Niamh Cusack and Sean Gallagher Star in Sheffield's AFTERPLAY, Beg. Tonight

Niamh Cusack and Sean Gallagher Star in Sheffield's AFTERPLAY, Beg. Tonight

Productions of Translations and Afterplay, produced as part of a season of work dedicated to the Irish playwright Brian Friel, will play Sheffield Theatres this spring.

Afterplay is a Sheffield Theatres production starring Niamh Cusack and Sean Gallagher. With recent stage appearances in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, as well as TV roles in Heartbeat and Midsomer Murders, Niamh Cusack plays the character of Sonya, whilst Sean Gallagher, best known for his roles in Silent Witness and Coronation Street, plays Andrey. Set in 1920s Moscow, Afterplay follows the chance meeting between Sonya and Andrey (characters first brought to life through the writing of Anton Chekhov) in a late night café, as their personas unravel and their true identities are revealed.

Directed by Róisín McBrinn, whose directing credits include It's a Family Affair (Sherman Cymru), Sixty Six Books (Bush Theatre) and Yerma at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Afterplay opens the Brian Friel season at the Studio Theatre from tonight, 6 February - Saturday 1 March.

The second play in the season, Translations, is set in 19th century rural Ireland and is a co-production by English Touring Theatre, Sheffield Theatres and Rose Theatre Kingston. Translations follows the story of local farm-girl Máire who finds herself torn between the affections of the local schoolteacher and the love of a British soldier, as the British Army arrives in her village to translate Gaelic place names into the King's English.

The full cast for Translations, which takes to the Crucible Theatre stage from Thursday 13 February - Saturday 8 March, is Cian Barry (Owen), Niall Buggy (who returns to Sheffield Theatres having previously appeared in The Birthday Party and Waiting for Godot, to play Hugh), Paul Cawley (Captain Lancey), Beth Cooke (Máire), Hannah James (Bridget), Gary Lilburn (Jimmy Jack), Rory Murphy (Doalty), Roxanna Nic Liam (Sarah), James Northcote (Yolland) and Ciaran O'Brien (Manus).

Directed by James Grieve, who directed Jumpers for Goalposts Hopelessly Devoted (both Paines Plough) and The Sound of Heavy Rain (as part of the Roundabout Season at Sheffield Theatres), the show sees its premiére at the Crucible Theatre before touring to Cambridge, Exeter, Newcastle, Oxford, Ipswich and the Rose Theatre Kingston.

Wonderful Tennessee completes The Brian Friel Season at Sheffield Theatres and full casting for this will be announced shortly.

Tickets for The Brian Friel Season are on sale now from Sheffield Theatres' Box Office. To book, or for more information, call 0114 249 6000 or visit sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.

Brian Friel is an award-winning Irish dramatist, author and director, widely celebrated for his portrayal of social and political life in Ireland and Northern Ireland. His principal works for theatre include Faith Healer (1979), Aristocrats (1979 - Winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Play and the New York Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play), Translations (1980), Dancing at Lughnasa (1990 - Olivier, Tony and New York Critics' Circle Awards for Best Play), Molly Sweeney (1994 - New York Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play) and Afterplay (2002).

Róisín McBrinn is Associate Director at Sherman Cymru where she has directed It's a Family Affair, Before It Rains (also Bristol Old Vic), Peter Pan, The Sleeping Beauties and The Get Together. Other credits include Yellow Moon (Rustaveli Theater of Georgia), Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre), Yerma (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Novecento (Donmar Trafalgar), No Escape, The Fairer Sex (Abbey Theatre, Dublin), Fugitive Kind (Donmar Warehouse - reading as part of the Tennessee Williams season), Inparenthesis (Winner of The Metamorphosis project at Churchill Theatre, Bromley), Crestfall (Theatre 503), The Field (Tricycle Theatre), Whereabouts (Fishamble Theatre Company), A Thousand Yards (Southwark Playhouse), References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot and Gompers (Arcola Theatre). Róisín McBrinn was the Donmar's Resident Assistant Director in 2003, won the Young Vic/Jerwood Young Director's Award in 2004, and was the recipient of the Quercus Award 2010 run by the National Theatre.

James Grieve is Joint Artistic Director of Paines Plough. He was formerly Artistic Director of nabokov, and Associate Director of The Bush Theatre. His directing credits for Paines Plough include Jumpers For Goalposts by Tom Wells, Hopelessly Devoted by Kate Tempest, Love, Love, Love by Mike Bartlett, Fly Me To The Moon by Marie Jones, Tiny Volcanoes by Laurence Wilson, Wasted by Kate Tempest, You Cannot Go Forward From Where You Are Right Now by David Watson and The Sound Of Heavy Rain by Penelope Skinner (as part of Roundabout in a co-production with Sheffield Theatres). For the Bush Theatre: A Nobody by Laura Dockrill (part of Sixty-Six Books), The Whisky Taster by James Graham, St Petersburg by Declan Feenan and Psychogeography by Lucy Kirkwood. For nabokov: Artefacts by Mike Bartlett (nabokov/The Bush, National Tour & Off-Broadway); Kitchen, Bedtime For Bastards and Nikolina by Van Badham. Further credits include the world premières of Old Street by Patrick Marber (nabokov Arts Club) and The List by David Eldridge (Arcola).

English Touring Theatre is one of the UK's most successful and exciting production companies, widely regarded as England's National Theatre of Touring. Led by Director Rachel Tackley, the company works with leading artists to stage an eclectic mix of new and classic work for audiences throughout the UK and overseas; theatre that is thrilling, popular and, above all, entertaining. www.ett.org.uk

Rose Theatre Kingston aims to serve the population of Kingston, South West London, Surrey and beyond by entertaining and engaging audiences. The Rose Theatre's beautiful 900 seat circular auditorium is situated in the idyllic Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames, its circular design brings great intimacy and epic scale to all the productions that appear here. The Rose works with internationally renowned theatre companies and directors to create and present world class productions that are accessible to all. Our education and community programme ensures the theatre is for everyone, from all ages and tastes. We are proud to work closely with our volunteers from Kingston and South West London who are an integral part of the Rose community. We are an artistic hub for the region and beyond by presenting a wide range of events; music, dance, comedy, circus, opera, fine art, talks, festivals and much more. With a welcoming atmosphere and exciting work at affordable prices, Rose Theatre Kingston is truly a world class theatre on your doorstep. www.rosetheatrekingston.org

The Crucible Lyceum Studio is located at 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA. Box Office 0114 249 6000 - Mon - Sat 10.00am to 8.00pm. A transaction fee of £1.50 (£1.00 online) applies to all bookings made at the Box Office (excluding cash).. On non-performance days the Box Office closes at 6.00pm. For more information, visit sheffieldtheatres.co.uk or follow on Twitter: @crucibletheatre @SheffieldLyceum.

THE Brian Friel SEASON:

Afterplay

Studio Theatre

Thu 6 February - Sat 1 March

Press night - Mon 10 February 7.45pm

Tickets £10.00- £18.00

Concessions, group and school discounts apply

Translations

Crucible Theatre

Thu13 February - Sat 8 March

Press night - Mon 17 February 7.00pm

Tickets £10.00- £21.00

Concessions, group and school discounts apply

Wonderful Tennessee

Lyceum Theatre

Thu 27 February - Sat 8 March

Press night - Tue 4 March 7.45pm

Tickets £12.00 - £24.00

Concessions, group and school discounts apply

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