Julian Sands to Headline John Malkovich-Helmed CELEBRATION OF HAROLD PINTER at Irish Rep; Fall Season Announced

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Off-Broadway's Irish Repertory Theatre launches its 25th Anniversary Season with Brian Friel's THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY with previews set to begin October 3 at the Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street), directed by Ciarán O'Reilly.

On October 10, the company continues its 2012-13 Season with the New York premiere of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival hit A CELEBRATION OF Harold Pinter, starring Julian Sands ("The Killing Fields," "A Room with a View") in his New York stage debut, directed by Academy Award-nominee John Malkovich. The 25th Anniversary Season continues, on November 29, with THE SONGS I LOVE SO WELL, starring acclaimed Irish musician, Grammy-nominee Phil Coulter. An additional Christmas show is to be announced for 2012.

Details are as follows:

THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY
By Brian Friel
Directed by Ciarán O'Reilly
October 3 – November 25.
Opens October 14 on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage

Set in Derry, Northern Ireland during the aftermath of a civil rights meeting, THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY revolves around an inquiry into the shooting by British soldiers of three marchers as they emerged from the Guildhall. As the inquiry continues, with testimony from 'expert' witnesses, the play relives the real events that led to its institution. When the police disrupt the peaceful protest, three unarmed strangers, Lily, a middle-aged mother of 11, and Michael and Skinner, two young men, take refuge from the streets and find themselves inexplicably in the Mayor's Parlor. As the three settle in to the Lord Mayor's opulent office, word spreads about the "occupation" of the Guildhall. The motley trio is transformed into a band of armed and desperate terrorists, a fiction that is taken up by the church, the media, the army, and nationalist balladeers, all of whom use the myth for their own diverse ends.

Casting for THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY is to be announced.

The production features set design by Charlie Corcoran; costume design by DAVID TOSER; sound design by Ryan Rumery; lighting design by Michael Gottlieb. Additional designers are to be announced.

Director Ciarán O'Reilly helmed the company's recent productions of Eugene O'Neill's BEYOND THE HORIZON and THE EMPEROR JONES (Joseph A Callaway Award winner for Direction; Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Audelco nominations). As an actor, he co-starred in Irish Repertory's revivals of Brian Friel's DANCING AT LUGHNASA and MOLLY SWEENEY.

In addition to DANCING AT LUGHNASA and MOLLY SWEENEY, which were both presented in 2011 at The Irish Repertory Theatre, directed by Charlotte Moore, Brian Friel's best known plays include TRANSLATIONS and the Tony Award-nominated PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! which was revived at Irish Rep in 2005. Mr. Friel's other plays include FAITH HEALER, WONDERFUL TENNESSEE, THE MUNDY SCHEME, ARISTOCRATS, MAKING HISTORY, and among others, the Tony Award-nominated LOVERS. THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY was first performed at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, in 1973, and opened on Broadway in February 1974.

A CELEBRATION OF Harold Pinter
Starring Julian Sands
Directed by John Malkovich
October 10 –November 4.
New York Premiere.
Opens October 16 in the W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre

With personal anecdotes and reflections drawn from their work together, Julian Sands combines Harold Pinter’s poems and political prose to create a very fresh and intimate insight into the Nobel Laureate’s literary legacy.

A CELEBRATION OF Harold Pinter premiered at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival as an homage to Pinter, who died in 2008. The production was presented in San Francisco and Los Angeles earlier this year with Backstage calling it "mandatory viewing for devotees of the actor and certainly 'the defining dramatist of the 20th century.'"

British actor Julian Sands is best known for his work in the films "Room With a View," "The Killing Fields," "Leaving Las Vegas," "Time Code," "Naked Lunch," and "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." His television credits include "24," "Smallville," and "The L Word."

Nobel Prize-winning author Harold Pinter's writing career spanned more than 50 years. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his plays include BETRAYAL, NO MAN'S LAND, OLD TIMES, THE CARETAKER, THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, A KIND OF ALASKA, and among others, the Tony Award-winning THE HOMECOMING.

Academy Award-nominee John Malkovich ("Places in the Heart," "In the Line of Fire") directed Broadway revivals of THE CARETAKER and ARMS AND THE MAN, and won Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and OBIE awards for his direction of BALM IN GILEAD.

A CELEBRATION OF Harold Pinter is produced in association with Nick Brooke Ltd.

THE SONGS I LOVE SO WELL
Starring Phil Coulter
November 29 – December 30.
New York Premiere.
Opens December 9 on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage

THE SONGS I LOVE SO WELL celebrates acclaimed Irish musician Phil Coulter's storied career. With his warm Irish brogue as well as his familiar contemporary keyboard style, Coulter presents some of his best loved, and most personal compositions and folk songs, including "My Boy," "Home from the Sea," "The Man from God Knows Where," "Keep a Candle in the Window," and "The Town I Loved So Well," about his childhood in Derry, Northern Ireland.

Musician and producer Phil Coulter is an Irish artist with an international reputation as a successful songwriter, pianist, music producer, arranger and director. He is one of the biggest record sellers in Ireland with numerous Platinum, Gold and Silver discs. His career spans more than four decades, garnering a Grammy nomination for his Celtic new age album "Highland Cathedral"; two Grand Prix Eurovision awards; and among others honors, the prestigious Gold Badge from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA). His songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Sinead O'Connor, Cliff Richards, The Irish Tenors, and others.

Additional credits, and a Christmas show to be presented in the W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre, are to be announced.

Currently at Irish Repertory Theatre, with performances extended through September 14, is Bob Merrill and George Abbott's NEW GIRL IN TOWN, a musical based on Eugene O'Neill's ANNA CHRISTIE, directed by Charlotte Moore.

For more information about The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) and its upcoming 25th Anniversary Season – featuring THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY. A CELEBRATION OF Harold Pinter, THE SONGS I LOVE SO WELL, and more to be announced – call the box office at 212-727-2737 or visit www.irishrep.org

 

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