The Abbey Theatre’s Cool Winter Programme

The Abbey Theatre are delighting audiences this Winter season with two terrific plays – Drama at Inish and A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.

The first is a major Abbey production of Lennox Robinson’s play, which first premiered at the theatre in 1933. Being performed now until January 24, this new staging takes the acclaimed farce and transplants it into 1960’s Ireland.

The story follows the inhabitants of a small seaside town in Ireland. Inish has never been on the map but it has been making headlines lately, and for all the wrong reasons. Could the performances of the newly arrived De la Mare Repertory Theatre Company really be the cause of the town’s strange behaviour?

The show features some of Ireland’s best loved actors. These include Anthony Moriarty, Aoibhinn McGinnity, Breffni Holahan, Helen Norton, Marcus Lamb, Marion O’Dwyer, Mark O’Regan and Nick Dunning. It is to be helmed by Belfast-born director Cal McCrystal in his Abbey Theatre debut.

McCrystal is the acclaimed comedy director for the National Theatre’s West End and Broadway hit show One Man, Two Guvnors. He also directs productions for English National Opera, Gifford’s Circus and large-scale cabaret shows in Las Vegas.

On top of this, he has created comedy sequences for Cirque du Soleil and for various films including Paddington, Paddington 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the forthcoming movie adaptation of Cats. Joining him behind-the-scenes is a strong line-up of leading Irish creative talent including Sarah Bacon (set and costume), Sinead McKenna (lighting design) and Carl Kennedy (sound design).

Graham McLaren and Neil Murray, directors of the Abbey Theatre, said in a statement of Drama at Inish: “The renowned literary tradition of the Abbey Theatre is a symbol of Ireland’s strength within the performing arts and on the world stage. For the past two years we have paid homage to the Irish canon with productions such as Teresa Deevy’s Katie Roche and Marina Carr’s On Raftery’s Hill.”

“This winter, we’re delivering the work of another master Irish playwright with a new production of Drama at Inish, Lennox Robinson’s hysterical riot that proves its endurance across the decades. We invite audiences to see some of Ireland’s finest actors perform in this unique Abbey Theatre collaboration with the brilliant comedic director Cal McCrystal.”

On the Peacock Stage, the Abbey Theatre presents A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. This recently premiered at Dublin Fringe Festival to a rapturous audience and critical reaction, winning the festival’s award for Best Design.

In a kitchen, in a theatre, two storytellers and their audience find something remarkable — a very old man with enormous wings. The wise neighbour woman tells us he’s an angel. The priest says he’s an imposter. Pilgrims flock to see him, hoping to be healed by him, hoping for a gawp. They leave with something different than what they expected.

Adapted from Gabriel García Márquez’s tale of the same name, Collapsing Horse, one of Ireland’s most exciting theatre companies, brings a classic piece of magical realism to the stage in search of its beautiful, strange, emotional richness. Running from December 10 – 28, this production is one for the family to enjoy and is suitable for ages 8+.

McLaren and Murray added: “Showcasing bold new creative voices and local performers is key to the mission of the Abbey Theatre, and this presentation of A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings is a thrilling example of the fresh and exciting talent within Irish theatre.”

“This show will captivate Abbey audiences, building further upon its recent successes at the 2019 Dublin Fringe Festival. It made a huge impression on us and we were keen to extend its reach as quickly as possible. We hope to see both young and old(er) theatre lovers join us for what will be a highlight of our winter season.”

To book tickets to these shows, visit abbeytheatre.ie or call 01 87 87 222.

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