The Abbey Theatre And Lyric Theatre Present DOUBLE CROSS By Thomas Kilroy

A new production of Double Cross by Thomas Kilroy - one of Ireland's greatest living playwrights - opens this evening in the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. Co-produced by the Abbey Theatre and Lyric Theatre and directed by Jimmy Fay, tonight marks the first major production of this fascinating and searing Irish play, since its Field Day Theatre Company world premiere in 1986.

Double Cross tells the true story of how fake news won the Battle for Britain, pitching World War II's two masterminds of propaganda against each other in a battle for the hearts and minds of nations. It's also a story about two Irish men who re-invented themselves as English nationalists: Brendan Bracken the British Minister for Information, and Nazi broadcaster William Joyce, better known as Lord Haw-Haw.

Having written over 15 plays, Thomas Kilroy was a Board member of Field Day and is a member of the Irish Academy of Letters, the Royal Society of Literature and Aosdana. His one novel, The Big Chapel, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Guardian Fiction Prize. At the 2004 Irish Times Theatre Awards, he received a Special Tribute Award for his contribution to theatre and in 2008 he was presented with the PEN Ireland Cross Award for his contribution to literature.

Thomas Kilroy said: 'Double Cross was written out of a kind of rage. A rage against the whole nature of fascism. A rage against the power residing in role-playing, in costuming, in uniforms, a rage against militarism and I was writing about two characters, two figures, that really came out of anger in me. But I had to find within myself a lot of empathy for these two individuals, or at least an understanding ... kind of forcing the audience to cut loose from easy solutions.'

Executive Producer of the Lyric and Director of Double Cross, Jimmy Fay, has attracted local and international critical acclaim and toured successfully to New York, Dublin, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Letterkenny, Cork, Perth and Wales. He commented: 'Tom Kilroy's story of fake news and the triumph of artifice has particular resonance in today's world of Brexit and Trump, and challenges us to examine the power of rhetoric and how performance and theatricality can affect the truth. Stephen Rea led the original cast in 1986 and for this production we are working with three exceptional Irish actors Sean Kearns, Charlotte McCurry and Ian Toner. We are delighted to be co-producing with the Abbey Theatre to present Double Cross as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival, before a run on the Peacock Stage of the Abbey Theatre.'

Double Cross stars Ian Toner, Charlotte McCurry and Sean Kearns. See abbeytheatre.ie for more details.

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