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23 June 2012

Press Release: DruidMurphy Opens in London Saturday June 23, 2012

DruidMurphy – The Biggest Irish Touring Theatre production of 2012 opens in London with President Higgins as guest of honour.

DruidMurphy – Plays by Tom Murphy opens today, Saturday, June 23, at the Hampstead Theatre, London and is co-hosted by Druid and NUI Galway as part of the London 2012 Festival, the UK’s largest ever Arts Festival (running from June 21 to September 9).

Presented by internationally acclaimed, Druid Theatre Company, the story of Irish emigration is told through DruidMurphy – three of the greatest plays by Tom Murphy; Conversations on a Homecoming, A Whistle in the Dark and Famine, and is a major celebration of one of Ireland’s most respected living dramatists. At today’s opening, an ensemble cast of 16 including Niall Buggy, Marie Mullen, Aaron Monaghan and Eileen Walsh, will perform all three plays starting at 1.30pm and finishing at 10.30pm.

Guest of honour at the DruidMurphy premiere, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, travelled to London with his wife Sabina, to attend the DruidMurphy cycle day, which is directed by Garry Hynes, Druid’s Tony Award winning Artistic Director.

President Higgins said:

“I believe that Tom Murphy is one of the greatest living playwrights writing in the English language. The powerful themes of these plays of emigration, loss and the devastation of life and culture are dealt with by Tom Murphy in a language that soars through Irish history. Their themes, while universal, in every production and period strike a new resonance. The partnership of Tom Murphy and Druid, an internationally renowned and respected Irish theatre company, is brilliant.”

The DruidMurphy London premiere is co-hosted by Druid and NUI Galway, and guests include the writer Tom Murphy, Ambassador Bobby McDonagh, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, actors Francesca Annis, Sorcha and Niamh Cusack, Angeline Ball and Deirdre O’Kane, and sporting legend Barry McGuigan.

Garry Hynes said:

“I am delighted to open our major international tour of Tom Murphy’s work at the Hampstead Theatre as part of the UK’s largest ever arts festival which seems the most perfect celebration of one of Ireland’s greatest writers. There are 36 cast, crew and design team members on DruidMurphy and I am very proud of their inspirational work in the last four months on this production. We are delighted to share this day with President Higgins, a fellow Galwegian, our co-hosts today, NUI Galway, and so many Irish and London based friends. We look forward to the rest of the five month tour.”

Dr. Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said:

NUI Galway is delighted to support the opening of DruidMurphy in London. NUI Galway and Druid have been working together for the last two years in an innovative partnership to develop the next generation of theatre-makers. We are especially pleased to have this opportunity to bring together so many UK-based NUI Galway graduates and friends of both Druid and of the University, to celebrate the work of Garry Hynes and her talented cast”.

DruidMurphy is the story of Irish emigration, both of those who went and those who were left behind. Covering the period from The Great Hunger of the 19th century to the ‘new’ Ireland of the 1970s, this epic production explores what we mean when we call a place home. DruidMurphy runs at the Hampstead Theatre until June 30 before it transfers to the Lincoln Center Festival in New York. It continues on a major international tour in the USA, Ireland and England, until October 2012 and will return to Galway to play Galway Arts Festival from July 23 – 28.

DruidMurphy – Plays by Tom Murphy is the biggest theatre project in Druid’s history. Druid’s previous large scale projects include the four time Tony Award-winningLeenane Trilogy by Martin McDonagh (West End and Broadway) and in 2006 the company’s staged the work of JM Synge DruidSynge which was described by the New York Times as “a highlight not just of my theatergoing year but of my theatergoing life.” DruidMurphy revives the long-standing relationship between writer Tom Murphy who was previously Writer-in Association with the company. His plays, Bailegangaire and Conversations on a Homecoming, received their world premieres in Druid Lane theatre in 1985 and 1986 respectively, and in 2009 Murphy’s The Gigli Concert officially re-opened the company’s refurbished Druid Lane Theatre.

This latest collaboration is a testament to Druid’s commitment to bring the best of Irish theatre to audiences throughout Ireland and worldwide. The original creation of the production is grant aided by the Arts Council and the overseas touring is grant aided by Culture Ireland. In 2011, the company toured for 23 weeks across the USA, as well as nationally in Ireland and the UK, with their productions of The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Silver Tassie, Penelope and Big Maggie.

DruidMurphy is a co-production between Druid and Quinnipiac University Connecticut, NUI Galway, Lincoln Center Festival, and Galway Arts Festival. Druid acknowledges the continuing support of the Arts Council and Culture Ireland without whom this production and tour would not be possible.

To visit the production page, click here.

Further Media Information

Kate Bowe
Kate Bowe PR
Mobile: +353 86 267 5018

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