The play was first produced by Dublin's Corn Exchange, under the direction of The Corn Exchange's founder, Annie Ryan, who helms in New York as well. The Irish Rep staging is presented in association with Richard Wakely and features the original star, Andrew Bennett, who conjures the varied characters and places in the life of George Foley, the last of his family line. Performances continue to April 19.
The work features live music composed and performed by Vincent Doherty, with lighting design by Eamon Fox and costume design by Suzanne Cave.
"Foley is a funny, moving exploration of what it is that your family passes on to you," according to production notes. "George Foley is the last of his line, among the last of the dwindling minority of Protestants in the Republic of Ireland. Foley finds himself stranded between two cultures, having lost faith in both. In his attempt to work out where he belongs, he realizes that your inheritance does not consist of the things that come down to you, but the things you can’t get rid of."
The Corn Exchange's Foley was originally co commissioned and co-produced by The Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick, and subsequently toured Ireland. The play as since played at the Traverse Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as at London's Hampstead Theatre.
The Irish Rep engagement marks the production's first stop on a tour that includes three other American cities, before ending with an engagement at the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris, France. Tickets are $35-$40. The Irish Repertory Theatre is at 132 W. 22nd St. For information, call (212) 727-2737.
The Corn Exchange is an award-winning theatre production company based in Dublin, Ireland. Founded by artistic director Annie Ryan in 1995, the company "is dedicated to developing theatre that is adventurous, visceral and alive." Specializing in a renegade version of commedia dell'arte, The Corn Exchange has also "developed site-specific work as well as more traditional narrative theatre." The company "collaborates with international practitioners of various disciplines in exchanges to explore the boundaries of theatre and what is possible within it."
The Irish Rep, in the past 15 years, has presented major works by O'Casey, Synge, Shaw, Wilde, Dion Boucicault, Brendan Behan, Dylan Thomas and Samuel Beckett, as well as the contemporary writers Hugh Leonard, Frank McCourt, Tom Murphy, Brian Friel, Peter Sheridan, Patricia Burke Brogan, Pat McCabe, Geraldine Aron, Jennifer Johnston, Tommy Makem, Shivaun O'Casey, Enda Walsh and Harold Prince. In 1995, The Irish Repertory Theatre moved to its present location on West 22nd Street. Visit www.irishrep.org, New York City.