The Donmar Warehouse's long-awaited production of Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock opens tonight at the theatre where it continues until 6 November. The production, mounted 75 years after the play's premiere, features the distinguished Irish actor Colm Meaney who has returned from Hollywood to take the role.

Set against the background of the Irish Civil War in 1922, Juno and the Paycock is the story of the disintegration of a Dublin tenement family. A woman struggles to support her family as her husband struts around town. Then he is left some money which, rather than rescuing them from poverty, triggers a spending spree that threatens to bring down the whole family completely.

Meaney, who plays 'Captain' Jack Boyle, is best known for his parts in the films based on Roddy Doyle's novels The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van as well as for his role as Chief O'Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Dearbhla Molloy (whose stage credits include Cripple of Inishmaan and The Fragile Heart) plays Juno and Ron Cook (Vassa, Wyndham's and Insignificance) is Joxer Daly. They are joined in the cast by William Ash, Renee Weldon, Bernadette Shortt, Jonathan Bond, David Carey, Stephen Kennedy and Helen Ryan.

Juno and the Paycock is directed by John Crowley, associate director at the Donmar, whose previous productions include Into the Woods, How I Learned to Drive and The Maids. It is designed by Rae Smith.