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Abbey Theatre reveals Dear Ireland line-up ahead of tonight's premiere

By Sarah Finnan

April 28, 2020 at 3:41pm

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Each piece of work for the Dear Ireland project has been written and created by the artists while in isolation with the idea being to get people talking about life under the current circumstances.

An Abbey Theatre production, Dear Ireland is a "national conversation led by Ireland's artists". The project sees 100 artists (50 writers and 50 actors) team up to deliver monologues on all manner of topics - including answering questions such as what should Ireland write on a postcard to itself?

A rapid response to the Covid-19 crisis, the project provides out of work artists with a means to make a living while giving us a night at the theatre... which is what many would call a win-win situation.

A post on the Abbey website, explains the premise:

"In the theatre community, we physically come together to create and share our work. The social distancing in place at the moment stops us from doing this, but this will not stop us creating opportunities to hear and share Ireland’s artistic voice.

We commissioned writers from Ireland, with unique additional contributions from the USA, China and Italy, to each write a monologue, to be performed by 50 actors, and then streamed on our YouTube channel.

Each writer nominated one actor to perform their piece, and the actors are self-taping their performances from social isolation."

Featuring an impressive line-up of Irish and international talent, things kick off this evening  at 7:30pm and you can see the full list of pairings below:

  1. Blindboy and Cathy Belton
  2. Dermot Bolger and Dawn Bradfield
  3. Pom Boyd and Brendan Gleeson
  4. Sinéad Burke and Eleanor Walsh
  5. TKB (Thommas Kane Byrne) and Ericka Roe
  6. Dylan Coburn Gray and Leah Minto
  7. Karen Cogan and Siobhán McSweeney
  8. John Connors and Graham Earley
  9. Kit de Waal and Peter Gowen
  10. Shaun Dunne and Eva-Jane Gaffney
  11. Iseult Golden and Marion O'Dwyer
  12. Stacey Gregg and Conor MacNeill
  13. Sarah Hanly and Denise Gough
  14. Nancy Harris and Marty Rea
  15. David Ireland and Abigail McGibbon
  16. Colm Keegan and Owen Roe
  17. Sonya Kelly and Deirdre Donnelly
  18. Deirdre Kinahan and Bríd Ní Neachtain
  19. Emmet Kirwan and Emmet Kirwan featuring Mike Donnelly
  20. Darach Mac Con Iomaire and Eoin O Dubhghaill
  21. Manchán Magan and Bríd Criomhthain
  22. Aoife Martyn and Norma Sheahan
  23. Owen McCafferty and Patrick O'Kane
  24. Rosaleen McDonagh and Sorcha Fox
  25. Frank McGuinness and Joan Sheehy
  26. Meadhbh McHugh (New York) and Clare O'Malley
  27. Una McKevitt and Katherine Lynch
  28. Phillip McMahon and Caoilfhionn Dunne
  29. Andrea Molino (Italy) and David Moss
  30. Gina Moxley and Timmy Creed
  31. Jimmy Murphy and Clare Dunne
  32. Zoe Ní Riordáin and Seána Kerslake
  33. Edna O'Brien and Stanley Townsend
  34. Eva O'Connor and Amy McAllister
  35. Joseph O'Connor and Kathy Rose O'Brien
  36. John O'Donovan and Nicola Coughlan
  37. Mark O'Halloran and Andrew Bennett
  38. Jody O'Neill and Marie Mullen
  39. Shane O'Reilly and Amanda Coogan
  40. Felicia 'Felispeaks' Olusanya and Deirdre Molloy
  41. Margaret Perry and Breffni Holahan
  42. Ursula Rani Sarma and Owen McDonnell
  43. Arthur Riordan and Rory Nolan
  44. Ciara Elizabeth Smyth and Camille Lucy Ross
  45. Abbie Spallen and Jolene O'Hara
  46. Keith James Walker and Ashleigh Dorrell
  47. Enda Walsh and Zara Devlin
  48. Michael West and Mark Doherty
  49. Carmel Winters and Lucianne McEvoy
  50. Zhu Yi (China) and Julia Gu

Streaming in four parts, the Dear Ireland videos will be available to watch over on the Abbey's YouTube channel for a period of six months.

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READ NEXT: “We shall laugh, sing and dance again” – Dublin restaurant shares words of encouragement

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