Award-winning Irish playwright Billy Roche will star in a new London revival of his 1993 play The Cavalcaders. The new production, directed by Robin Lefevre, will run at the Tricycle Theatre, in Kilburn, north London, from 13 December 2001 to 9 February 2002.

Shoemakers by day and singers by night, The Cavalcaders of the play's title are a group of Barbershop hopefuls whose lives have hinged around the Irish community of Wexford for three generations. Band member Terry reflects on his memories of small-town Ireland, the infidelities of his wife, the delicious excitement of his own affair and the death of likeable band member, Josie.

Roche, who plays Josie, rose to prominence as a playwright with The Wexford Trilogy - comprised of A Handful of Stars (1988), Poor Beast in the Rain (1989) and Belfry (1990). The trilogy ten major awards including the John Whiting, George Devine and Time Out Awards. The Wexford Trilogy was revived at the Tricycle, in a co-production with Oxford Stage Company and Chester Gateway Theatre, in 2000/2001.

Though few are aware of it, Roche is also a skilled musician, having worked for many years as a singer, fronting his own group, The Roach Band. Now a writer-in-residence at London's Bush Theatre, Roche's other plays include Amphibians, Trojan Eddie and Haberdashery.

For The Cavalcaders, Roche is joined in the cast by Liam Cunningham (as Terry), Dawn Bradfield (Nuala), Ingrid Craigie (Breda) and David Ganley (Ted). The production is designed by Liz Ascroft, with lighting by Mick Hughes, choreography by Gillian Gregory, music and lyrics by Roche, and musical direction and arrangements by Clem Ishmael.

Director Lefevre's other recent stage credits include Harold Pinter's The Homecoming (currently starring Ian Holm and Lia Williams at the West End's Comedy Theatre), Three Days of Rain (Donmar Warehouse) and Krapp's Last Tape (Ambassadors).

- by Terri Paddock