Domhnall Gleeson, Clare Barrett, Aoife Duffin and Seán Carpio to Star in MEDICINE at St. Ann's Warehouse

To reach full capacity safely, ID and proof of full vaccination will be required of all audience members.

By: Aug. 17, 2021
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Domhnall Gleeson, Clare Barrett, Aoife Duffin and Seán Carpio to Star in MEDICINE at St. Ann's Warehouse

St. Ann's Warehouse has long been the New York home for playwright Enda Walsh. He returns to the Brooklyn waterfront theater to direct the American premiere of his searing, critically lauded new play Medicine, a co-production by longtime St. Ann's partners Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival, with a star-studded cast led by Domhnall Gleeson and including Clare Barrett, Aoife Duffin, and percussionist Seán Carpio, November 11 - December 5.

Inspired, in part, by accounts of abuse in psychiatric institutions, and by Walsh's mother's experience living with Alzheimer's in a retirement home, Medicine is a darkly hilarious and deeply empathetic meditation on the way society deals with those deemed "mentally ill." The play is set in a hospital, where John Kane, played "superbly" (The Guardian) by Domhnall Gleeson (Run, the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Ex Machina), is undergoing what appears to be drama therapy with two "attendants," both named Mary. Portrayed by the great Irish actresses Clare Barrett (Rough Magic's Much Ado about Nothing, Bernarda's House) and Aoife Duffin (The End of the F***ing World, Ophelia in Gate Theatre Dublin's Hamlet at St. Ann's), they replay traumatic episodes from John's life both before and during his years-long institutionalization, while drummer Seán Carpio accompanies the performances live on stage.

The frequently absurdist work shatters boundaries among cast, crew, and audience: actors are interrupted by crew members, technical mechanics malfunction on stage, and the audience's laughter becomes complicit in shifting a surreal universe into extreme moments of hilarity and emotional poignancy. Walsh cycles the play through troughs of calm and peaks of complete chaos, all noise and motion. It's intense, but daft humour-a lobster costume, live free jazz-is never far away.

Medicine is the ninth production written or directed by Walsh that St. Ann's Warehouse has introduced to American audiences, following The Walworth Farce (2008), The New Electric Ballroom (2009), Penelope (2010), Misterman (2011), The Last Hotel (2016), Arlington (2017), Ballyturk (2018), and Grief Is the Thing with Feathers (2019).

All of these shows share an underlying preoccupation and a similar structure. Walsh explains, "I've been writing the same play for 25 years. Characters arrive into a room-then through some ritual they fall into memory or fantasy-and try to unpick the truth about themselves and the world they belong to. Themes circle one another-characters repeatedly fall in and out of performance-performance itself is a release and a type of entrapment. Dialogue flips from the ridiculous-to moments of poetry, I suppose. And when words fail (because they do)-the characters need to dance or sing or exercise or annihilate their surroundings-usually all four of these things. I guess they're just trying to figure out exactly-why they are the way they are."

He adds, "Medicine is very much about that. But also it's about the absence of love - and our longing and great need for love. The characters are tied to structure and rules and ways of living that have twisted them into dysfunctional isolated souls. But knitted through the play, I hope, is a call for understanding and listening-and with that, our responsibility to care properly for one another and particularly for those who are vulnerable."

The hermetically sealed world of Medicine is brought to life by frequent Walsh collaborators Jamie Vartan (Set Designer), Adam Silverman (Lighting Designer), Teho Teardo (Composer), and Joan O'Clery (Costume Designer), and Helen Atkinson (Sound Designer), whose haunting, enveloping sonic environment includes the recorded voices of a cavalcade of Irish acting luminaries: Cathy, Belton, Zara Devlin, Seán McGinley, Aaron Monaghan, Mikel Murfi, Tadhg Murphy, and Marty Rea.

Performance Schedule, Tickets, and COVID-19 Protocol

Performances of Medicine take place November 11-13, 16-20, 23-24, 26-27, and 30, and December 1-4 at 7:30pm; and November 14, 21, and 28, and December 5 at 5pm. The production opens officially on Sunday, November 16.

Tickets, $40-80, are on sale to St. Ann's Warehouse Members today, American Express Card Members from August 24 - August 30 at 11:59pm ET, and to the general public on August 31, at stannswarehouse.org and 718.254.8779.

To reach full capacity safely, ID and proof of full vaccination will be required of all audience members. St. Ann's Warehouse will be following CDC, New York State, and New York City mandates and recommendations for audience members to wear masks when attending indoor events. Visit the St. Ann's Warehouse Health & Safety page for more information.

St. Ann's Warehouse is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park, at 45 Water Street|DUMBO|Brooklyn, NY 11201.



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