DRUIDSHAKESPEARE, the epic cycle of plays where the Galway company takes on, not an Irish playwright, but the greatest English dramatist of all time, starts next week.
Druid will stage The Bard’s Richard II, Henry IV (Pts 1 and 2 ), and Henry V, through new, pared down versions by Mark O’Rowe (Howie The Rookie, Terminus ), directed by Tony-award winner Garry Hynes.
The plays look at the aspects of the reign of three pivotal English monarchs, their family struggles, wars, and the making of the English nation. They will be staged in Druid’s Mick Lally Theatre with previews from Saturday May 9 to Thursday May 14, followed by the official run from Sunday 17 to Saturday 30. The production will also extend across Druid Lane to the 13th century Hall of the Red Earl and in an interesting twist, the actors have been cast without regard for the gender of the character they play.
“Acting transcends nationality, character, geography and background,” said Garry Hynes. “We see no reason why it shouldn’t transcend gender too. For example, the three kings – Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V – are played by one male and two female actors. This decision further allows us to look at these plays of war and patriarchy through another lens.”
The cast is Bosco Hogan, Marie Mullen, Aaron Monaghan, Rory Nolan, Marty Rea, Clare Barrett, Derbhle Crotty, Gavin Drea, Garrett Lombard, Karen McCartney, Charlotte McCurry, John Olohan, and Aisling O’Sullivan.
Wildfire Films will produce a documentary for RTÉ following on the making of the plays. Directed by Maurice Sweeney, it will be screened in the autumn.
Tickets are on sale from www.druid.ie