Conor McPherson to Make National Theatre Debut

News   Conor McPherson to Make National Theatre Debut
It was confirmed June 12 that Irish dramatist Conor McPherson will make his National Theatre debut when he directs his new play The Seafarer.

The production, which begins previews at London's National Cottesloe Theatre Sept. 20 and opens Sept. 28, features a strong cast including Ron Cook, Conleth Hill, Karl Johnson and Jim Norton.

According to production notes, “It’s Christmas Eve and Sharky has returned to Dublin to look after his irascible, aging brother. Old drinking buddies Ivan and Nicky are holed up at the house too, hoping to play some cards. But with the arrival of a stranger from the distant past, the stakes are raised ever higher.  In fact, Sharky may be playing for his very soul...”

Ron Cook’s stage credits include Juno and the Paycock and the title role in Patrick Marber’s Howard Katz, also at the Cottesloe. He was last seen in the West End in Nigel Planer’s comedy On the Ceiling.

Hill and Norton were recently seen in the West End in Owen McCafferty’s Shoot the Crow. Hill has garnered two Olivier Awards for his performances in Stones In His Pockets (2001) and for the London version of The Producers. He last appeared at the National in 2003 in Michael Frayn’s Democracy.

McPherson’s plays include his 1997 work The Weir, which won an Olivier and Most Promising Playwright Award in the West End. His Dublin drama, the Tony-nominated Shining City, opened this past season at Broadway’s Biltmore Theatre and just lost out to Bennett’s The History Boys for the Best Play Tony Award. Following its run at the National, The Seafarer, which is designed by Rae Smith, will go on U.K. tour.

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