- 27 Nov 18
A stage adaption of The Country Girls, Roddy Doyle's Two Pints, and Glasgow Girls are among the highlights of the 2019 schedule.
The Abbey Theatre have announced details for their 2019 season, as well as announcing that Bank of America Merrill Lynch has come on board as their principal partner.
According to the theatre, over the last two years, they've welcomed close to 300,000 audience members to 97 productions and events, not only at the Abbey Theatre, but also in pubs, theatres and venues across Ireland and beyond.
Today’s programme announcement consists of 27 projects - including 7 weeks of development work - on the Abbey and Peacock Stages, as well as 4 open calls, 4 touring productions and 9 Free First Previews. The Directors also plan to announce additions to the programme in early 2019.
See the full updated programme below:
- New Productions
This Beautiful Village - A new play, about power, by Abbey Theatre Associate Playwright Lisa Tierney-Keogh. On a quiet suburban street in Dublin, a piece of graffiti tears apart a group of neighbours, forcing them to confront their pride, privilege and prejudice. This world premiere Abbey Theatre production will be directed by Emma Jordan.
Citysong - The Abbey Theatre and Soho Theatre co-produce the world premiere of Dylan Coburn Gray’s Verity Bargate Award-winning play. Citysong is a play. It's a poem. It's a chorus of voices showing us 3 generations of a Dublin family on one day, and it turns out one day holds the entire past. Citysong is directed by Abbey Theatre Associate Director Caitríona McLaughlin.
The Country Girls - Announced last month, Edna O’Brien revisits her era-defining debut novel in a new Abbey Theatre stage adaptation, directed by Graham McLaren. Denounced by the clergy and banned by the State, the coming of age story of two young women in 1950s Ireland became a best-seller. This timely production coincides with Dublin: One City One Book for 2019. Graham McLaren and Neil Murray, directors of the Abbey, said: ‘In 2019, we are excited to produce a new adaptation from Edna O’Brien and the world premiere of a new Dermot Bolger play at the Dublin Theatre Festival. It is a true privilege to work with some of Ireland's greatest living writers.’
Last Orders at The Dockside - Dublin Port, 1980. An elderly docker’s friends gather in the local pub to celebrate his life. Over the course of an evening, awash with songs, sharp Dublin wit and tales of life on the Docks, hidden tensions expose fault lines in their complex relationships. Graham McLaren reunites with Dermot Bolger, following their collaboration on Ulysses, to present this Dublin Port Commission.
It was easy (in the end) - This is the best time in the history of the world to be alive. A company of millennial artists has moved off the grid to live by a new philosophy. This explosive docudrama is their story. THEATREclub explores imagination as an act of resistance, in a new co-production with the Abbey Theatre.
The Ridleys - The Irish premieres of Philip Ridley's compelling companion plays, Tonight with Donny Stixx and Dark Vanilla Jungle, both darkly hilarious, searingly honest and painfully poetic. Theatre Upstairs presents at the Abbey Theatre for the first time, as Karl Shiels directs performers Rex Ryan and Katie Honan in two stories, shown in one night.
In Our Veins - A new play by Lee Coffey for Bitter Like a Lemon and Dublin Port Company. This play follows the Carrick family through 100 years of Dublin, from the notorious madams of the Monto to love in the dark tenements. This is the story of a Dublin City that no longer exists, where it came from and the people that helped build it.
Trad - A poignant, absurd and hilarious tale of a 100-year-old Irishman... and his father, written by Mark Doherty. Together they set out to discover the son they never knew he had. Directed by Aaron Monaghan, this new production of the award-winning play Trad marks the return of award-winning Livin’ Dred Theatre Company.
- Open calls, Associate Playwrights and project development
Speaking about their upcoming project development work, Graham McLaren and Neil Murray said: ‘The Abbey’s play commissioning and new work development process will be enhanced through the introduction of new programmes and structures within our New Work Department in 2019. At least 20 playwrights will work on drafts of new plays with us next year. We’re also supporting 2 weeks of development work for new projects that are a little further along.’
