By Jennifer McShane, Campus.ie Intern
?God made the world, but we made the field.? Words straight from ?The Bull? McCabe, perhaps one of the most iconic characters ever to grace the Irish stage.
The Field captivated audiences in 1965 and has been doing so ever since. Its dark story burrows deep into the heart of rural Ireland in the late 50?s.
Keane based the story on the shocking 1959 murder of Moss Moore, a bachelor farmer. The play debuted six years after the murder, which made national headlines. It was an overnight success that sealed Keane's reputation as a playwright of note.
The play has also been well received outside of Ireland with a US review saying of a previous show: ?There is an elemental power about The Field?We are shown the best and worst of the Irish soul, passion and loyalty opposed to bullying and suspicious provincialism.?
Jim Sheridan directed a very successful film version of the play in the early nineties, which starred the late Richard Harris as Bull McCabe, a role for which he received an Oscar nomination.
This month John B. Keane?s famous play returns for a run at the Olympia Theatre, where it premiered over 45 years ago.
Synopsis Many will already be familiar with the play. The Field is set in a small country village in southwest Ireland. Bull McCabe has spent many hard years of labour turning the rocky land he rents from the widow Maggie Butler. He has always considered the land his own, and dreams of buying it, however Butler decides to sell it at a public auction.
The Bull McCabe is none too pleased at the prospect of seeing the land go elsewhere - especially to foreign "land-grabbers," for whom he holds an unyielding hatred. He is a blustering, threatening man who bullies the village auctioneer Mick Flanagan into rigging the auction in his favour - but when Englishman William Dee arrives determined to win the land for his business, The Bull decides he needs to take matters into his own hands.
Where to see it It will run from January 13th through to the 12th of February at the Olympia Theatre and then transfer to the INEC, Killarney for 3 nights only, on the 15th,16th, and 17th of February.
It is directed by Joe Dowling who is the Artistic Director of the award-winning Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the USA. He is also well known in Ireland for his work as Artistic Director of the Abbey and Gaiety Theatre. Directing credits include: Philadelphia, Here I Come! Tartuffe, Juno and the Paycock, A Midsummer Night?s Dream, The Playboy of the Western World and The Importance of Being Earnest among many others. Brian Dennehy will be performing the role of ?The Bull? McCabe. He appeared in over 150 Films and TV. He has twice won the Tony Award for Best Actor; for playing James Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's ?Long Day's Journey Into Night,? and for playing Willy Loman in ?Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.?
The cast for The Field includes: Brian Dennehy, John Olohan, Bernadette McKenna, Stephen Hogan, Bosco Hogan, Gareth Lombard and Derbhle Crotty.
Whether you go to experience The Field for the first time or are a long time fan, the play is highly recommended and one not to be missed.
For further information and tickets:
Olympia Theatre