Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
IRISHMAN Brian Friel's latest play, The Home Place,
will have its British premiere on May 25, 2005 (previews from
May 7) at London's Comedy Theatre, where it's initially booking
until August 27, 2005.
Set in 1878, a time of unrest prior to Home Rule, it will star
Tom Courtenay (pictured) as widower Christopher Gore,
who shares his home - The Lodge in Ballybeg - with his son David
and the woman they both love, their housekeeper Margaret. However,
the arrival of Christopher's English cousin soon threatens their
seemingly peaceful existence.
The Home Place premiered in February this year at the
Gate Theatre in Dublin, where it continued for a limited 8 week
Friel's other works include Dancing at Lughnasa, Faith Healer,
Father and Sons, Translations, Volunteers and Philadelphia,
Here I Come!
Afterplay, his most recent
(2002) West End offering which starred Penelope Wilton and John
Hurt, also transferred from Dublin's Gate Theatre.
Courtenay has enjoyed a long and distinguished career, both on
stage and screen, but is probably best-known for his working class
film roles of the 1960's - The Loneliness of the Long Distance
Runner, Doctor Zhivago and of course, Billy Liar
which he reprised on stage.
Other more recent film credits include Nicholas Nickleby,
Last Orders and Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?
His stage credits are equally impressive and include The
Dresser (also on film) and the original West End cast of
Art - both alongside his friend Albert Finney. His
most recent West End appearance was in the Comedy Theatre's 2003
production of Pretending to Be Me, a one-hander about
poet Philip Larkin.
Although full casting for the London production has still to
be confirmed, the majority of the Dublin company are expected
to reprise their roles. They include Hugh O'Conor (David), Derbhle
Crotty (Margaret) and Nick Dunning (English cousin).
Whose Life Is It Anyway? starring Sex and the City's
Kim Cattrall, is currently playing at the comedy Theatre - until
April 30, 2005.