Friday 30 September 2016

Abbey hopes 1916 programme will Wake nation

Published 29/10/2015 | 02:30

Abbey Theatre director Fiach MacConghail with Bridie Murphy, whose father, Barney, worked at the Abbey and was a 1916 volunteer, during the launch of the theatre's 2016 programme
Abbey Theatre director Fiach MacConghail with Bridie Murphy, whose father, Barney, worked at the Abbey and was a 1916 volunteer, during the launch of the theatre's 2016 programme

Old classics, three world premieres and a US tour of Sean O'Casey's iconic work 'The Plough and the Stars' are some of the highlights of the Abbey Theatre's 1916 centenary programme, 'Waking the Nation'.

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Outgoing director Fiach MacConghail said he hoped the programme would "interrogate and question the legacy of the Easter Rising rather than celebrate the centenary".

Bafta-winning actor Stephen Rea will star in David Ireland's provocative new comedy 'Cyprus Avenue', while Frank McGuinness' 'Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme' will return to the stage.

Highly-regarded theatre maker Philip McMahon will present new chamber musical 'Town is Dead', while 'The Plough and The Stars' featuring Love/ Hate's Ian Lloyd Anderson will tour the east coast of America.

Tánaiste Joan Burton, Arts Minister Heather Humphreys and Aodhan O'Riordáin TD all attended yesterday's programme launch.

Mr MacConghail also paid tribute to the late playwright Brian Friel.

"He should have been awarded the Nobel Prize," he said.

"He was always interested in new writing, and I think he would have been proud of the new writing in this programme."

Irish Independent

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