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'The Field' returns for run on 50th anniversary

John B Keane's iconic play 'The Field' will be brought to life in a new production to mark its 50th anniversary.

The play, which was first performed in 1965, tells the story of farmer Bull McCabe who goes to great lengths to acquire a piece of land he has tended to for years.

The launch of the anniversary production took place in John B Keane's bar in the Gaiety Theatre yesterday and was attended by the playwright's granddaughter Laura Keane, Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan, as well as the cast of the play.

Nervous

Acclaimed Irish actor Michael Harding will take on the iconic role of Bull McCabe and admitted he is nervous at the prospect.

"Bull is an iconic character and that's what is frightening about it but also, it is an iconic play about land and if you look back at the main issues over the last few years they're all about land, so it is daunting," he told the Irish Independent.

Minister Deenihan, who was a close friend of John B Keane, believes the play resonates with people because it is a universal topic. "I've seen at least 10 different productions over the years and I'm looking forward to this one. I was very close to John B, of course, he was the man that convinced me to run for politics," he said.

"Why John B's plays are enduring is because they are universal subjects and he wrote in a very simple fashion which was accessible to people.

"The themes he chose were very human so people could connect with what was happening on stage. That's why people all across the world still go in their droves to see his plays," he added.

The sterling cast also includes 'Mr Selfridge' star Aidan McArdle as William Dee, while 'Love/Hate's Ian Lloyd Anderson will play Tadhg. Catherine Byrne from 'Fair City' will take on the role of Maggie Butler.

The 50th anniversary production of 'The Field' will run at the Gaiety Theatre from April 23 until May 16 and tickets from €22.50 are on sale now.

Irish Independent