Ralph Fiennes and Ian McDiarmid Launch Faith Healer in Ireland

News   Ralph Fiennes and Ian McDiarmid Launch Faith Healer in Ireland Ralph Fiennes and Ian McDiarmid begin performances in the Broadway-bound revival of Brian Friel's Faith Healer Feb. 2 at Dublin's Gate Theatre toward a Feb. 7 opening. Ingrid Craigie plays the role Cherry Jones will assume on Broadway.

Tickets to the upcoming Broadway transfer of the production will go on sale to the general public Feb. 18. Meanwhile, American Express Gold Card members get a first shot at tickets now through Feb. 17.

Jonathan Kent directs the production. Broadway previews begin April 18 at the Booth Theatre. Opening is May 4.

Faith Healer centers on Frank Hardy (Fiennes), a supposed traveling faith healer, his long-suffering spouse (Craigie/Jones) and loyal manager (McDiarmid). The play debuted on Broadway in 1979 starring James Mason, Clarissa Kaye and Donal Donnelly.

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. He will next star opposite Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw in Deborah Warner's staging of Julius Caesar at the Barbican Theatre.

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. He also appeared in "Sleepy Hollow," "Restoration," "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." 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. She has been seen in the films "Oceans Twelve," "The Village," "Signs," "Cradle Will Rock," "Erin Brockovich," "The Horse Whisperer," "The Perfect Storm" and "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood."

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 production is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions Ltd and Michael Colgan, Bob Bartner, Roger Berlind Scott Rudin and Spring Sirkin.