Previewed 16 January 2014, Opened 22 January 2014, Closed 19 April 2014 at the Wyndham's Theatre in London
A major revival of Conor McPherson's play The Weir in London starring Brian Cox, Ardal O'Hanlon and Dervla Kirwan and directed by Josie Rouke.
In a remote Irish bar, Valerie finds herself spending an evening with the local bachelors, listening to spooky, haunting yarns about restless ghosts and superstitions. But as they desperately try to win her affections, their boasts are matched by their pints and they try to outdo each other with their story-telling. But then the men discover that Valerie has her own tale to tell... and its a tale so haunting and beautiful that it is destined to change their lives for ever.
The cast for The Weir features Brian Cox as 'Jack', Ardal O'Hanlon as 'Jim' and Dervla Kirwan as 'Valerie' with Risteárd Cooper as 'Finbar' and Peter McDonald as 'Brendan'. It is directed by Josie Rouke with designs by Tom Scutt, lighting by Neil Austin and sound by Ian Dickinson. Ardal O'Hanlon's West End theatre credits include the comedy See You Next Tuesday (Noel Coward Theatre 2003). Brian Cox's London theatre credits include The Music Man (Open Air Theatre 1995). This production transfers to the West End's Wyndham's Theatre following a critically acclaimed run at the Donmar Warehouse from April to June 2013.
"Such was its power when it opened at the tiny upstairs theatre at the Royal Court in 1997 that it transferred to the main stage downstairs, then into the West End and on to Broadway, scooping numerous awards on its way. Without a doubt Josie Rourke's revival reconfirms the play's status as a contemporary classic, but it's subtly different... This production is lighter than the original in every sense. The sadness of lives unspent and mouldering away, empty and loveless, in this bleak and blokeish backwater, haunted by ghosts and squandered opportunities, is punctuated by more laughter than before. And it is balanced by the possibility of finding solace from the comfort of strangers, as well as old mates. The performances are as exquisitely nuanced as the writing, but Brian Cox's lonely and yet ever generous-spirited Jack, with his terrible dyed hair, who's first thought every day is of the woman he loved and lost, steals the show." The Mail on Sunday
"Josie Rourke's casting is perfect. Jack the mechanic is Brian Cox, a great bluff blackbeetle of a man; Peter McDonald is Brendan, ineffectually morose; lanky Risteárd Cooper in a white suit, Finbar, and the enchanting Ardal O'Hanlon - Father Ted's divinely-dim Dougal - is Jim: soft as his woolly sweater, with a gift for tactless bathos in solemn moments. And Valerie is Dervla Kirwan, with her beautiful broad-browed Madonna face and capacity to transcend ordinariness... Conor McPherson's comic gift for bathos is never cheap, but serves the absurd truth that, without scorn or denial, the worst things sometimes briefly become jokes. As others reveal themselves, a particular description of a barman making a sandwich long ago becomes one of the most cathartic moments in theatre. It pays homage to the consoling human connection which alone can save us, and which turn up in the oddest places." The Times
Brian Cox, who play 'Jack' in this revival says about Conor McPherson: "There's nobody like him of that generation, as far as I'm concerned. I don't enjoy a lot of the theatre but Conor is always a good gig - it's like working with a great master. Apart from Tom Stoppard's Rock'n'Roll and a couple of forays in New York, [McPherson's] St Nicholas and Dublin Carol were really my last connection with what I've felt I should be doing as an actor. I felt I needed to go back and work in the theatre and this was the perfect play. It's a play I knew - I was very impressed by the original production - so I was a bit nervous about it. It's a tough play to do - probably the toughest of his plays."
The Weir in London at the Wyndham's Theatre previewed from 16 January 2014, opened on 22 January 2014 and closed on 19 April 2014.