Exclusive production of ‘Mourning Becomes Electra’ to feature in New Ross Festival

Stellar international cast to bring renowned production to life

A seldom-produced major work by Eugene O’Neill will be the centrepiece of the first Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre, taking place in New Ross next month. ‘Mourning Becomes Electra’, one of O’Neill’s most celebrated works, will receive a staged reading, led by acclaimed director Ben Barnes. The play has not been performed in Ireland for many decades.

Speaking at the announcement of the play, Tomás Kavanagh, Festival Director of the Eugene O’Neill Ancestral Trust, said, “We are delighted to feature this very special production of one of O’Neill’s greatest plays as part of our Festival. Through this staged reading, theatre-goers will really get a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Curtains will rise in New Ross’ St Michael’s Theatre at 3.30pm on Saturday, 13th October for this unique production. The play will be staged in two parts, with dinner hosted during intermission at the Dunbrody Visitor Centre, and the second performance of the play commencing at 8pm. Tickets for this event, including an evening meal, are priced at €40.

Mr Kavanagh continued, “The first-rate actors and musicians that will deliver the play will ensure that ‘Mourning Becomes Electra’ in New

Ross goes down as one of the theatre events of the year.”

Andrea Irvine

The production will bring together an exciting and vibrant cast, with talent from home and away culminating to create a distinctively immersive experience. This includes Mark O’Regan, who has worked extensively at The Abbey, Gaiety and Gate Theatres, and most recently featuring in The Gate’s Assassin, may be recognised for roles in Father Ted, The Commitments and Angela’s Ashes. Andrea Irvine, is currently appearing in Red Rock and has previously worked on Love/Hate, The

Andrew Brophy

Fall, Ella Enchanted, in addition to her considerable stage work. Waterford’s Andrew Holden will also head up the cast, with credits in The Lonesome West at The Everyman and The Collector.

The production will also star Anthony Brophy, with credits including The Tudors, In The Name of the Father, Penny Dreadful, Prime Suspect and CSI, and Judith Roddy, who leads a distinguished career across theatre and TV, with roles in The Plough, The Star, The Fall and Love is the Drug. Hailing from the US, Maria Guiver, who recently tread the stage in Blackbird, and Donald Sage Mackay, with extensive film and TV experience including Tranformers II, Modern Family, The Good Wife, Mad Men, NCIS, Law & Order, The West Wing, have joined the cast for this special festival production.

A specially commissioned musical score has been composed by Irish singer and songwriter, Eleanor McEvoy, which will be performed by Eleanor and New Ross soprano, Clodagh Kinsella.

Ben Barnes, Director

Ben Barnes, director of the reading, said at the announcement, “It is a great honour to be able to present this masterpiece which is very seldom seen and generally not available to theatre audiences in Ireland. While the play is epic in scope and mythic in its approach, we also have a terrifically strong cast and a wonderful musical score. We hope to have the audience immersed in every beat of the production and are greatly looking forward to bringing this extraordinary play to New Ross.”

Dr Richard Hayes, an American theatre expert based at WIT, said, “For Eugene O’Neill scholars, this is truly a unique opportunity. Mourning Becomes Electra, because of its scale and scope, is very rarely given a professional outing. The staged reading to be presented as part of the Festival may be the only opportunity audiences in Ireland have in decades to experience this play. The play shows O’Neill’s enormous ambition and uncompromising artistic vision. It was one of the high points of his career. The reading marks the Eugene O’Neill Festival of Theatre as a major event in the year for scholars of the great playwright.”

A limited number of season tickets for the Festival are now available on the Festival website, www.eugeneoneillfestival.com, strictly on a first-come first-served basis.