Arlington and Ballyturk to open Abbey Theatre’s 2017 Season

28 November 2016

Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival productions 'Arlington' and 'Ballyturk' by Tony Award winning playwright Enda Walsh are to open the Abbey Theatre’s new season next year.

The productions will feature as part of the inaugural season of the theatre’s new Directors, Neil Murray and Graham McLaren, which was announced in Dublin today.

'Arlington', written and directed by Enda Walsh with choreography by Emma Martin, will run at the Abbey Theatre from 10-25 February 2017, while 'Ballyturk', written and directed by Enda Walsh, will run at the Abbey from 3-11 March 2017.

Speaking from London, Enda Walsh commented: “With 'Arlington', I am delighted to be making my Abbey Theatre main stage debut in Neil and Graham’s first season. Myself and Emma Martin had the greatest time making 'Arlington' for Landmark Productions and the Galway International Arts Festival this year. It’s tremendously exciting to be returning to it with the same creative team and performers. I’m honoured also that I’m being given such a wonderful stage to fall back into the world of our previous work, 'Ballyturk'. I may very well be dead from exhaustion by the time 'Ballyturk' premieres - so perhaps now’s a good time to congratulate and wish Neil and Graham all the greatest in this new future for our national theatre.”

'Arlington' stars Charlie Murphy, Hugh O’Conor and Oona Doherty. It is directed by Enda Walsh and choreographed by Emma Martin. The production was one the hottest tickets of GIAF 2016 and one of the year’s Festival highlights. Following its run at the Abbey Theatre, 'Arlington' is also set to tour to St. Ann’s Warehouse in New York in May 2017.

'Ballyturk' premiered at GIAF to huge acclaim in 2014 and became the fastest selling show in the Festival’s history. 'Ballyturk' made its UK premiere at the National Theatre of Great Britain in London, where renowned critic Michael Billington named it amongst The Guardian’s Top 10 Theatre Shows of the Year. The show was awarded both Best Sound and Best Production at the Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2015.

This new production of 'Ballyturk' is a Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival co-production in association with the Abbey Theatre. It stars Olwen Fouéré, Mikel Murfi and Tadhg Murphy.

The world-class creative teams for both 'Arlington' and 'Ballyturk' include set and costume design by Jamie Vartan, lighting design by Adam Silverman, sound design by Helen Atkinson, with original music composed by Teho Teardo. Video design for 'Arlington' is by Jack Phelan.

Directors of the Abbey Theatre, Graham McLaren and Neil Murray said: ‘We wanted to start our first season on the Abbey stage by inviting in Irish artists, companies and shows we have long admired. A number of the shows have never been seen in Dublin and none of them at the national theatre. This will be the first time the work of Enda Walsh, one of Ireland’s theatrical superstars, will have been seen on the main stage of the Abbey Theatre. If you haven’t seen them yet, you should, and, if you have seen them, you should see them again.’

Galway International Arts Festival’s CEO John Crumlish and Artistic Director Paul Fahy said: “With this announcement, the Festival begins an extended period of touring with our co-producers Landmark, which will also take us to the US later in 2017. We are delighted that Arlington and Ballyturk by the wonderful Enda Walsh will be on the Abbey stage as part of Neil and Graham’s first season. We wish them every success in their new roles as directors of Ireland’s National Theatre and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Landmark Productions’ Anne Clarke said: “When Graham McLaren and Neil Murray first came to Dublin, they repeatedly said of the Abbey ‘it’s your national theatre’. As an independent producer, it is nothing short of transformative to be able to dream of making work that will have its home on the Abbey stage. Together with our co-producers at Galway International Arts Festival, I am especially thrilled that audiences will have the opportunity to see Enda Walsh’s seminal plays back-to-back. It is a major statement of intent from the new directors, and Landmark and GIAF are thrilled to be part of their inaugural season.”

The Abbey’s new season includes performances in pubs across Ireland of Roddy Doyle's Two Pints. Unmissable productions from Landmark Productions, Galway International Arts Festival, Corn Exchange, Rough Magic and Druid. New Abbey Theatre Productions of Katie Roche and Ulysses. A new stage adaptation of Ken Loach's film Jimmy's Hall will open in Leitrim. An enchanting coming of age vampire love story - Let The Right One In – at Christmas. New partnerships with The Old Vic, Theatre Royal Stratford East and National Theatre of Scotland. There is also more to come with the Peacock Programme to be announced in early 2017.

For tickets, see: Public booking opens at 12pm on Friday, 2 December; priority booking open now using the code ABBEY2017.