Abbey Theatre to Stage Wayne Jordan's New Version of OEDIPUS
This autumn the Abbey Theatre proudly presents Wayne Jordan's new version of Oedipus by Sophocles. Wayne, in his new Yeats inspired version of this Greek classic, invites us to confront the vital questions of who we are and how we live together. Oedipus opens on the Abbey stage on Wednesday 30 September 2015 as part of Dublin Theatre Festival.
In Oedipus, the citizens of Thebes, punished by the Gods, turn to their King to seek salvation. Sophocles' enduring tragedy is an elaborate meeting of political drama, murder mystery and psychological thriller. Wayne Jordan approaches the telling of the story in a simple dynamic and muscular way. He wants us to get under the skin of the play to reflect on what it has to say about leadership, sacrifice, responsibility, identity and citizenship.
Collaborating closely with Wayne Jordan and the cast is composer Tom Lane (who worked with Wayne on Twelfth Night). The actors in the chorus mainly perform unaccompanied choral music. This music is varied and energetic in style to reflect the dynamic relationships between chorus members, and is central to this new version of Oedipus.
Commenting on the production, Fiach Mac Conghail, Director of the Abbey Theatre said:
"I am delighted with what Wayne has done with Oedipus and the hugely talented cast and creative team we have assembled to interpret his vision of the play. It is an important play for us to do at this time as we continue to interrogate the legacy of Ireland's revolutionary leaders and founders. Our production of Oedipus will set the tone for our approach to the one hundredth anniversary of the Easter Rising."
Impressive and ambitious in scale, Oedipus is performed by an amazing cast of 19 actors:
Malcolm Adams (Shepherd), Karen Ardiff (Chorus), Fiona Bell (Jocasta), Muiris Crowley (Chorus), Hilda Fay (Chorus), Rachel Gleeson (Chorus), Peter Gowen (Tiresias), Mark Huberman (Creon), Esosa Ighodaro (Chorus), Nicola Kavanagh (Chorus), Damian Kearney (Chorus), Ger Kelly (Chorus), Ronan Leahy (Stranger from Corinth), Charlotte McCurry (Messenger/Chorus), Pat Nolan (Chorus), Helen Norton (Chorus), Barry John O'Connor (Oedipus), Robert O'Connor (Chorus), and Shane O'Reilly (Chorus).
The design team for Oedipus are Ciarán O'Melia (set design), Sinéad Wallace (lighting design), and Catherine Fay (costume design) - talented designers who work regularly for the Abbey Theatre.
Oedipus is the Abbey Theatre's third collaboration with Wayne Jordan in the past 18 months. He directed The Shadow of a Gunman, our co-production this summer with the Lyric Theatre, and last spring directed our new production of Twelfth Night, both critically acclaimed shows.
Oedipus opens on the Abbey stage eighty nine years after the premiere of W.B. Yeats' 1926 version. In this, the 150th anniversary of Yeats' birth, it is fitting to have Wayne Jordan, one of today's most imaginative artists, look to Yeats as a source of inspiration.
On Friday 9 October, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats, the Abbey Theatre presents a reading of his adaptation of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. It will be read by the cast of Wayne Jordan's new version of Oedipus.