Casting Announced For The World Premiere of ASKING FOR IT By Louise O'Neill

Casting Announced For The World Premiere of ASKING FOR IT By Louise O'Neill

Today casting details were announced for the much anticipated world premiere production of Asking for It by Louise O'Neill produced by Landmark Productions and the Everyman and co-commissioned by the Abbey Theatre. This world premiere production will open at the Everyman as part of Cork Midsummer Festival on 15 June.

The role of Emma O'Donovan will be played Lauren Coe alongside Paul Mescal (as Bryan), Sean Doyle (as Sean), Amy McElhatton (as Maggie), Kwaku Fortune (as Eli), Venetia Bowe (as Jamie), Sile Maguire (as Ali) and Darragh Shannon (as Dylan).

Louise O'Neill said today, "I have carried Emma O' Donovan in my heart for years and I am thrilled to pass that baton on to an actress as talented as Lauren Coe. Landmark Productions and the Everyman have assembled a cast of some of the best young actors working in Ireland today, and I cannot wait to see them bring Asking for It to life as part of Cork Midsummer Festival in June."

Anne Clarke of Landmark said: 'It is phenomenally exciting to see the cast begin to take shape. It's a tribute to the power of Louise's novel, and to the thrilling script by Meadhbh McHugh - written in collaboration with the director, Annabelle Comyn - that so many of the best and most brilliant young actors in the country are committed to bringing it to the stage.'

Julie Kelleher of The Everyman said: "We were blown away by the level of talent we encountered in this casting process, and by the urgency and enthusiasm from these superb young performers to tell this story. The Everyman couldn't be prouder to partner with Landmark on this production."

Conceived as a large-scale, technically ambitious production, it will be adapted for stage by Meadhbh McHugh in a collaboration with Annabelle Comyn, who also directs. The creative team also includes set designer Paul O'Mahony; lighting designer Sinead McKenna; sound designer Philip Stewart.

Louise O'Neill is a multi award-winning Irish writer. Her first novel, Only Ever Yours, which was initially released as a Young Adult novel, was subsequently released in an adult edition. Her second novel, Asking for It, caused a sensation, won the Book of Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2015, and spent 52 weeks in the Irish top 10 bestseller lists. Bandit are developing a made-for-TV film adaptation of the novel, which is in the early stages of development, and a documentary of the same name - borne out of the novel, and presented by O'Neill - aired on RTÉ television in November 2016.

Welcoming the prospect of a stage adaptation, Louise O'Neill said: "Since the novel has been published, I have been overwhelmed by how people have responded. I receive emails from men and women all over the world who want to share their stories with me. They tell me that this book has helped them endure. It has made them feel as if they are not alone. They say that this book has, finally, given them a voice.

I have been humbled by these emails but it reinforced my belief in the power of art. I believe that art is not just a mirror, showing us our true selves, but it has the ability to shape the way in which we see ourselves, that it has the power to transform the world that we live in. Culture can change culture.

I am truly eager to see what sort of change a theatrical adaptation of Asking for It could enact."

Director Annabelle Comyn said: "When I read Asking for It by Louise O'Neill it was like a punch to the stomach. I want my daughter, and her friends, and this next generation to be informed, made aware, and enabled and encouraged to speak openly about an important, complex and tricky and at times deeply divisive subject. Let it be controversial; let us look at ourselves."

Fighting Words Cork at Graffiti Theatre Company, in association with Cork Midsummer Festival, will deliver a participatory and community programme, working with young people and schools to champion the voices and creativity of 14-19 year olds (application deadline has now passed). This programme will give nine young people aged 14-19 years, the chance to participate in a series of playwriting workshops which will culminate in a professionally directed and performed staged reading of their work at The Everyman as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival and in association with Landmark Productions and The Everyman's staging of Louise O'Neill's award winning novel Asking for It. Between January and June 2018, the nine young playwrights selected will get the opportunity to work with professional writing mentors to help them create a short piece that will be staged by professional actors and directors at Cork Midsummer Festival. In addition, the young playwrights will also be invited by The Everyman to attend selected performances throughout the programme, to inspire and inform their work.

Asking for It is supported by the Arts Council under its Open Call funding round.

Performance dates:

The Everyman

Previews: 11th - 14th June

Opening: 15th June

Playing until: 23rd June

Performance times: Monday - Saturday at 7.30pm

Abbey Theatre

Previews: 9th -10th November

Opening: 12th November

Playing until: 24th November

Performance times: Monday - Saturday at 7.30pm

Saturday matinees: 2pm

About Landmark Productions:

Landmark Productions is one of Ireland's leading theatre producers. Led by Anne Clarke, the company produces wide-ranging and ambitious work in Ireland and tours Irish work abroad. The company's recent work includes several productions by Enda Walsh: The Walworth Farce, starring Brendan Gleeson, Brian Gleeson and Domhnall Gleeson; the world premiere of The Last Hotel, an opera by Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh, in a co-production with Wide Open Opera; and the multi award-winning musical Once. Its award-winning co-productions with Galway International Arts Festival include the world premieres of Walsh's Arlington, Ballyturk and Misterman.

Landmark's work has toured to the Barbican and to the National Theatre in London, to the Edinburgh International Festival, and to St Ann's Warehouse and to BAM in New York. Recent work includes two world premieres at Galway International Arts Festival July 2017: Woyzeck in Winter, adapted and directed by Conall Morrison and starring Patrick O'Kane, Camille O'Sullivan and Rosaleen Linehan (a co-production with GIAF); and The Second Violinist, composed by Donnacha Dennehy and written and directed by Enda Walsh (co-produced with Wide Open Opera) and the world premiere of The Approach, written and directed by Mark O'Rowe, starring Cathy Belton, Derbhle Crotty and Aisling O'Sullivan.

The company received the Judges' Special Award in The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards for 2011, in recognition of its 'sustained excellence in programming and for developing imaginative partnerships to bring quality theatre to the Irish and international stage'. Anne Clarke received the Special Tribute Award in 2015, in recognition of her work as a 'producer of world-class theatre in the independent sector in Ireland'.

About The Everyman

The Everyman is a non-profit theatre dedicated to the production and presentation of top quality performing arts for Cork and Irish audiences. As a receiving house, it is a major link in the Irish infrastructure for touring Irish and international performance, offering audiences in Cork the very best of theatre, opera, dance, live music and stand-up comedy.

As a producing house, it is central to Cork's vibrant cultural ecology and is hugely committed to supporting and showcasing the work of established and emerging theatre artists. Recent productions include the world premiére of Kevin Barry's Autumn Royal (2017), the Irish premiére of Lynda Radley's Futureproof, Frank McGuinness' The Factory Girls (2016), Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock (2016), Charles Gounod's Faust (2015), David Greig's The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (2015) and Brian Friel's Lovers (2015).

The 2018 programme includes premium theatre events such as the world premiére of Asking for It, the Everyman's production of Martin MacDonagh's The Lonesome West and the world premiere staging of John O'Brien's brand new opera The Nightingale and the Rose as well as a national tour of Kevin Barry's critically acclaimed Autumn Royal.

www.everymancork.com

Photo Lauren Coe by Hugh O'Conor

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