The lost tradition of staging new plays at Canterbury Cathedral, most famously T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral, was revived with the premiere of Sebastian Barry's Dallas Sweetman in September 2008.
Whistling Psyche premièred at the Almeida Theatre, London in May 2004.
Fred and Jane explores the deep and sustaining friendship between two nuns, Anna and Beatrice, as they recall the trials and joys of religious life.
'This is Barry at his best: evocative, gentle, suffused with the beauty of the simple and the joy of turning the strange into the familiar.' Sunday Tribune
'A rare delight. A clear-running joy.' Sunday Independent
'A triumph in its own right.' RTE
Fred and Jane premièred at Bewley's Cafe Theatre, Dublin in 2002.
Now, Penelope and her chorus of wronged maids tell their side of the story in a new stage version by Margaret Atwood, adapted from her own wry, witty and wise novel.
The Penelopiad premiered with the Royal Shakespeare Company in association with Canada's National Arts Centre at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, in July 2007.
To the lonely and eccentric guest, the members of Dickens' household seem to live a life of unreachable bliss. But with his broken English, Andersen doesn't at first see the storms brewing within the family: undeclared passions, a son about to go to India, and a growing strangeness at the heart of Dickens' marriage.
Andersen's English by Sebastian Barry premiered at the Theatre Royal, Bury, in February 2010 in a production by Out of Joint.
During the ten years that Stuart Spencer has taught playwriting, he has struggled to find an effective playwriting handbook for his courses. Although most of the currently popular handbooks have good ideas in them, they all suffer from the same problems: they're poorly organized; are composed mostly of quirky, idiosyncratic advice on how specific playwrights have gone about writing their own work; and are full of abstract theorizing on the nature of art. As a result, they fail to offer any concrete information on how to construct a well-written play or any useful guidelines and exercises. Moreover, few of these books are actually written by working playwrights. Out of frustration, Spencer wrote his own book. The result, The Playwright's Guidebook, is a clear, concise, and engaging handbook. Spencer addresses the important principles of structure, includes insightful writing exercises that build upon one another, explores the creative process, and troubleshoots recurrent problems that playwrights actually face.
Unprepared for the chaos that the two children inevitably bring, but nervously excited nonetheless, Annie finds the interruption of her normal life and her last chance at happiness complicated further by the attention being paid to Sarah by a local man with his eye on the farm.
A summer of adventure, pain, delight, and, ultimately, epiphany unfolds for both the children and their caretakers in this poignant and exquisitely told story of innocence, loss, and reconciliation.
In his small pub in Oldham, Harry is something of a local celebrity. But what's the second-best hangman in England to do on the day they've abolished hanging? Amongst the cub reporters and sycophantic pub regulars, dying to hear Harry's reaction to the news, a peculiar stranger lurks, with a very different motive for his visit.
Don't worry. I may have my quirks but I'm not an animal. Or am I? One for the courts to discuss.
Martin McDonagh's Hangmen premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in September 2015.
For Eneas McNulty, a happy, innocent childhood in County Sligo in the early 1900s gives way to an Ireland wracked by violence and conflict. Unable to find work in the depressed times after World War I, Eneas joins the British-led police force, the Royal Irish Constabulary—a decision that alters the course of his life. Branded a traitor by Irish nationalists and pursued by IRA hitmen, Eneas is forced to flee his homeland, his family, and Viv, the woman he loves. His wandering terminates on the Isle of Dogs, a haven for sailors, where a lifetime of loss is redeemed by a final act of generosity. The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty is the story of a lost man and a compelling saga that illuminates Ireland's complex history.
In 1914, Willie Dunne, barely eighteen years old, leaves behind Dublin, his family, and the girl he plans to marry in order to enlist in the Allied forces and face the Germans on the Western Front. Once there, he encounters a horror of violence and gore he could not have imagined and sustains his spirit with only the words on the pages from home and the camaraderie of the mud-covered Irish boys who fight and die by his side. Dimly aware of the political tensions that have grown in Ireland in his absence, Willie returns on leave to find a world split and ravaged by forces closer to home. Despite the comfort he finds with his family, he knows he must rejoin his regiment and fight until the end. With grace and power, Sebastian Barry vividly renders Willie’s personal struggle as well as the overwhelming consequences of war.
Les liaisons dangereuses was premiered by Royal Shakespeare Company at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, on 24 September 1985, and won Christopher Hampton the Evening Standard Award for Best Play and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play in 1986.
