Written by 7:41 pm Devious News, shakespeare in bits, Stags and Hens • 3 Comments

Stags and Hens (and the rest of the summer)

We’ve just had our big 2009 launch!

After the successful runs of Trainspotting and Smitten last year, we are very happy to announce that our next full scale production will be Stags and Hens by Willy Russell.

A viciously funny study of working class attitudes to marriage, love and ambition in dead end Liverpool of 1978, Stags and Hens will be performed in the Watergate Theatre for the first time.

Russell’s play first debuted in the Everyman Theatre in the writer’s native Liverpool in 1978. It has continually gone on to be performed and adapted all over the world since then. Set between the male and female toilets of a dingy Liverpool nightclub, Stags and Hens tells the story of Linda and Dave’s last night of freedom before they marry the next day.

Dave has just crashed into the pub, absolutely legless with his sick splattered mates yanking him straight to the gents. Linda, meanwhile, just wants to dance away her doubts about the impending nuptials. So this would be a very bad time for an old flame to show up.

Add to this the fact that both the stag and hen parties have ended up in the same club and we have the recipe for a bittersweet comedy of drunken embarrassments that’s alternately heartbreaking and hilarious.

Playing in the Watergate Theatre from July 21st to 25th of this year, the production is directed by Kevin Mooney who has previously directed Heart Shaped Vinyl and Cannibal! The Musical for Devious Theatre. The cast for Stags and Hens includes Stephen Colfer, Ciara Donegan, John Doran, Mairead Kiernan, Ken McGuire, Lynsey Moran, John Morton, Eddie Murphy, Maria Murray, Roisin O’Reilly, Geoff Warner Clayton and Paul Young.

This is very much a change of pace for us. It’s not an original piece or an experimental, alternative piece of theatre. It’s very much a well made play. But we haven’t done one of those and after two years of being referred to as a ‘shock theatre company’ we thought we might as well show that we can do a simple two acts. Thematically, Stags and Hens is about young people struggling with broken dreams and a dead end life and it ties nicely with themes we explored in Smitten and Trainspotting. Also, it’s the kind of play that should put a lot of bums on seats which is something we need to in 2009 to get the books in order!

We had the launch for our summer program in the Watergate Theatre on Saturday night and it went down a treat despite the stifling heat and competition from the rugby.

Not only did we launch Stags and Hens but also announced our involvement in the Shakespeare In The House festival which will see a whole weekend of Shakespeare related fun, frolics and theatre take place in the 16th century Rothe House building in Kilkenny on the weekend of June 27th & 28th. We’ve been devising a brand new show called Shakespeare In Bits which looks at the Bard through a series of ‘battle raps’ but 16th century style. We think it’s gonna be a funny little dissection of Shakespeare and should be a nice addition to the festival.

It’s being run in collaboration with ourselves, Young Irish Film Makers, Dreamstuff Youth Theatre, Rothe House and Kilkenny 400. There shall be more updates as and when we have them. And thanks to David Galster for the launch photos!

We are very excited about this summer. We hope you are too!

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