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Gabriel Byrne to present solo show Walking With Ghosts in the West End

The Hollywood star is headed for London

Gabriel Byrne
© Ros Kavanagh

Award-winning actor Gabriel Byrne is headed for the West End this September for a two-week run of his new solo show Walking With Ghosts.

First seen in Dublin earlier this year, the piece is based on Byrne's life (as a young boy growing up on the outskirts of Dublin before his journey to stardom) and the characters that have orbited it. The show will run at the Apollo Theatre from 6 to 17 September before it heads to New York.

The In Treatment star spoke exclusively to WhatsOnStage yesterday, saying "The West End for me has always meant more to me (moreso than Broadway, even though I've worked there three or four times). It's where I had my first experiences of theatre outside of Dublin – so it had a faraway magical allure. I've seen some great plays there – so being there has been a great ambition of mine."

Byrne, who will be adapting his hit novel of the same name for the production, went on: "The most difficult part was to cut what you might have liked on the page and construct a drama out of that. You have to be aware of the ingredients that go into a play – you can't just do excerpts from the book. When I first worked with Lonny [Price, the director] we had such a collaborative approach – we wanted to make people laugh, think about their own lives and come away with an understanding of the bigger themes. Yes it's set in Ireland but it could be Sheffield, Glasgow, Paris – it's a life lived that starts with working class routes and ends in Hollywood. Which is a pretty strange journey to make."

Alongside Price, the creative team features Sinéad McKenna (set and lighting designer), Joan O'Clery (costume designer) and Sinéad Diskin (sound designer).

Byrne concludes: "It's all about revealing. Particular sections are about me bearing myself to the audience – I wasn't sure if they were expecting that or were expecting to recoil. It was moving just to make people listen and bring them some joy. That can buoy you and help you put the nerves aside."