The production marks the stage debut of pop singer Andrea Corr who plays Chris, the youngest of the five Mundy Sisters sharing a cottage in County Donegal in the 1930s. The cast also includes Niamh Cusack, Michelle Fairley, Simone Kirby, Susan Lynch, Finbar Lynch, Peter McDonald and Jo Stone-Fewings as Chris' fickle lover Gerry. It's directed by Anna Mackmin (who helmed the recent West End outing of David Eldridge's Under the Blue Sky), with design by Lez Brotherston.
With a good handful of five stars, Dancing at Lughnasa marks a swift turnaround in the critical fortunes of the Old Vic following the recently mauled Complicit. Most critics hailed the play as Friel's “masterpiece” and appreciated the intimacy of the in-the-round staging. The cast, particularly Stone-Fewings, Fairley and Cusack, were also roundly praised, as was debutant Corr – making a “better than decent stage debut” according to Whatsonstage.com's Michael Coveney. And director Anna wasn't the only Mackmin receiving praise – her sister Scarlett Mackmin, the play's choreographer, was also lauded for her arrangement of the play's signature scene, the wild, improtu “foot-stamping fling”.
- by Theo Bosanquet