The Irish invade New York | DruidShakespeare touches down at Lincoln Center Festival July 7-19


Remember that storm we warned you about? The one off the west coast of Ireland? Well here it comes.

DruidShakespeare: The History Plays, the epic combination of Shakespeare’s four Henry plays adapted by Mark O’Rowe and produced by Ireland’s one and only Druid Theatre Company, is heading toward the light. It was announced today that the show will make landfall in North America at this year’s Lincoln Center Festival on July 7-19. It will premiere first in Galway in May.

Directed by Garry Hynes, the production includes a blinding array of Irish acting talent including Clare Barrett, Derbhle Crotty, Gavin Drea, Bosco Hogan, Garrett Lombard, Karen McCartney, Charlotte McCurry, Aaron Monaghan, Marie Mullen, Rory Nolan, Aisling O’Sullivan, John Olohan, and Marty Rea.

Wow. That would be a dream team.

There’s no way you can miss this.

So don’t.

This will be Druid’s fourth visit to the festival after DruidSynge in 2006, The Silver Tassie in 2011 and DruidMurphy in 2012.

Prepare to be blinded - by DruidShakespeare at Lincoln Center Festival this July.
Prepare to be blinded – by DruidShakespeare at Lincoln Center Festival this July.
All the way from Galway.  Where the Corrib meets the sea.
All the way from Galway. Where the Corrib meets the sea.

In 2015, thousands (of theatregoers) are sailing across the western ocean – TO Ireland | Druid produces Mark O’Rowe’s new version of Shakespeare’s four HENRY plays

Druid, Ireland’s world-touring theatre from Galway famous for originating monumental works, knows how to keep its powder dry.

Shows come only when they’re ready – never before. If there is no show that is ready for the audience, if there is no play that rises above the ordinary – then there is no show. Imagine that.

At Druid, in between creating lifetime high experiences that are burned into memory forever, entire years may pass with not much happening at all. Like a battering North Atlantic storm blowing the moss off rocks around Galway Bay, Druid launches full force when it has something. But then not long after it could be quiet and calm for days, weeks or months. The good news: that calm never lasts.

Rest assured that even when the door at Druid Lane is closed and all seems to be still, somewhere in there a plan is afoot. A scheme is taking shape. A dream is alive. An impossibly ambitious project is being talked about as if it’s actually going to happen. Garry Hynes and her crew are always ready to go as big as needed to hit the target. That’s what they do. Most recently, the 2012 production of DruidMurphy, which included three plays by the visionary (and mostly unknown outside of Ireland) Tom Murphy, created the definitive theatre experience about that uniquely Irish horror story through the years – of leaving. And of course the cycle’s relevance was that it came at a historical moment when flights from Dublin to somewhere/anywhere were once again filling fast.

Meanwhile, North Atlantic radar installations are beginning to track the gathering approach of yet another big one off the west coast of Ireland. Our models show it destined to make landfall sometime this spring/summer. Sure, it’s a long way off, but it’s sufficiently large that you need to know about it now. Residents are being warned to lay in a supply of sand bags and make sure they have plenty of candles, food and drink on hand. A serious battering could be in the works.

In 2015, get ready to duct tape your woolen socks on to try to keep them from being knocked off. Because Druid is pairing up with star writer Mark O’Rowe to bring you all four Shakespeare Henry plays (Richard II, Henry IV Part 1 and Henry IV Part 2 and Henry V) in a new version. Generally the world needs more Shakespeare like it needs another folk singer with a hole in the head (or however the song goes). But when done WELL, when done BRILLIANTLY – that’s the kind of Shakespeare we can never get enough of.

In a nutshell, if you could be anywhere this year, this is one to catch. It’s Fintan O’Toole’s top tip for the year.

“This is a great story of families and wars and the making of nations,” said Garry Hynes, “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?”

So plan ahead and make the pilgrimage to Galway for the world premiere of this epic undertaking, which will then go to New York.

Never heard of Druid? Cruise the archive of past productions to see what you’ve missed.

One of the most exciting theatre doors you will ever walk through.
One of the most exciting theatre doors you will ever walk through.

Galway's Town Hall Theatre during the 2012 DruidMurphy cycle.
Galway’s Town Hall Theatre during the 2012 DruidMurphy cycle.

Druid announces 2014 schedule

Tomorrow’s news – today. Via a snazzy new web site.

