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Druid announces details of major artistic
undertaking to mark the company’s 40th
anniversary year
New adaptation by Mark O’Rowe
Directed by Garry Hynes
Druid arrives in Sligo: 9 - 13 June, Hawk’s Well
‘Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown’
-Henry IV, Part II
Druid announces full details of one of the company’s most ambitious ever
undertakings, DruidShakespeare, a challenging but fitting project to mark
the company’s fortieth anniversary year. Druid will be taking the tour to Sligo,
to Hawk’s Well Theatre on the 9th – 13th June.
An epic story of families and wars and the making of nations,
DruidShakespeare is an exploration of English history through an Irish
lens. “The question we are asking is how, in the context of the historical
relationship between Ireland and England, do we as Irish artists produce
these plays today?” says Druid Artistic Director Garry Hynes.
With an ensemble cast of thirteen actors this major new theatre-event will
premiere in Druid’s home, The Mick Lally Theatre in Galway before
embarking on an extensive Irish tour to Letterkenny, Sligo, Castlebar,
Limerick, Skibbereen and will premiere internationally in New York at the
prestigious 2015 Lincoln Center Festival. In August Kilkenny Arts Festival in
association with Druid will present a site-specific production of the plays in
the castle yard where Richard II stayed when fighting his 'Irish wars'.
Directed by Tony-award winner Garry Hynes, Mark O’Rowe’s new pared down
version of Shakespeare’s four history plays, the key foundational narrative of
the English monarchy—Richard II, Henry IV (Pts. 1 & 2), and Henry V, will
be presented as an epic theatrical experience, performed by a superlative cast
which includes members of the hugely celebrated Druid Ensemble.
“Druid commissioned one of Ireland’s most exciting writers, Mark O’Rowe to
adapt these great plays,” says Ms. Hynes. “This collaboration, along with a cast
of Ireland’s finest actors, is a tremendously exciting opportunity. Acting is first
and foremost an act of imagination, both on the part of the actors and the
audience. That act of imagination transcends nationality, character, geography
and background and we see no reason why it shouldn’t transcend gender too.
Accordingly, our actors have been cast without regard to their own gender. For
example, the three kings – Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V – are played by
one male and two female actors. This decision further allows us to look at
these plays of war and patriarchy through another lens.”
In an exciting development the production will encompass not just The Mick
Lally Theatre but will extend across the lane to the 13th century Hall of the Red
Earl , creating a unique celebration of the work and a new chapter in the
company’s history in what will be a wonderful voyage through a part of
Galway that has been home to Druid for so long: Druid Lane.
Wildfire Films will also produce a documentary for RTE following the journey
of the making of the plays. It will be directed by Maurice Sweeney and
screened in the autumn.
Druid excels at producing world class theatre as exemplified in previous large
scale projects presented both nationally and internationally: DruidMurphy:
Three Plays by Tom Murphy (2012), O’Casey’s The Silver Tassie (2010), and
DruidSynge (six plays by Synge in 2006) described by the New York Times as
“a highlight not just of my theatregoing year but of my theatregoing life”
preceded by the four time Tony Award-winning Leenane Trilogy by Martin
McDonagh (West End and Broadway in 1998).
In additional news Ms. Hynes announced the appointment of Druid Ensemble
member Marty Rea as New Writing Associate. “It will be very exciting to see
the point of view of the actor being brought into the process of the
development of new writing” says Ms Hynes. “This is a natural step in the
development of the role of the Ensemble in Druid’s work.”
Ms. Hynes also announced a continuation of FUEL: Druid's Emerging Artists
Residency. Based on the success of last year's initiative, the company has
confirmed it will continue to provide rehearsal space, hot desk facilities,
production support and professional advice to emerging artists based in the
West of Ireland for 2015 following an open call later this year.
Druid would like to acknowledge the continuing support of the Arts Council,
Culture Ireland, NUIG and Galway City Council.
DruidShakespeare is a co-production with Lincoln Centre Festival
Further Media Information:
Kate Bowe /Jenny Sharif, Kate Bowe PR: 01 6520143;
[email protected]" [email protected]; [email protected]
Images are available here:
Druid has brought together an incomparable cast and production team for this
major undertaking. Full credits and tour schedule below.
Clare Barrett
Derbhle Crotty
Gavin Drea
Bosco Hogan
Garrett Lombard
Karen McCartney
Charlotte McCurry
Aaron Monaghan
Marie Mullen
Rory Nolan
John Olohan
Aisling O'Sullivan
Marty Rea
: Garry Hynes
Associate Director - Design
: Francis O’Connor
Associate Director – Movement: David Bolger
Assistant Costume Designer: Doreen McKenna
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls
Sound Design: Gregory Clarke
Music Director: Conor Linehan
Dramaturg: Thomas Conway
Voice Coach: Andrew Wade
Galway: Previews 9 – 14 May; Opening on 17 May until 30 May, The Mick Lally
Theatre, Druid
Letterkenny: 3 - 6 June, An Grianan Theatre
Sligo: 9 -13 June, The Hawk’s Well Theatre
Castlebar: 17 -20 June, Royal TF
Limerick: 23 - 27 June, The Lime Tree Theatre
Skibbereen: 29 - 30 June - Skibbereen Town Hall
New York: 7 - 19 July, Lincoln Centre Festival, Gerald W. Lynch Theater
Kilkenny: 6 -15 August, Kilkenny Arts Festival, The Castle Yard
Tickets for DruidShakespeare will be on sale nationwide from Monday 9th
March at 10am and can be purchased for all venues via or by
contacting the venue directly. Tickets from €52. See venues for details and
promotions. To read more about DruidShakespeare see