Alan Rickman, Lindsay Duncan, Fiona Shaw to Star in Abbey's New John Gabriel Borkman; NYC Life Planned

News   Alan Rickman, Lindsay Duncan, Fiona Shaw to Star in Abbey's New John Gabriel Borkman; NYC Life Planned
The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, will launch its new season with the world premiere of Carmel Winters' B For Baby, starting Sept. 24, and a star-filled production of Henrik Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman, starting Oct. 6.
Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The new version of the Ibsen classic, on the Abbey Stage, is by Frank McGuinness and will star Tony Award nominee Alan Rickman (Private Lives) in the title role.

Directed by James Macdonald, Ibsen's "devastating and darkly comic play" will also star Fiona Shaw as his wife Gunhild and Tony winner Lindsay Duncan (Private Lives) as her twin sister, Ella. According to the Abbey, the staging will receive its U.S. premiere in New York City in January 2011. That booking has not been officially announced; a Rickman-directed Creditors appeared at Brooklyn Academy of Music in spring 2009, leading to speculation that BAM might be the future home of the Ibsen play.

The cast also includes Cathy Belton, John Kavanagh, Amy Molloy, Marty Rea and Joan Sheehy. Performances will play the Abbey Stage Oct. 6-Nov. 20.

Here's how Abbey bills the play: "John Gabriel Borkman was once a great man. Wealthy, powerful, revered. He gave up love for success and was handsomely rewarded. But now, disgraced and destitute after a financial scandal and jail, the former director of the bank paces out each day, alone in an upstairs room, planning his comeback.
Downstairs, his wife Gunhild lives a parallel life, plotting for their son to restore the family's reputation. 
The claustrophobia of their lives is shattered once and for all with the arrival of Gunhild's twin sister Ella, the woman whose love Borkman gave away…"

Winters' work, on the Peacock Stage, "is a sharp-witted new play that tenderly touches the taboo and invites you to rediscover the joy of make-believe," according to Abbey notes. In B For Baby, to run Sept. 24-Nov. 6, according to notes, "Mrs. C wants a baby not a Christmas tree. B wants a real hairdressers' scissors and a wife. D wants a snow globe and 'a big head of dirty auld curls.' All of them want their own place in the world. And if they can't find it, they’ll create one of their own. Join B and D in the care home where they are residents, and where Mrs. C is a carer, on their special — 'very fecking special' — journey towards happiness."

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