A first-person narrative of Lilly Bere’s life, On Canaan’s Side opens as the eighty-five-year-old Irish émigré mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill. Lilly, the daughter of a Dublin policeman, revisits her eventful past, going back to the moment she was forced to flee Ireland at the end of the First World War. She continues her tale in America, where—far from her family—she first tastes the sweetness of love and the bitterness of betrayal.
Spanning nearly seven decades, Sebastian Barry’s extraordinary fifth novel explores memory, war, family ties, love, and loss, distilling the complexity and beauty of life into his haunting prose.
Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein's bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal.
Urgent concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling and deeply disturbing classic gothic tale.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, adapted for the stage by Nick Dear, premiered at the National Theatre, London, in February 2011.
At the outbreak of World War one, Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Caught up in enemy fire, fate takes Joey on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.
Nick Stafford's adaptation for the stage of the celebrated novel by the Children's Laureate (2003-05) Michael Morpurgo leads us on a gripping journey through history. War Horse premiered at the National Theatre, London, in October 2007.
PJ and Christy: sworn enemies destined to share one small room for twenty years. As the two men recall the joys and torments of life outside - the childhood excursions, a deadly brawl, past loves and summer dresses - slowly they uncover the tragic events that have lead them to their cell in Montjoy.
A play that explores our capacity to commit the deadliest of crimes but also our capacity for survival, reconciliation and love, ON BLUEBERRY HILL by Sebastian Barry (twice winner of the Costa Book of the Year) premiered in a Fishamble production at the Pavilion Theatre as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival and at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris in October 2017.
The score that marked Ireland's demoralizing exit from Italia '90 took its toll. No more so than for Janet and Joe Brady of Parnell Street who lost far more than the match that night. Some years on, Joe and Janet reveal the intimacies of their love and the rupture of their marriage, through interconnecting monologues that also evoke their life-long love affair with Dublin city itself.
Sebastian Barry's explores with vivid tenderness the devastating effects of public and private acts of violence. This is an intimate, heroic tale of ordinary and extraordinary life on the streets of Dublin.
Fishamble's world premiere of The Pride of Parnell Street opened at the Tricycle Theatre, London, and as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival at the Tivoli Theatre, Dublin, in September 2007.
In Incident at Vichy, Arthur Miller re-creates Dante's hell inside the gaping pit that is our history and populates it with sinners whose crimes are all the more fearful because they are so recognizable.
"One of the most important plays of our time . . . Incident at Vichy returns the theater to greatness." —The New York Times
Getting a play written and produced is a daunting process. From crystallizing story ideas, formatting the script, understanding the roles of the director stagecraft people, to marketing and financing your project, and incorporating professional insights on writing, there are plenty of ins and outs that every aspiring playwright needs to know. But where can you turn for guidance?
Playwriting For Dummies helps any writer at any stage of the process hone their craft and create the most dramatic and effective pieces.Guides you through every process of playwriting?from soliloquies, church skits, and one act plays to big Broadway musicals Advice on moving your script to the public stage Guidance on navigating loopholes
If you're an aspiring playwright looking to begin the process, or have already penned a masterpiece and need trusted advice to bring it into the spotlight, Playwriting For Dummies has you covered.
A provocative and darkly comic look at fantasy and romance, The Village Bike by Penelope Skinner premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in June 2011.
Penelope Skinner won the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright 2011.
While the ethos of the play is tragicomic, it is the anachronistic, melodramatic secret object—the nonexistent "son"—that upends the audience’s sense of theatrical normalcy. The mean and vulgar bile spewed among the characters hides these elements, making it feel like something entirely "new."
As Michael Y. Bennett reveals, the play is the same emperor, just wearing new clothes. In short, it is straight out of the grand tradition of living room drama: Ibsen, Chekhov, Glaspell, Hellmann, O’Neill, Wilder, Miller, Williams, and Albee.
- The full playtext
- An introduction to the playwright, his background and his work
- A detailed analysis of language, structure and characters in the play
- Features of performance
- Textual notes explaining difficult words and references
What kind of man was Bjorn Faulkner? Only you, the reader, can decide.
On one level, Night of January 16th is a totally gripping drama about the rise and destruction of a brilliant and ruthless man. On a deeper level, it is a superb dramatic objectification of Ayn Rand's vision of human strength and weakness. Since its original Broadway success, it has achieved vast worldwide popularity and acclaim.
Join the hopeful, resilient residents of 'The Jungle', the refugees and volunteers from around the globe who gather at the Afghan Café. They're just across the Channel, right on our doorstep.
Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson's The Jungle premiered as a coproduction between Young Vic and the National Theatre with Good Chance Theatre, commissioned by the National Theatre, opening at the Young Vic, London, in December 2017. The play transferred to the Playhouse Theatre, London, in June 2018.