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Stellar cast for McPherson's Weir at Donmar, new play premieres

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A cast including Brian Cox, Dervla Kirwan and Ardal O'Hanlon will lead the Donmar Warehouse's forthcoming revival of Conor McPherson's The Weir.

And, newly announced, following The Weir the Donmar will premiere Conor McPherson's new play, The Night Alive, to be directed by McPherson himself and starring Caoilfhionn Dunne, Brian Gleeson, Ciarán Hinds, Michael McElhatton and Jim Norton.

According to press material, "The casts for both shows represent a gathering of some of the finest exponents of McPherson's work and the back to back productions will allow audiences to see his latest work alongside his recognised masterpiece."

Risteárd Cooper, Brian Cox, Dervla Kirwan, Peter McDonald and Ardal O'Hanlon will star in The Weir, directed by Josie Rourke and designed by Tom Scutt, from 18 April to 8 June 2013.

Brian Cox (playing Jack) has performed in the West End, on Broadway, at the National Theatre, the Royal Court and numerous other theatres in the UK. His myriad film appearances include The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Identity, Troy and X-Men 2.

Dervla Kirwan (playing Valerie) has previously performed at the Donmar in Betrayal. Other recent theatre credits include Uncle Vanya (Chichester Festival) and Aristocrats and Exiles (National Theatre). She is widely known for her television roles in Ballykissangel and Goodnight Sweetheart.

Ardal O'Hanlon (playing Jim) rose to fame as Dougal in hit comedy series Father Ted. His theatre work includes Conor McPheron's Port Authority (Southwark Playhouse), The God of Carnage (Gate Theatre, Dublin) and See You Next Tuesday (West End). 

The Weir, which sees a group of Irish men tell ghost stories in order to impress a young woman, premiered to great acclaim in 1997 but hasn’t since received a major London revival.

The Night Alive

Running from 19 June to 27 July 2013 (previews from 13 June), McPherson's new play "deftly mines the humanity to be found in the most unlikely of situations".

Tommy is renting a rundown room in his uncle Maurice's house, just about keeping his ex-wife and kids at arm's length and rolling from one get-rich-quick scheme to the other with his pal Doc. Then one day he comes to the aid of Aimee, struggling through life the only way she knows how. Together there's a glimmer of hope they could make something more of their lives.

Ciarán Hinds (playing Tommy) appeared in the first ever Donmar production, Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, directed by Sam Mendes. He has previously worked with Conor McPherson on The Birds (Gate Theatre, Dublin), The Seafarer (Broadway) and The Eclipse (feature film). His extensive film credits include The Woman in Black, The Road to Perdition, Miami Vice, Munich, There Will Be Blood and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Caoilfhionn Dunne (Aimee) recently performed in McPherson's The Veil (National Theatre), while Brian Gleeson (Kenneth) has recently worked with McPherson on the new BBC series, Quirke. Jim Norton (Maurice) won an Olivier and Tony Award for McPherson's The Seafarer (National Theatre/Broadway), a production that also featured Michael McElhatton (Doc).

The Night Alive will be designed by Soutra Gilmour with lighting by Neil Austin and sound by Gregory Clarke.


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