Dancing at Lughnasa Begins Limited Run at the Old Vic Feb. 26

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26 Feb 2009

Performances of the new production of Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa, presented in-the-round at the Old Vic's reconfigured arrangement at the CQS Space, begin Feb. 26 prior to an official opening March 5.



The cast features Andrea Corr, Niamh Cusack, Michelle Fairley, Simone Kirby, Finbar Lynch, Susan Lynch, Peter McDonald and Jo Stone-Fewings. Performances continue to May 9.

The play, first produced at Dublin's Abbey Theatre in April 1990, subsequently received its British premiere at the National's Lyttelton Theatre in October 1990, and then transferred to the West End's Phoenix Theatre in March 1991. Lughnasa won both the 1991 Olivier Award for Best New Play and the Evening Standard Award for Best Play. This is the first time it has been revived in the West End since then. The play also transferred to Broadway's Plymouth Theatre in October 1991, where it won the 1992 Tony Award for Best Play. A film version, featuring Meryl Streep and Michael Gambon, was released in 1998.

Described in press materials as "a bittersweet reflection of rural Ireland on the brink of industrialisation in the 1930s," this passionate portrait of the five unmarried Mundy sisters follows their loss of love and opportunity played out against the echoes of the twentieth century.

Andrea Corr, who is making her stage debut as Chris, is best known as a singer with her internationally acclaimed band The Corrs. She made her acting debut in Alan Parker's award-winning film "The Commitments" and went on to appear in films including "Evita," "The Boys From County Clare," "The Bridge" and "The Thread."

Niamh Cusack, who plays Maggie, recently appeared onstage in Peter Hall's Bath Theatre Royal production of Portrait of a Lady, The Enchantment at the National Theatre, Breathing Corpses at the Royal Court and Nicholas Hytner's production of His Dark Materials at the National Theatre.

Michelle Fairley, who plays Kate, was recently seen in BBC One's critically acclaimed drama "Lark Rise to Candleford." On stage she was last seen as Emilia opposite Ewan McGregor's Iago in Othello at the Donmar Warehouse in 2007. Other stage credits include Macbeth at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Gates of Gold (Trafalgar Studios) and Loyal Women (Royal Court).

Simone Kirby, who plays Rose, has appeared in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof at the Corn Exchange and The Taming of the Shrew. Other stage credits include Falling Out of Love, The Cavalcaders, Don Carlos and The School for Scandal. Simone also appeared in the recent RTE/Touchpaper television production "Single Handed 2: The Stolen Child."

Finbar Lynch, who plays Jack, was in the National Theatre production of Tennessee Williams' Not About Nightingales, which subsequently transferred to Broadway's Circle in the Square. Other recent stage credits include Ghosts, directed by Anna Mackmin at the Gate Theatre, The Hothouse at the National Theatre, Julius Caesar for the Royal Shakespeare Company and As You Desire Me at the West End's Playhouse. He appeared in the stage and film versions of King Lear directed by Richard Eyre and the RTE television series "Proof."

Susan Lynch, who plays Agnes, is soon to appear in Samantha Morton's directorial debut "Unloved" for Channel 4. She appeared on Broadway in the 2007 Manhattan Theatre Company revival of Friel's Translations at the Biltmore Theatre. Other stage credits include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at the Almeida Theatre, O Go My Man at the Royal Court and The Night Season at the National Theatre.

McDonald, who plays Michael, is best known for his roles in Channel 4's acclaimed drama "City of Vice" and the cult comedy "Green Wing." His stage credits include Nocturne at the Almeida Theatre, Glengarry Glen Ross at the Apollo Theatre, Exiles at the National Theatre and Robert Altman's Resurrection Blues at The Old Vic.

Jo Stone-Fewings, who plays Gerry, recently appeared in The 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre. He previously starred in The Country Wife at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, See How They Run on tour and at the Duchess Theatre and Twelfth Night, The Taming Of The Shrew and Richard III for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Anna Mackmin, who recently directed Brian Friel's new version of Hedda Gabler at Dublin's Gate Theatre, directs. Other credits include the West End productions of Under the Blue Sky and In Celebration, both at the Duke of York's, Dying for It at the Almeida, and Citizenship and Chatroom at the National's Cottesloe.

The production is designed by Lez Brotherston, with lighting by Paule Constable and choreography by Scarlett Mackmin.

It is produced by the Old Vic, Sonia Friedman Productions and Tulchin/Bartner.

To book tickets contact the box office at 0870 060 6628 or visit www.oldvictheatre.com.