Award Winning Play is Coming to The Live Rooms

The Live Rooms will be host to an award winning play this August, which is sure to send shivers down your spine in this shadowy tale based in rural Ireland. Find out more from The Live Rooms here …
The curtain is set to rise in Chester on a production of an award-winning play which brings a taste of life in a small, rural, Irish village to the stage, with all not quite as it as first seems.

Theatre company Against The Grain will stage “The Weir” by Conor McPherson at The Live Rooms in Chester from Tuesday 9th August to Thursday 11th August at 7.30pm. The play marks a welcome return to the popular city centre venue for the company, which previously staged of co-founder Mark Newman’s twisted comedy “Mr Dumpling” at The Live Rooms last year.

A shadowy tale delving into the dark corner of human lives, “The Weir” draws on tales from Irish folklore and the supernatural as its inspiration and is set in a small pub in a remote part of rural Ireland where, over the course of an evening, locals gather to sit, drink and tell tall tales.

As the beer and whisky flows, the arrival of a young stranger, haunted by a secret from her past turns tales of folklore into something more unsettling. One story however is more chilling and real than any of them could have imagined. The play tells the story of the villagers and the local myths and legends in their tightknit community with typical Irish warmth, wit and a good measure of dark humour.

Written in 1997, the play was first staged at London’s Royal Court Theatre before transferring to Broadway. It won an Olivier award for best new play in 1997 and was voted one of the most influential plays of the 20th Century in a poll conducted by The National Theatre. The Weir will be directed for Against The Grain by company co-founder Marian Newman.
As a playwright and screenwriter, Conor McPherson has won several awards including the George Devine Award, Stewart Parker Award and an Olivier Award. His credits for theatre include The Veil (National Theatre), The Dance of Death (Trafalgar Studios), The Night Alive (Donmar Warehouse, Atlantic Theater, New York) and The Girl from the North Country (Old Vic).
Following on from the success of their previous production, “Mr Dumpling”, members of Against The Grain were most recently seen on stage in Chester Little Theatre’s production of “Glut!” a brand-new play by local writer Jan Bengree and prior to lockdown, several members of the company also appeared in the Little Theatre’s acclaimed production of “The Ladykillers”.

The cast of The Weir, all well-known faces to local theatregoers includes Mark Newman as Jack whose theatre credits include Bouncers, Flint St Nativity, The Sociable Plover, Allo Allo – (Forum Studio Theatre), Breaking The Code, Small Tales, The Ladykillers, Glut! (Chester Little Theatre), Mr Dumpling (Against The Grain). Directing credits include Glorious!, The Killing of Sister George, The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband (Forum Studio Theatre), Habeas Corpus ,The Prescribed Distance (Chester Little Theatre) and Worldly Women (Against The Grain/Storyhouse)

the live rooms the weir cast

Playing successful local businessman Finbar, Wrexham based Actor Dhugal Fulton’s extensive theatre career includes Fawlty Towers, The Sociable Plover, Useless Beauty, (Forum Studio Theatre), Famine(London Irish Theatre co), as well as several Panto dames for Bitesize Theatre Company

Playing Jim is Against The Grain co-founder Stuart Evans whose previous work includes Bouncers, Fawlty Towers, Flint St Nativity, Relatively Speaking, A Funny Thing Happened on The Way To The Forum (Forum Studio Theatre), Small Tales, The Ladykillers (Chester Little Theatre), Mr Dumpling (Against The Grain), and Dodger (BBC Television). Stuart’s directing credits include Glorious!, The Killing of Sister George (Forum Studio Theatre) and Worldly Women (Against The Grain/Storyhouse).

Playing enigmatic newcomer to the village Valerie is Laura Smith whose multiple acting credits with Chester Little Theatre include Great Expectations, Improbable Fiction and most recently, Glut!

Cast as Landlord of the pub Brendan, Simon Phillips is well known to local theatregoers as both an Actor, Director and Musical Director, Simon’s many theatre credits include Bouncers, Flint St Nativity, The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband, The History Boys, and RENT, (Forum Studio Theatre). Simon is also a founder and Artistic Director of On The Mark Youth Theatre. Most recently, Simon was MD for Tip Top Productions acclaimed production of Calendar Girls The Musical at Storyhouse in Chester.

Speaking about staging the play,  Director Marian Newman said “The Weir has been a joy to direct, the cast and I have learned a lot about Irish Folklore and this has brought to life the characters and their lives in this little rural village.  Make no mistake, these lovely characters created by McPherson are delightful, interesting and very human and in no way mundane.  The audience, I hope, will be moved by their stories and relationships and just a little spooked.  The Live Rooms venue is ideal for us to create an intimate acting space, where the audience can sit and feel like they’re in the pub, or just sit back in their seats and enjoy the stories.”

Full details of “The Weir” can be found at The Live Rooms where tickets can be booked online.

the live rooms the weir award winning play

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