17 April 2014

Druid Announce 2014 Plans

Druid reaffirm commitment to new writing with an exciting season of premieres and mentorship programmes running throughout 2014

“It’s not theatre until someone’s watching”


Druid’s foundation of supporting emerging writers and fostering new voices within Irish theatre began with their partnership with Tom Murphy, arguably one of Ireland’s greatest living playwrights. The Company is delighted to announce the World Premiere of Murphy’s new work, Brigit, a companion work to his seminal Bailegangaire. Throughout the decades Druid has continued to both discover and support some of Ireland’s most important playwrights (including Enda Walsh and Martin McDonagh), and is embarking on an exciting season of new writing, premiering Be Infants in Evil by Brian Martin at Galway Arts Festival, as well as working with emerging artists ThereisBear!, Meadhbh McHugh and Emily Gillmor Murphy in the development of new work.

Productions for 2014:

• World Premiere of Tom Murphy’s Brigit, touring alongside Bailegangaire
• World Premiere of Be Infants in Evil at Galway Arts Festival
• Recipients of inaugural FUEL Residency
• New work presented as part of Druid Debuts programme

“This is the next generation of theatre makers on Druid stages, I am proud we are able to support it and thrilled of course to be going back in to a rehearsal room to direct new work by Tom Murphy” – Garry Hynes

Tom Murphy’s Brigit and Bailegangaire

As part of the ongoing relationship between Druid and Tom Murphy, Druid will present the World Premiere of Brigit, alongside a revival of Bailegangaire, first premiered by Druid in 1985. Bailegangaire will play Clifden Arts Festival 23-24 September, and both plays will tour to the Town Hall Theatre in Galway, followed by further dates in Dublin later this year.

For his new play Brigit, with a cast that will include Jane Brennan and ensemble member Marie Mullen, Tom Murphy weaves a new pattern from the lives of the women of Bailegangaire, going back thirty years and complementing them with such other memorable creations as the husband Seamus, the grandchild Tom, the local curate, Fr. Kilgariff and the Reverend Mother.

One of the crowning achievements of Irish drama, Bailegangaire is unique in Tom Murphy’s work for centering exclusively on the lives of women. It throws an unremitting but tender light on a trinity of women’s lives from a dark time. This production will star Druid Ensemble Member Marie Mullen, along with Aisling O’Sullivan and Catherine Walsh.

“I am very excited about these Druid productions.” – Tom Murphy

Be Infants in Evil

As part of Galway Arts Festival, Druid will present the premiere of Brian Martin’s playfully comic and uncompromisingly savage ode to modern Ireland, Be Infants in Evil, directed by Oonagh Murphy. Be Infants in Evil is Brian’s debut work, and featured as part of the 2013 Druid Debuts programme. The production will star Bailey Hayden, Roxanna Nic Liam, Marion O’Dwyer and Druid Ensemble Member Marty Rea.

“I am delighted to be working with Druid for the first time on Be Infants in Evil at the Galway Arts Festival. It’s a very exciting debut play about Ireland from a startling, fresh voice. Producing new plays by emerging Irish talent is something Druid do best, and the project has attracted some incredible collaborators, including some of my favourite Irish actors.” – Oonagh Murphy

FUEL Residency

Druid is delighted to announce ThereisBear! as the first recipient of the inaugural FUEL Residency programme supporting emerging artists in the West of Ireland. ThereisBear! will receive a six week residency in The Mick Lally Theatre in which to develop and perform a new work.

ThereisBear! Theatre’s new piece, No Show, focuses on the life of performers during the Showband era. The relationship of three members of a showband in 1960s Ireland comes under strain as they seek fame and fortune. Their stories, spanning from the ridiculous to the most devastating, give a glimpse of what it takes to survive in show business.

“The ThereisBear! team is honoured to have been awarded the Druid FUEL residency for 2014. We would like to thank Druid, and everyone else, for their support in our development as a theatre company and giving us the chance to bring our shows to the next level. Following our successful, jam-packed Spring Programme, ThereisBear! is so excited to deliver our brand new theatre piece with the Druid FUEL residency.” – ThereisBear!

Druid Debuts

Druid will present rehearsed readings of Helen and I by Tuam native Meadhbh McHugh and A Boy Called Ned by Emily Gillmor Murphy as part of the 2014 Druid Debuts initiative. Established by Druid in 2001 to support the development of talented emerging writers, the texts have been selected through Druid’s open submissions process, which each year receives 200 scripts from writers across Ireland.