Gemma Bodinetz to Direct Bristol Old Vic's JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK

Gemma Bodinetz to Direct Bristol Old Vic's JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK

Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz will direct Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock in a major co-production with Bristol Old Vic. The cast will be led by Niamh Cusack as the eponymous Juno and Des McAleer as her husband Jack Boyle. The production is at Bristol Old Vic from 5 to 27 September before moving to the Liverpool Playhouse from 1 to 18 October.

Hilarity and tragedy rub shoulders in Sean O'Casey's classic Irish drama set in Dublin 1922. Juno and the Paycock features his trademark mix of comic double acts, political upheavals, domestic longings, and characters who are never far away from an opulent word or song.

Juno's world is in the grip of change for and her peacock of a husband - a daughter flirting with marriage and politics, a civil war outside the door, a son wounded and hiding from the conflict. As contemporary society sees an increase in zero contract hours, the spread of pawnbrokers, where matriarchs like Juno struggle to hold their family together against the odds, this O'Casey classic still resonates now as much as it did 90 years ago.

Gemma Bodinetz said: "My passion for the plays of Sean O'Casey began many years ago when I was a student at Trinity College Dublin. It seemed to me then, and does still now, that O'Casey's plays managed to illuminate huge and timeless political questions through the prism of ordinary human experience and do so with tremendous wit and humanity. Perhaps most movingly Juno and the Paycock addresses the impossibility of creating national order and unity in times of poverty and civil unrest through the story of a Dublin mother living in a tenement slum. With Niamh Cusack playing the eponymous heroine, Des McAleer as her feckless husband along with a distinguished ensemble, I could wish for no finer cast to do justice to this masterpiece of Irish theatre."

Tom Morris said: "The Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse is an organisation we've wanted to collaborate with for some time. In Bristol we share a passion with Gemma Bodinetz and her Liverpool team for the profound and brilliant play Juno & the Paycock. Both port cities have a strong historical connection with Ireland, and the play is set in the very specific world of that country's post-war clinch between inescapable poverty and violent ideology. I am proud that we are able to open the show here in Bristol and can't wait to see the fruits of the creative journey."

Niamh Cusack, well-known for her role as Dr. Kate Rowan in ITV series Heartbeat, will play Juno Boyle. On stage, Cusack played Siobhan in the stage adaptation of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time at the National Theatre and in the West End at the Apollo. Her other credits include Playboy Of The Western World and Dancing at Lughnasa (The Old Vic) and The Painter (Arcola Theatre).

Des McAleer plays her husband, Captain Boyle. McAleer has appeared in the feature films Hunger, My Week With Marilyn and Angela's Ashes. His stage credits include The Homecoming (RSC) and The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Liverpool Everyman/ Chichester Minerva). Joxer Doyle will be played by Louis Dempsey who is known for his roles as Jake Quinn in the West End and world tour of Stones In His Pockets and Sharky in The Seafarer at Lyric Belfast. His film credits include Cloud Atlas, Troy (Warner Bros) and Omagh (Channel 4) and his other stage credits include Romans in Britain (Sheffield Crucible) and Some Voices (Young Vic).

Director Gemma Bodinetz has been Artistic Director for the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse since September 2003. Since then, she has directed Twelfth Night, Macbeth, The Kindness of Strangers, The Mayor of Zalamea and Intemperance at the Everyman; The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, The Hypochondriac A Streetcar Named Desire, No Wise Men, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Lady of Leisure and All My Sons at the Playhouse and Yellowman on tour. Gemma previously worked at the Royal Court Theatre and Hampstead Theatre, London.

The cast also includes, Aoife McMahon (The Silver Tassie, National Theatre; Goodnight Mr Tom, Chichester Festival), Maureen O'Connell (A Handful of Stars, Trafalgar Studios; The Importance of Being Earnest, City Theatre Dublin), Maggie McCarthy (Children of The Sun and Cocktail Sticks, National Theatre), Donal Gallery (Moone Boy, Sky TV; Game of Thrones, HBO), Neil Caple (Hope Place and Twelfth Night, Liverpool Everyman), Jonathan Charles (London Road and Normal, Bristol Old Vic), Robin Morrissey (Twelfth Night, Liverpool Everyman) and Fionn Walton (Disco Pigs, Pillowtalk Theatre).

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