Sunday 26 February 2017

Abbey Theatre finds 'Room' for Donoghue adaptation plus Roddy Doyle's 'Two Pints'

Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Roddy Doyle with Neil Murray. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Roddy Doyle with Neil Murray. Photo: Doug O'Connor

Roddy Doyle's 'Two Pints' Facebook posts are to be adapted for the stage as part of the Abbey Theatre's 2017 programme.

'The Two Pints' series centres around two 'aul Dubliners' who discuss the news of the day over two pints of Guinness in the corner of a pub.

Abbey Directors Neil Murray and Graham McLaren. Photo: Doug O’Connor
Abbey Directors Neil Murray and Graham McLaren. Photo: Doug O’Connor

Their conversation varies considerably; from the death of David Bowie to the Buncrana pier tragedy.

The play will be performed in a range of small pubs around the country next year.

"I have written it so long ago, I can't even remember what it is about," Doyle said.

Doyle was one of the guests attending the launch of the Abbey Theatre's new programme, 'What happens next is this…', in Dublin last night.

Graham McLaren talks to Lisa Dwan. Photo: Doug O’Connor
Graham McLaren talks to Lisa Dwan. Photo: Doug O’Connor

New directors Graham McLaren and Neil Murray will stage 15 productions throughout 2017.

Emma Donoghue's Oscar-winning screenplay 'Room' will be adapted to the stage.

"It is such a fantastic story, we thought it would work wonderfully," Mr McLaren said.

Ken Loach's period drama 'Jimmy's Hall' will also be brought to the Abbey auditorium.

The new directors, who replaced Fiach Mac Conghail, will also revive critical and commercial hits.

Enda Walsh's 'Arlington', which premiered to much acclaim at the Galway International Arts Festival and starred Love/Hate's Charlie Murphy, will play at the national theatre.

The Corn Exchange's hugely successful 2004 production of 'Dublin by Lamplight' will also return to the boards, and Druid's 2016 touring production of 'Waiting for Godot' will open in April.

"We wanted to start our first season on the Abbey stage by inviting in Irish artists, companies and shows we have long admired," explained Mr McLaren, who is Scottish.

"If you haven't seen them yet, you should, and if you have seen them you should see them again."

Last year, the Abbey was heavily criticised for the lack of female voices in their centenary programme, leading to the 'Waking the Feminists' movement.

Eager to remedy this there are several female-led productions in 2017, including Lisa Dwan's one-woman show 'No's Knife' - which is based on a selection of Samuel Beckett's prose.

The 2017 Christmas show sounds slightly haunting - devised by the creative team behind 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child', 'Let the Right One In' is a vampire love story that has been described as "frightening and feral".

The theatre will also introduce a series of free previews to encourage more people to attend.

Irish Independent

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