The Irish Repertory Theatre has announced the extension of Sebastian Barry's Our Lady of Sligo through July 2.
Co-produced by Irish Rep in association with the Royal National Theatre and Stafford Clark's seven-year-old group, Out of Joint Productions, the show began previews April 12 and opened April 20. It had been scheduled to close June 4.
Sligo has been favorably received. The show's star, actress Sinéad Cusack was recently nominated for a Drama Desk award for her role in the production. Cusack will continue in the play through July 2.
Cusack's inclusion in the New York production was considered a coup for Irish Rep artistic director Charlotte Moore. As reported earlier, there were two key players from director Max Stafford-Clark's award-winning Royal National Theatre production of Our Lady of Sligo who were brought to New York for the run of the play -- Cusack and Andrea Irvine.
"We've managed to bring over some of the key cast members including Cusack, who won the Olivier Award," Moore told Playbill On-Line. Also featured in the cast are Jarlath Conroy, Melinda Page Hamilton, Sinead Colreavy and Tom Lancy.
Sinead Cusack has also told Playbill On-Line that she considers her part in Sligo "the most challenging role of my career."
Sinéad Cusack's recent work also includes The Tower (Almeida Theatre), The Faith Healer (Royal Court); Map of the Heart (Globe Theatre); Three Sisters (Gate Theatre, Dublin/Royal Court); Aristocrats (Hampstead Theatre); Cyrano de Bergerac (RSC/Broadway); Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Peer Gynt, The Custom of the Country, The Merchant of Venice, Richard III, The Maid's Tragedy, As You Like It, Measure for Measure, Children of the Sun, Wild Oats (RSC); Arms and the Man (Oxford Festival) and Othello (Ludlow Festival).
A veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company in London, Cusack was Tony nominated for her work in Cyrano de Bergerac with Derek Jacobi in 1984, but her numerous stage, television and film credits have been topped recently with her success on both sides of the Atlantic with Sebastian Barry's Our Lady of Sligo. Cusack plays Mai, a complex woman who looks back on her life and reveals her tragic story in a compelling Irish Repertory production.
Cusack is married to actor Jeremy Irons and lives in England and Ireland with their sons, Max and Samuel.
Director Stafford-Clark helmed the Royal National run and will be directing this New York engagement as well.
Playwright Sebastian Barry's (The Steward of Christendom, Prayers of Sherkin) family history inspired his story about that class of Irish people whose realizations of independence and self-rule often fell short of their expectations. Sligo won the 1997 Peggy Ramsay Award.
"Sebastian Barry has rewritten it a bit," Moore told Playbill On-Line. "They had done away with one character in the first Out of Joint production, but Sebastian wanted it in, so we're putting it back.
The production team for the show includes Irish Rep producing director Ciaran O'Reilly, scenic and costume designer Julian McGowan and lighting designer Johanna Town.
Director Max Stafford-Clark founded the Joint Stock Theatre Group in 1974 following his artistic directorship of The Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. From 1979 to 1993 he was artistic director of The Royal Court Theatre. In 1993, he founded Out of Joint with Sonia Friedman. As a director, Stafford-Clark has commissioned and directed first productions of many of London's leading writers.
Tickets are $35 and $40. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 W. 22nd St. For tickets or information call (212) 727-2737.
-- By Murdoch McBride