Associate Playwrights - Over the course of the next eighteen months, Amy Conroy, Jimmy McAleavey, Darren Murphy and Lisa Tierney-Keogh will each develop a play. Each playwright will be engaged with the New Work Department to represent the interests of, advocate for and deliver useful tools to playwrights.
Development Weeks - Throughout the year, the Peacock is made available for artists and companies to develop works-in-progress, supported by the Abbey Theatre. In 2019, this will include:
Éist Liom by Zoe Ní Riordáin and Maud Lee, (who won a Hot Press-Guinness competition a few years back and featured in Maud In Cahoots).
What I (Don’t) Know About Autism by Jody O’Neill
Abbey Begins - A programme for playwrights who are at the start of their writing careers. The 10 selected participants will have access to a smörgåsbord of techniques, exercises and relationships with other writers to help them develop their first professional play. Applications open today.
Abbey Works - A development process for 6 playwrights who have already had work professionally produced. The successful writers will work towards the first drafts of 6 new plays in 2019. Applications open on 18 February 2019.
20 for 20 – The Abbey Theatre will welcome 20 theatre makers to avail of free tickets to 20 Abbey Theatre Productions in 2019, encouraging artists from across the industry to come and see work at their National Theatre. Applications open today.
5x5 - This year, the inaugural 5x5 series saw 5 community groups each awarded €5,000 and 5 days of space and technical support in the Peacock, to develop a project they felt needed a national voice. As a winner of The Ireland Funds Flagship Award, 5x5 returns in 2019 – this time with 5 back to back weeks of participants in the summer. Applications open today.
- Summer at the Peacock
Young Curators Festival - Luke Casserly (Longford), Martha Knight (Dublin), Aoife Nugent (Antrim), CN Smith (Louth), and Allie Whelan (Kildare) were selected from 120 applications to be the Abbey Theatre’s Young Curators. Tasked with curating 2 weeks of programming at their National Theatre, they are seeking shows to provoke our young and young at heart citizens.
Ask Too Much of Me - Veronica Coburn and Dylan Coburn Gray work with the National Youth Theatre Ensemble to create an original play around the theme of faith. The ensemble is made up of 16 young people from a range of youth theatres across Ireland.
The Unmanageable Sisters - Deirdre Kinahan’s new version of Michel Tremblay’s fêted Quebecois comedy, Les Belles-Sœurs, returns! It’s Ballymun in 1974 and 15 women gather together for a ferociously funny night.
Two Pints - After two sold-out tours of pubs across Ireland and the UK, Roddy Doyle’s ‘achingly, breathtakingly funny’ Two Pints takes to the Abbey Stage. Two men meet for a pint. They talk about their Da’s, death, Nigella, North Korea, the afterlife…
- Also returning
RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival – The winner of the Abbey Theatre Award, at the 2019 festival of amateur dramatics taking place in Athlone, will perform on the Peacock Stage.
The 24 Hour Plays: Dublin is back for the eighth consecutive year. Within 24 hours, six short plays will be written, rehearsed and performed by the best of Irish writing and directing talent and over two dozen of Ireland’s stars of stage and screen. All proceeds from this special gala fundraiser go directly to Dublin Youth Theatre.
Opera Briefs - Steered by The Lir and RIAM in the fields of theatre and music, Opera Briefs affords Irish audiences the opportunity to experience first-hand the next generation of Irish opera singers and stage technicians. The team will present Francesca Caccini's opera, La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola di Alcina.
- Out of the Abbey
GMcL & NM - ‘One of our big missions is to take the Abbey beyond Dublin and, indeed, Ireland. Abbey Theatre productions have already been achieving great things and helping to fulfil the country’s ambition to double its global footprint. 4 productions will tour to a range of venues across Ireland, the United Kingdom and America next year.’
The Country Girls (full details above) tours to the Cork Opera House, the Town Hall Theatre in Galway and the Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick following its run on the Abbey Stage.
Two Pints tours to 8 pubs and venues in America, from Pennsylvania to California.
Cyprus Avenue - David Ireland’s award-winning play returns to the Royal Court in London for a 6-week run in March.
CLASS - After a sell-out Fringe First Award-winning run in Edinburgh, CLASS is off to the Bush Theatre in London.
