THE STEWARD OF CHRISTENDOM to Open 12/8 at CTG's Mark Taper Forum
Sebastian Barry's powerful "The Steward of Christendom," featuring two-time Tony Award-winner Brian Dennehy, opens Sunday, December 8 at 7 p.m. at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. The poignant story of a man left behind by history is directed by Steven Robman and has performances through January 5, 2014. "The Steward of Christendom" is currently in previews.
Set design is by Kevin Depinet, costume design by Leah Piehl, lighting design by Robert Wierzel, sound design by Cricket S. Myers and projections by Jason H. Thompson. The production stage manager is David S. Franklin.
"The Steward of Christendom" is set in the early 1930s at an Irish county mental home, where 75-year-old Thomas Dunne (Dennehy) has been committed by his daughter. Here, his mind wanders in and out of lucidity as he remembers his childhood, his wife and children, and his career as the head of Dublin's Metropolitan Police, where he rose through the ranks to the highest position a Catholic could hope to achieve.
Dunne was essentially the man with responsibility for the security of Dublin Castle, which was at the very heart of English rule in Ireland. But when Irish independence comes in 1921, followed by a civil war, Dunne's life, once devoted to keeping order, falls apart, and he can no longer make sense of the world around him.
John Lahr of The New Yorker said of the 1995 premiere of "The Steward of Christendom" at The Royal Court Theatre in London, "A great play, like a great punch, is sometimes hard to see coming, but you know when you've been hit. You are rocked to your toes; and long after the event your body carries the memory of that unforeseen power."