A cast of Irish talent will star in Joseph Crilly’s On McQuillan’s Hill when it receives it English premiere at Finborough Theatre next month, two decades after it debuted in Belfast. Time to book your tickets!
Crilly’s dark comedy, staged at the Earl’s Court venue by Doreen productions, runs from 4 to 29 February 2020.
“There’s a lock o’ new houses down in the village and there’s a Sinn Féin advice centre and the shop’s a Spar now, but nothin’ much else is different. The whole world is changin’ and Gentry stays the same.”
Rural Northern Ireland, 1999. Proud IRA man Fra Maline returns home – released early from prison under the Good Friday Agreement – and to celebrate his daughter, Theresa, throws a party at the local community hall on McQuillan’s Hill. Unknown to the revellers the hall has been bought by Fra’s sister, Loretta, who turns up ready to demolish it after a twenty-year absence across the water. With peace on a knife-edge, bitter memories, family secrets and lies long buried in the bog threaten to resurface as an accidental family reunion descends into pitch black farce…
A vicious satire from a playwright hailed as “Ulster’s Martin McDonagh” (The Guardian), On McQuillan’s Hill gets under the dirty fingernails of small town Northern Ireland, confronting the horrors of abuse and the corrosive legacy of conflict with explosive wit and an insider’s eye for detail.
Johnny Vivash leads the cast a Fra Maline, with Gina Costigan as Loretta and Julie Maguire as Theresa. Award-winning actor Vivash boasts London stage credits including Purge (Arcola Theatre), Fuente Ovejuna (Southwark Playhouse) and Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Cockpit Theatre), while Costigan recently appeared in the Broadway production of The Ferryman. Maguire’s credits include the Irish National Tour of This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing and the Lyric Hammersmith and Abbey Theatre, Dublin production of The Plough and the Stars.
They’re joined in the cast by Helena Bereen (Now for the North at The MAC Belfast, All My Sons at Arts Theatre Belfast), Declan Rodgers (The Lieutenant of Inishmore at Curve Theatre Leicester, Juno and the Paycock at the National Theatre) and Kevin Murphy, who returns to Finborough Theatre where he previously appeared in Over The Bridge.
Director Jonathan Harden also returns to Finborough Theatre where he previously appeared as an actor in Northern Star. As Artistic Director of the Lyric Theatre Studio, Belfast, he directed portmanteau of short pieces, X6. He was also Creative Producer of The 24hr Plays at Lyric Theatre, Belfast and of new writing company twentyfivebelfast.
Actor, journalist and playwright Joseph Crilly took his own life in 2017, having lived much of his life with depression. In addition to On McQuillan’s Hill, his plays include Kitty and Damnation and the award-winning Second-Hand Thunder. Writing about Crilly, The Daily Telegraph said: “What’s extraordinary is Crilly’s ability to shift into comedy and make his characters unexpectedly lovable.”
The acclaimed Finborough Theatre celebrates its 40th year in 2020, kicking off the spring with a packed season of shows. In addition to On McQuillan’s Hill, audiences can see the first UK production in 40 years of Paul Kember‘s Royal Court hit Not Quite Jerusalem, the European premiere of Toronto hit Hockey Mum, Hockey Dad and the UK premiere of Hazel Ellis‘ Women Without Men, which was first staged in Dublin in 1938.
On McQuillan’s Hill runs at Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London, SW10 9ED from 4 to 29 February, with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays 7.30pm, matinees Saturdays and Sundays 3pm. Tickets are priced from £18. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!!