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The Silver Tassie - National Theatre (Lyttelton)

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE SILVER Tassie by Sean O’Casey, directed by Howard Davies, runs in the Lyttelton Theatre from April 23 (previews from April 15) to May 21, 2014, with further performances to be announced.

Ireland, World War One. Dashing Harry Heegan leads his football team to victory, arriving home in swaggering celebration before he grabs his kit and heads for the trenches. A nightmare world awaits.

The men, reduced to cannon-fodder, speak in mangled incantations as the casualties stack up. Months later, Harry returns, a cripple at the football club party. Everyone but the shattered war veteran dances and forgets.

Peppered with acrid wit and dark vaudeville humour, Sean O’Casey’s powerful, huge and rarely performed anti-war play of 1928 displays a jagged madness that belies its Dublin tenement setting and gives full expression to the horror and waste of war.

The cast includes Ronan Raftery as Harry Heegan. Raftery has recently appeared in O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock (National Theatre/Abbey Theatre, Ireland); A View from the Bridge (Royal Exchange); Unscorched (Finborough Theatre); and in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat.

Joining Raftery in the cast of The Silver Tassie are Adam Best, Aidan Kelly, Stephen Kennedy, Aidan McArdle and Deirdre Mullins.

Howard Davies is an Associate Director at the National Theatre, where his productions include Children of the Sun, The Last of the Haussmans, The Cherry Orchard, Blood and Gifts, The White Guard (Evening Standard Award for Best Director), Burnt by the Sun, Gethsemane, Her Naked Skin, Never So Good, Philistines, The Life of Galileo and Mourning Becomes Electra. His recent productions also include Howard Brenton’s Drawing the Line and 55 Days at Hampstead Theatre.

The Silver Tassie is designed by Vicki Mortimer, with costume design by John Bright, lighting design by Neil Austin, music by Stephen Warbeck, movement by Scarlett Mackmin and sound by Paul Groothuis.

Also in the Lyttelton: A Taste of Honey.