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Tricycle Stages Long Kesh & McGuinness' Garbo

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The Tricycle Theatre's Winter/Spring 2010 season will place its focus on recent Irish history, with highlights including the world premiere of Frank McGuinness' Greta Garbo Came to Donegal and the transfer of Martin Lynch's Edinburgh Festival hit Chronicles of Long Kesh, set in the infamous Maze prison.

The new season also includes a third return to the venue for the acclaimed Filter production of Twelfth Night, directed by Sean Holmes in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company (whose own Twelfth Night, starring Richard Wilson, transfers to the Duke of York's later this month).

Greta Garbo Came to Donegal, which runs from 11 January to 20 February 2010 (previews from 7 January), is directed by Tricycle artistic director Nicolas Kent. Set in 1967, the play centres on two couples on the verge of ending, as their country sits on the verge of violent change. Into this heady atmosphere comes the “great Garbo”, the loveliest and loneliest of all women.

The cast includes Caroline Lagerfelt as Garbo, alongside Michelle Fairley (Dancing at Lughnasa, Othello), Angeline Ball (The Commitments), Lisa Diveney (BBC's Enid), Daniel Gerroll (Once a Catholic), Owen McDonnell (Berlin Hannover Express) and Tom McKay (The Great Game).

Frank McGuinness is an award winning Irish playwright and poet. His more recent credits include Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme at Hampstead Theatre and his translation of Euripides’ Helen at the Globe and a new translation of Oedipus at the National Theatre.  McGuinness’ play The Factory Girls was staged at the Tricycle Theatre 20 years ago.

Shifting the focus to Northern Ireland, Chronicles of Long Kesh, which runs from 16 March to 10 April 2010 (preview 15 March), tells the story of the Long Kesh (better known as Maze) prison, which closed in July 2000 as a result of the Good Friday Agreement.

Whilst dealing with all the major events at the prison such as the 1974 burning of the camp, the Dirty Protest, The Hunger Strike and The Great Escape, the play also explores individual experiences of the inmates.

Written by Martin Lynch, who interviewed over 40 ex-prisoners, officers, welfare workers and family members, Chronicles of Long Kesh was first seen on a sell out tour around Ireland before its hit run at this year's Edinburgh Festival. Directed by Lynch and Lisa May, the cast includes Billy Clarke, Chris Corrigan, Jo Donnelly, Marty Maguire, Andy Moore and Marc O'Shea.

Rounding off the new season, from 4 to 29 May, is Filter's Twelfth Night. Originally commissioned as part of the RSC's Complete Works Festival in 2006, it has subsequently toured nationally and internationally, including two sell-out stints at the Tricycle. Sean Holmes, now artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith, directs.

Currently at the Tricycle, the Not Black and White season, showcasing work by three leading black British writers (See News, 11 Aug 2009), continues until 19 December 2009.


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