Oxford Stage Tours Roche's Wexford TrilogyDate: 21 January 2000
The Oxford Stage Company, which completed its first West End residency in November, kicks off its 2000 touring season next week. The season opens Tuesday 25 January in Bury St Edmunds with the company's production of Robert Holman's Making Noise Quietly and continues with new productions of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida and a revival of Irish dramatist Billy Roche's Wexford Trilogy, which is expected to transfer to the West End.
Making Noise Quietly, a collection of three short plays about chance war-time encounters, comprised part of the company's 1999 touring and West End schedule. The 2000 cast will feature Maggie Steed, Charles Edwards and Shaun Dooley. Following Bury St Edmunds, the production will continue until 1 April to Richmond, Westcliff-on-Sea, Poole, Guildford, Liverpool, Brighton and Greenwich.
In February, Shakespeare's Trojan war comedy, Troilus and Cressida, launches its tour in Oxford. Though Oxford Stage is well regarded for its Shakespearean productions, this will be the first of the bard's plays directed by the company's artistic director Dominic Dromgoole since he took over in 1998. The cast of 20 actors includes comedian Matt Lucas in his acting debut, Jordan Murphy (who last year won a Tony Award for his performance in Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane on Broadway), Eileen Walsh (Disco Pigs) and Paul Ritter (Three Sisters and Drummers). Following Oxford, Troilus and Cressida will continue until 25 March to Warwick, York, Manchester and Guildford before a six-week run in London (venue to be confirmed).
The Wexford Trilogy will tour in September and October. Roche's three plays - A Handful of Stars, Poor Beast in the Rain and Belfry - received great acclaim in the early 1990s when they played at the Abbey Theatre Dublin and were later broadcast on the BBC. They were also a big hit at the London fringe Bush Theatre, then under the direction of Dromgoole. Now, with Oxford Stage, Dromgoole will be giving the plays their first major revival. Casting details and dates for the tour and the West End engagement of The Wexford Trilogy have yet to be confirmed.