Friday, 8 May 2009

The Seafarer - casting news and one last hurrah!

The Seafarer by Conor McPherson will be the last in a remarkable line of productions that Mark Babych, our Artistic Director, will direct before he leaves to become a freelance director.

Since joining the Octagon in 1999 Mark has directed 44 productions; including three Arthur Miller plays; five Irish plays including The Seafarer; four world premieres and his award-winning production of Blonde Bombshells of 1943 which, toured to packed houses throughout 2007 and 2008 and is currently on tour again this year. Mark Babych had this to say:

“As I approach the end of my time as Artistic Director of the Octagon, I’m thankful for the many great opportunities and experiences I have had, and in particular, having worked with so many gifted people who have helped me achieve everything I have done here. I’m excited by the future, not just for myself, but for the Octagon too, which has a very talented new Artistic Director in David Thacker. David’s work will, I’m sure, inspire and delight audiences and I’m extremely pleased that a director of his calibre has taken up the reins and will take the Octagon forward into what will be an impressive future.

The Octagon is a unique theatre and, of course, I will miss being here. However, I’m delighted to be directing The Seafarer as my final production as Artistic Director. It’s a fantastically funny play by a writer whose work I really admire and rounds off a great love affair I have had with Irish writing here. I’m delighted that some of my old sparring partners Patrick Connellan, Peter Dineen and Mick O’Connor will be joining me for the last hurrah, as we waltz round the ballroom one more time with a play of great comic and dramatic invention”

What is it about?

The Seafarer takes places on Christmas Eve in Dublin. Sharky has returned to the town to look after his brother who has recently gone blind. Sharky is desperately attempting a Christmas off the booze, but his aim becomes impossible when faced with his hard-drinking brother, two old drinking buddies, and an enigmatic stranger; all of whom are determined to get him back on the whiskey. The drink starts flowing, the card games begin and as the evening wears on the stakes are raised dangerously high.

Who's in it?

The cast features Peter Dineen as Richard Harkin, Michael O’Connor as Sharky, Fintan McKeown as Mr. Lockhart, Brendan Charleson as Ivan and Leigh Symonds as Nicky.


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