The Irish Rep first-ever Online Summer Season means some of the theatre’s most beloved recent productions have been reimagined for the small screen (and filmed remotely) for a limited release as part of their "A Performance on Screen" compilation.
The online season will begin with the world premiere of Irish playwright Darren Murphy’s new short play "The Gifts You Gave to the Dark," specifically written for digital media in reaction to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.
Directed by Caitriona McLaughlin, the Associate Director of the Abbey Theatre, and featuring music by Carl Kennedy, the play will premiere online on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at 6.P.M EST and will remain online through October 2020.
Telling the story of Tom, who is confined to his bed in Belfast with COVID-19, we discover that he is unable to visit his mother Rose who is dying in Dublin. Knowing this, his uncle Larry arranges a phone call from Rose’s sickbed.
As Larry holds his phone to Rose’s ear, Tom tells his mother the story of a journey, an image of a perfect day they once shared. It’s a Belfast story and it’s the very last thing Tom can do for his mother, the only thing he can do for her in fact.
As Tom speaks he takes his mother home on her final voyage, during the last ten minutes of her life. The Gifts You Gave to the Dark is about the power of story to offer succor and some measure of comfort in even the bleakest times, even over insuperable distances of geography and time.
The all-star cast of The Gifts You Gave to the Dark includes Sean McGinley (Braveheart) as Uncle Larry, Tony Award winner Marie Mullen (The Beauty Queen of Leenane) as Rose and Marty Rea (Whistle in the Dark) as Tom.
Other forthcoming online shows will include the award-winning, critically acclaimed Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom, based on a day in the life of James Joyce's most memorable character in Ulysses.
The season will continue with Conor McPherson's spooky drama The Weir and then it's time for the music of one of the 20 centuries most accomplished songwriters in Love, Noel: The Songs and Letters of Noel Coward.
The season will conclude with an online celebration titled The Irish (Rep)… and How We Got That Way: A Celebration of Endurance and Perseverance Through Hard Times, featuring a screening of the 1998 Irish Rep World Premiere production of Frank McCourt’s The Irish…and How They Got That Way.
“We miss our crowded lobby at the Irish Rep but since you cannot come to our house, we will come to yours,” Irish Rep Artistic Director Charlotte Moore and Producing Director Ciaran O’Reilly said in a statement. “We are very proud to keep the Irish Rep flag flying during these coming months.”
The Gifts You Gave to the Dark will premiere to the public on Irish Rep’s YouTube channel on May 27.