Lay Me Down Softly, which Roche writes and directs, follows his acclaimed Wexford Trilogy and opens at the Tricycle on 12 July (previews from 11 July). Presented by Mosshouse in association with Wexford Arts Centre, it was first commissioned and premiered at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in 2008.
The production will feature previous cast members Gary Lydon (The Wexford Trilogy at the Tricycle), Michael O'Hagan (Bloody Sunday at the Tricycle), Pagan McGrath (Macbeth for County Wexford Youth Theatre), Anthony Morris (The Belfry for Livin Dred), Dermot Murphy (Amphibians at Project Arts Centre, Dublin), alongside newcomer Simone Kirby (Loves Labour’s Lost at the Globe).
Set in rural Ireland in the early 60s, Lay Me Down Softly takes place inside the shady world of Delaney’s Travelling Roadshow, exploring the darkly comic and colourful world of the old travelling carnival.
Billy Roche is a singer, writer, director and actor. His play A Handful of Stars was staged at the Bush Theatre in 1988, later joined by his plays Poor Beast In The Rain (1989) and Belfy (1991) as the Wexford Trilogy. All of the plays premiered at the Bush, subsequently transferring to Dublin's Peacock Theatre and were filmed for the BBC.
His subsequent work includes Amphibians, The Cavalcaders, On Such As We and Tales From Rainwater Pond. As an actor his stage credits include A Handful of Stars at the Bush, Aristocrats at Hampstead Theatre, The Cavalcaders at the Tricycle, the Peacock and the Royal Court.
Lay Me Down Softly has design by Bui Bolg, lighting design by Paul Keogan and sound and AV design by Mick Egan.
The tricycle will also present Owen McCafferty's The Absence Of Women from 14 September (previews from 13 September) to 8 October 2011. The production, which is directed by Rachel O'Riordan, was staged by the Lyric Theatre Belfast last year before a tour of venues in Ireland.
Focussing on two Belfast labourers who face the end of their lives in a London hostel, The Absence Of Women is billed as a "funny and poignant play" about the life journey of two ordinary and lonely Belfast men.
Casting for the production is still to be announced.
Writer Owen McCafferty’s plays include Shoot The Crow at Druid, Galway, Closing Time and Scenes From The Big Picture at the National Theatre and Days of Wine and Roses at the Donmar Warehouse.
Rachel O'Riordan’s directing credits include Miss Julie and Animal Farm as part of the Peter Hall season at Theatre Royal Bath, Everything Is Illuminated at Hampstead Theatre, Protestants for Soho Theatre and Hurricane at the Arts Theatre. For the Lyric Belfast she has directed The Glass Menagerie, Merry Christmas Betty Ford and Much Ado About Nothing.
The Absence Of Women has design by Stuart Marshall, lighting design by James Whiteside and sound and AV design by Ivan Birthistle and Vincent Doherty.