Brendan Coyle of DOWNTON ABBEY Will Lead the Goodman Theatre's MOLLY SWEENEY; Full Cast Announced!

By: Feb. 04, 2020
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Brendan Coyle of DOWNTON ABBEY Will Lead the Goodman Theatre's MOLLY SWEENEY; Full Cast Announced!

Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls has announced casting for his upcoming revival of Molly Sweeney by Brian Friel. In assuming the title role, Chicago favorite Kate Fry returns to the Goodman, following her recent appearance in Falls' production of The Winter's Tale. Joining Fry are stage and screen star Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey), who returns to the Goodman following his triumphant appearance in last season's St. Nicholas by Conor McPherson, and Chicago's Christopher Donahue (Oedipus Rex at Court Theatre, Moby Dick at Lookingglass).

The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (Set Design), Noel Huntzinger (Costume Design), Eric Southern (Lighting Design) and Richard Woodbury (Sound Design and Composition). Nikki Blue is the Production Stage Manager. Molly Sweeney appears March 27 - April 26 in the 350-seat Owen Theatre. Tickets ($25-$65; subject to change) go on sale February 7 at 10am. Visit or call 312.443.3800 or purchase at The Goodman Theatre box office (170 N. Dearborn). Goodman Theatre is grateful for the support of its sponsors, including Katten (Corporate Sponsor Partner) and American Airlines (Contributing Sponsor).

"Brian Friel's exploration of triumph and loss is a brilliant, highly poetic masterwork of the theater," said director Robert Falls. "I'm particularly excited to work with this extraordinary cast-two of whom are among the American theater's finest together with one of Great Britain's most thrilling actors."

Molly Sweeney reveals the unexpected consequences of a modern medical miracle. Having lost her sight at infancy, Molly agrees to an operation that could restore her fifth sense. But is it she who benefits most-or her hopeful husband, or her ambitious doctor?


Brendan Coyle (Frank Sweeney) returns to the Goodman following his debut last season in St. Nicholas by Conor McPherson. Other recent theatre credits include The Price (Theatre Royal Bath, Wyndham's West End); Mojo (Harold Pinter Theatre); The Silver Tassie, The Late Henry Moss (Almeida Theatre); Buried Child, Battle Royal (National Theatre, London); Philadelphia Here I Come (Wyndham's West End); The Changing Room (Royal Court/Duke Of York's); Playboy Of The Western World, Pygmies In The Ruins (Lyric Belfast); The Plough And The Stars (Olympia, Dublin). Coyle also starred in the original production of The Weir at The Royal Court Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway, winning both the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor and the New York Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut. On screen, he is most recognized for playing Mr. Bates in Downton Abbey (ITV), for which he won three Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Ensemble and received Emmy, BAFTA and IFTA nominations for Best Supporting Actor; and for playing Robert Timmins in Lark Rise to Candleford (BBC). Recent television credits include Requiem (BBC/Netflix), Spotless (Netflix), Prime Suspect (ITV) and Omagh (Channel 4). Coyle's recent film credits include Mary Queen of Scots directed by Josie Rourke, Downton Abbey the movie, Unless and Me Before You.

Christopher Donahue (Mr. Rice) returns to the Goodman where previous credits include The Baltimore Waltz, Journey to the West, Arcadia, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, The Odyssey and Silk. Additional Chicago credits include work with Court Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Chicago Opera Theatre and Remains Theatre. New York credits include work with Circle in the Square, Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, Classic Stage Company, New York Shakespeare Festival and Public Theatre. Regional credits include work with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Weston Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and McCarter Theatre, among others.

Kate Fry (Molly Sweeney) returns to the Goodman where she has performed in The Winter's Tale and Ah, Wilderness! She most recently performed in Mousetrap at Court Theatre, where she has done numerous productions, including The Belle of Amherst, Electra and The Hard Problem. Other Chicago credits include work with Northlight Theatre, Writers' Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Additional credits include A Minister's Wife (Lincoln Center); The School for Scandal (Center Theatre Group in LA); McCarter Theatre and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. TV credits include Proven Innocent (Fox), Chicago PD (NBC), Empire (Fox), and Boss (Starz).

Tony Award-winning playwright Brian Friel (1929 - 2015)'s body of work includes Dancing At Lughnasa (three Tony Awards including Best Play, a New York Drama Critics Circle award for Best Play and an Olivier award for Best Play); Aristocrats (Evening Standard Award for Best Play and New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play); and Molly Sweeney (New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play). Friel was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the [British] Royal Society of Literature and the Irish Academy of Letters.

Robert Falls (Director, Goodman Theatre Artistic Director) recently revived his 2014 production of Don Giovanni for the Lyric Opera. Last season, Falls directed Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and David Cale's We're Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time (Goodman Theatre, Public Theater). Other recent productions include Pamplona, starring Stacy Keach; Rogelio Martinez's Blind Date; and his own original adaptation of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People. Recent credits also include 2666, adapted from Roberto Bolaño's epic novel and co-directed with Seth Bockley; The Iceman Cometh, starring Nathan Lane and longtime collaborator Brian Dennehy (Brooklyn Academy Of Music); and Beth Henley's The Jacksonian. Falls' Broadway productions include Death of a Salesman, starring Dennehy; Long Day's Journey into Night, starring Dennehy, Vanessa Redgrave, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert Sean Leonard; Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio; the American premiere of Conor McPherson's Shining City; and Horton Foote's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Young Man from Atlanta. His Broadway production of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, for which he also co-wrote the book, continues to be produced around the world. Previous Goodman productions include, most notably, Arthur Miller's Finishing the Picture; The Seagull; Uncle Vanya; Measure for Measure; King Lear; Desire Under the Elms; The Misanthrope; Pal Joey; Galileo; the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden; the world premieres of Rebecca Gilman's A True History of the Johnstown Flood, Blue Surge, Dollhouse and Luna Gale; and Gilman's Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976. Falls' honors for directing include a Tony Award (Death of a Salesman), a Drama Desk Award (Long Day's Journey into Night) an Obie Award (subUrbia), a Helen Hayes Award (King Lear) and multiple Jeff Awards. For "outstanding contributions to theater," he has also been recognized with such prestigious honors as the Savva Morozov Diamond Award (Moscow Art Theatre), the O'Neill Medallion (Eugene O'Neill Society), the Distinguished Service to the Arts Award (Lawyers for the Creative Arts) and the Illinois Arts Council Governor's Award. Falls was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2015.


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