The production began at Dublin's Gate Theatre on Feb. 2. Jonathan Kent directs.
Faith Healer centers on Frank Hardy (Fiennes), a supposed traveling faith healer, his long-suffering spouse (Jones) and loyal manager (McDiarmid).
Jones earned her second Tony Award for her turn in Doubt, adding to her previous win for The Heiress. Her numerous stage credits include Imaginary Friends, Major Barbara, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Our Country's Good, Angels in America, Flesh and Blood, Pride's Crossing, The Baltimore Waltz, Night of the Iguana, The Good Person of Setzuan and 25 productions as a company member of the American Repertory Theatre including Three Sisters, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Lysistrata.
Fiennes is known to American audiences for his film roles in "Schindler's List," "The English Patient," "Red Dragon," "The End of the Affair" and "Quiz Show." The English actor has amassed a number of stage credits in his native country including Brand, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Fathers and Sons, King John, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Playing with Trains, The Talking Cure and the Almeida Theatre Company’s production of Hamlet, which transferred to Broadway and earned him a Tony Award.
McDiarmid — widely recognized for his turn as Palpatine in the "Star Wars" films — is a stage veteran. The one-time artistic director of London's Almeida Theatre has trod the boards in Ivanov, Tartuffe, School For Wives, Creditors, and Kurt Weill Concerts at the Almeida as well as Henry V, The Merchant of Venice, The Party, The War Plays, Crimes In Hot Countries, The Castle, Danton , Hated Nightfall, Love of a Good Man, Raft of the Medusa, Edward II, The Country Wife, The Black Prince, Peer Gynt and Mephisto. The Northern Ireland-born Friel has also penned The Enemy Within, Philadelphia, Here I Come!, The Loves of Cass McGuire, Lovers, Crystal and Fox, The Mundy Scheme, The Gentle Island, The Freedom of the City, Volunteers, Living Quarters, Aristocrats, Translations, The Communication Cord, Making History, Dancing at Lughnasa, The London Vertigo, Wonderful Tennessee, Molly Sweeney and Give Me Your Answer, Do! His Dancing at Lughnasa won three 1992 Tony Awards including Best Play.
The original Broadway production of The Faith Healer ran for only seven previews and 20 performances in 1979. It starred James Mason, Donal Donelly and Clarissa Kaye. Jose Quintero directed. Since then, the play has come to be regarded as one of Friel's best.