Preview by Jack Foley
SEBASTIAN Barrys new play, Whistling Psyche, is
to receive its world premiere at Londons Almeida Theatre
on May 12, starring Claire Bloom and Kathryn Hunter.
Set on a dark night, in an old waiting room, the play features
two supposed strangers, as they become increasingly eager to reach
Both share a passion for reform but only one, Florence Nightingale,
has been honoured. The other, Dr James Barry, would never receive
the same acclaim, though notoriety would come after his death,
for a very different reason.
Hunter will play Dr Barry and was last seen in Richard III
and The Taming of the Shrew, in the all-female productions
at Shakespeares Globe last Summer.
Her other stage credits include Complicités The
Visit (for which she won a Best Actress Olivier), Mother
Courage, Electra, The Recruiting Officer, The Devils, The Skriker,
King Lear and Scenes from an Execution.
Bloom, meanwhile, takes on the role of Nightingale, having previously
appeared at the Almeida in Conversations After a Burial
and When We Dead Awaken.
She has also worked in New York, where she appeared in acclaimed
productions of A Dolls House, Hedda Gabler, Vivat! Vivat!
Regina! and Hedda Gabler.
Dublin-born Barrys many plays include The Pentagonal
Dream, Boss Gradys Boys, Prayers of Sherkin, The Stewart
of Christendom, Our Lady of Sligo and Hinterland.
Whistling Psyche, which runs until June 19,is directed
by Robert Delamere.