Full casting has been announced for productions of Translations and Afterplay, as part of an upcoming Sheffield Theatres season of work dedicated to the Irish playwright Brian Friel.
Set in 1920s Moscow Afterplay follows the chance meeting between Sonya and Andrey (two characters from Chekhov) in a late night café as their personas unravel and their true identities are revealed. Niamh Cusack, with recent stage appearances in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and TV roles in Heartbeat and Midsomer Murders will play Sonya opposite Sean Gallagher, best known for his roles in Silent Witness and Coronation Street.
Directed by Róisín McBrinn, Afterplay opens the Brian Friel season at the Crucible Studio from February 6 to March 1.
The second play in the season, Translations, is set in 19th century rural Ireland and is a co-production by English Touring Theatre, Sheffield Theatres and Rose Theatre Kingston. It is the story of farm-girl Máire, played by Beth Cooke, who finds herself torn between the affections of the local schoolteacher (Ciaran O’Brien) and the love of a soldier (James Northcote), as the British Army arrives in her village to translate Gaelic place names into the King’s English.
The rest of the cast for Translations, in the Crucible Main House from February 13 to March 8 , Cian Barry, Niall Buggy (who returns to Sheffield Theatres having previously appeared in The Birthday Party and Waiting for Godot), Paul Cawley, Hannah James, Gary Lilburn, Rory Murphy and Nic Liam.
Anglo-Irish actress Beth Cooke’s most recent roles were in the Abbey Theatre’s production of King Lear as Cordelia, directed by Selina Cartmell, Casualty on TV, and Mark Rylance’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Old Vic.
Wonderful Tennessee at the Lyceum completes The Brian Friel Season.