ireland’s finest actors, is a tremendously exciting opportunity. Acting is first and foremost an act of imagination, both on the part of the actors and the audience. That act of imagination transcends nationality, character, geography and background and we see no reason why it shouldn’t transcend gender too. Accordingly, our actors have been cast without regard to their own gender. For example, the three kings – Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V – are played by one male and two female actors. This decision further allows us to look at these plays of war and patriarchy through another lens.”

In an exciting development the production will encompass not just The Mick Lally Theatre but will extend across the lane to the 13th century Hall of the Red Earl, creating a unique celebration of the work and a new chapter in the company’s history in what will be a wonderful voyage through a part of Galway that has been home to Druid for so long: Druid Lane.

Wildfire Films will also produce a documentary for RTE following the journey of the making of the plays. It will be directed by Maurice Sweeney and screened in the autumn.

In additional news Ms. Hynes announced the appointment of Druid Ensemble member Marty Rea as New Writing Associate. “It will be very exciting to see the point of view of the actor being brought into the process of the development of new writing” says Ms Hynes. “This is a natural step in the development of the role of the Ensemble in Druid’s work.”

Ms. Hynes also announced a continuation of FUEL: Druid’s Emerging Artists Residency. Based on the success of last year’s initiative, the company has confirmed it will continue to provide rehearsal space, hot desk facilities, production support and professional advice to emerging artists based in the West of Ireland following an open call later this year.

Druid would like to acknowledge the continuing support of the Arts Council, Culture Ireland, NUIG and Galway City Council.
DruidShakespeare is a co-production with Lincoln Center Festival

Druid has brought together an incomparable cast and production team for this major undertaking:

Clare Barrett
Derbhle Crotty
Gavin Drea
Bosco Hogan
Garrett Lombard
Karen McCartney
Charlotte McCurry
Aaron Monaghan
Marie Mullen
Rory Nolan
John Olohan
Aisling O’Sullivan
Marty Rea

: Garry Hynes
Associate Director – Design
: Francis O’Connor
Associate Director – Movement: David Bolger
Assistant Costume Designer: Doreen McKenna
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls
Sound Design: Gregory Clarke
Music Director: Conor Linehan
Dramaturg – Thomas Conway
Voice Coach – Andrew Wade

Galway: 9 – 30 May (Previews 9 – 14), The Mick Lally Theatre, Druid Lane
Letterkenny: 3 – 6 June, An Grianán
Sligo: 9 – 13 June, The Hawk’s Well
Limerick: 23 – 27 June, The Lime Tree Theatre
Skibbereen: 29 June, Skibbereen Town Hall
New York: 7 – 19 July, Lincoln Center Festival, Gerald W. Lynch Theater
Kilkenny: 6 – 15 August, Kilkenny Arts Festival, The Castle Yard

Tickets for DruidShakespeare will be on sale nationwide from Monday 9th March at 10am and can be purchased on this site. Tickets from €46. See venues for details and promotions and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest information or search for #DruidShakespeare

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