THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD
J M Synge
DIRECTED BY JOHN CROWLEY
Starts previewing 17 September 2011
Press night 27 September 2011
J M Synge’s comic masterpiece and one of Ireland’s greatest plays, The Playboy of the Western World will preview at The Old Vic from 17 September 2011 with a press night on 27 September. Directed by John Crowley, this major new production will star Robert Sheehan as Christy Mahon, Ruth Negga as Pegeen Mike and Niamh Cusack as Widow Quinn.
Set in a small village on the west coast of County Mayo, The Playboy of the Western World tells the story of lonely dreamer Christy Mahon (Robert Sheehan) who takes refuge in Michael Flaherty’s pub, claiming that he has killed his oppressive father. Christy beguiles the locals with his tall and dramatic tale of bravery in the face of danger and becomes an instant hero. He both charms the village women including Widow Quinn (Niamh Cusack) and captures the heart of the landlord’s fiery daughter Pegeen (Ruth Negga). However, when his tale turns out to be less straightforward than they first thought, the simmering violence of the villagers comes to light.
Robert Sheehan plays Christy Mahon. Best known for his breakthrough role as Nathan in the hugely successful E4 television series Misfits, for which he won BAFTA nomination, Robert will be making his professional stage debut in The Playboy of the Western World. His other television credits include RTE’s Love/Hate and the much acclaimed Red Riding Trilogy. Film work includes this year’s comedy Killing Bono with Ben Barnes and Season of the Witch with Nicholas Cage.
Ruth Negga plays Pegeen Mike. Her theatre credits include Ophelia in Hamlet and Aricia in Phèdre, both directed by Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre and Pegeen Mike in the Druid Theatre Company’s Australian tour of The Playboy of the Western World. Ruth has worked extensively on the Dublin stage at both The Abbey and Peacock Theatres with theatre credits including The Crucible, The Importance of Being Ernest, directed by Maria Aitken as well as David Levaux’s production of The Real Thing. Her performance as Cat in Max Stafford-Clark’s production of Duck at the Royal Court earned her an Olivier nomination for Best Newcomer in 2003.
Niamh Cusack plays Widow Quinn. Recently seen as Edith Davenport in the critically acclaimed production of Rattigan’s Cause Célèbre at The Old Vic, Niamh is a highly accomplished actress who has worked extensively in theatre and television. Her many theatre credits include The Painter (Arcola), Women, Power and Politics (Tricycle), Andersen’s English (Hampstead Theatre and UK tour), Dancing at Lughnasa at The Old Vic, Sir Peter Hall’s Portrait Of A Lady (Theatre Royal Bath), The Enchantment and Nicholas Hytner’s His Dark Materials both at the National Theatre. Her television credits include ITV’s Fallen Angel with Emilia Fox, The Last Detective with Peter Davison and the hugely popular drama series Heartbeat. Niamh has also appeared in a number of films – 5 Minutes of Heaven, The Closer You Get, Playboys and Shadow Under The Sun.