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McGuinness and Lynch bring Ireland to Tricycle

Published 7 December 2009

Two plays about Ireland’s past are to be staged at the Tricycle theatre in 2010.

Opening the 2010 season, Tricycle Artistic Director Nicolas Kent directs the premiere of Frank McGuinness’s new play Greta Garbo Came To Donegal, which is followed by the London debut of Edinburgh Festival hit Chronicles Of Long Kesh.

Greta Garbo Came To Donegal, which plays from 7 January to 20 February (press night 11 January) is set in 1967, the year the great film star of the title visited the County of Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Set at a time of violent change, McGuinness’s play centres on two couples on the verge of splitting up, a woman who is trying to save her family and a girl trying to save her future.

The cast includes Laurence Olivier Award-nominee Michelle Fairley along with Angeline Ball, Lisa Diveney, Daniel Geroll, Caroline Lagerfelt, Owen McDonnell and Tom McKay.

Irish playwright McGuinness’s previous work includes Observe The Sons Of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme – recently staged at Hampstead theatre – Gates Of Gold, There Came A Gypsy Riding and Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me as well as numerous translations and adaptations.

Moving to Northern Ireland, playwright/director Martin Lynch and director Lisa May’s Chronicles Of Long Kesh (15 March to 10 April, press night 16 March) explores the human impact of the notorious Maze prison in Long Kesh, near Belfast, where paramilitary prisoners were interned during the Troubles.

Based on interviews with over 40 ex-prisoners, prison officers, welfare workers and families, Chronicles Of Long Kesh tells the story of the prison from its opening in 1971 to the day it closed in 2000 as the result of the Good Friday Agreement. As well as dealing with major events in the prison’s history, including the 1981 hunger strike, the play explores the individual experiences of the inmates, examining the impact that incarceration had on their lives and those of their families and the prison officers.

The cast comprises Billy Clarke, Chris Corrigan, Jo Donnelly, Marty Maguire, Andy Moore and Marc O’Shea. 

The new season continues the Tricycle theatre’s commitment to staging dramas and verbatim plays which dissect history. Recent productions include The Great Game: Afghanistan, an ambitious play cycle centring on the history of Afghanistan, Darfur A Response and several tribunal plays including Bloody Sunday: Scenes From The Saville Inquiry.

The 2010 season at the Tricycle continues with the return of Filter’s production of Twelfth Night (4 to 29 May), which first played at the Kilburn venue in 2008. Created as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works cycle, the production is a radically cut, fast paced and accessible take on Shakespeare’s comedy of romance, satire and mistaken identity. 

Currently playing at the Tricycle theatre is the Not Black And White season, which comprises three plays running in repertoire which examine the social issues facing us in 21st century London.

CB

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