Citysong - This Abbey Theatre and Soho Theatre co-production will transfer to London, in May, after its run in Dublin.
Come From Away - Junkyard Dog Productions and Smith & Brant Theatricals in a co-production with the Abbey Theatre present the long-awaited European premiere of Come From Away on the Abbey Stage next month. This smash-hit Canada to Broadway musical, will transfer to the West End in January, following its run in Dublin.
Ulster American - From the writer of Cyprus Avenue, comes the most talked-about show of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe of 2018. Exploring abuses of power, the confusion of cultural identity and the silencing of the female voice, David Ireland’s Ulster American is confrontational and brutally funny – not for the faint of heart, and not to be missed.
Glasgow Girls - The life-affirming, song-filled Scottish musical drama, based on the true story of 7 feisty teenagers fighting for the rights of their asylum-seeking best friend. Written by Cora Bissett and David Greig, Glasgow Girls was the biggest selling show Edinburgh Festival Fringe of 2016.
Dublin Dance Festival in partnership with the Abbey Theatre
- Rosas danst Rosas - An international breakthrough, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s choreography is a benchmark in the history of postmodern dance and is regarded as one of the great artworks of the late 20th century.
- Session: Colin Dunne and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui - Experience leading traditional Irish dance artist, Colin Dunne and internationally revered Flemish-Moroccan choreographer and dancer, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui performing together.
- La Natura Delle Cose - In a performance of overwhelming beauty, five dancers move as a single body to create a rich visual poem that presents the masked character of Venus at three stages of life. This piece is choreographed by Virgilio Sieni.
- Accessible for all
Free First Previews - More than 6,000 people have queued to get a free ticket to the Abbey’s Free First Previews to date. 2019 will have a minimum of 3,750 tickets on offer for free.
€13 front row tickets for every show on the Abbey Stage.
Early bird discounts run until 6 weeks out from a show’s start date.
Discounts for theatre makers, students, the unwaged and OAPs - contact box-office to book.
Full schedule and dates below:
Abbey & Peacock Stages
· Come From Away Until 19 Jan Abbey Stage
· The Ridleys 15 — 26 January Peacock Stage
· The 24 Hour Plays: Dublin 3 February Abbey Stage
· Glasgow Girls 13 — 16 February Abbey Stage
· The Country Girls 23 February — 6 April Abbey Stage
· Opera Briefs 26 — 30 March Peacock Stage
· Ulster American 9 — 20 April Abbey Stage
· In Our Veins 10 — 20 April Peacock Stage
· It was easy (in the end) 26 April — 4 May Abbey Stage
· Trad 29 April — 11 May Peacock Stage
· Sessions 10 — 11 May Abbey Stage
· La Natura Delle Cose 14 — 15 May Abbey Stage
· Rosas Danst Rosas 18 — 19 May Abbey Stage
· Citysong 25 May — 8 June Abbey Stage
· RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival 6 — 8 June Peacock Stage
· 5 X 5 - Week 1 10 — 14 June Peacock Stage
· 5 X 5 - Week 2 17 — 21 June Peacock Stage
· 5 X 5 - Week 3 24 — 28 June Peacock Stage
· 5 X 5 - Week 4 1 — 5 July Peacock Stage
· 5 X 5 - Week 5 8 — 12 July Peacock Stage
· The Unmanageable Sisters 14 June — 3 August Abbey Stage
· Two Pints 24 June — 10 August Abbey Stage
· Young Curators Festival 29 July — 10 August
· Ask Too Much of Me 19 — 24 August Peacock Stage
· This Beautiful Village 31 August — 14 September Abbey Stage
· Dublin Fringe Festival 7 — 22 September
· Last Orders at The Dockside 23 September — 26 October Abbey Stage
Out of the Abbey
· Two Pints, Us Tour 5 February — 18 May
· Cyprus Avenue, The Royal Court, London 14 February — 16 March
· The Country Girls, National Tour from 16 April
· CLASS, The Bush Theatre, London 7 May — 1 June
· Citysong, Soho Theatre, London 29 May — 13 July