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

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).

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