World Premiere of Woyzeck in Winter for GIAF 17

28 March 2017

Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival are delighted to announce the world premiere of a major new music theatre production, featuring a sensational Irish cast.

Woyzeck in Winter is an electrifying fusion of two masterpieces: Büchner's Woyzeck and Schubert's Die Winterreise. Starring Patrick O'Kane and Camille O'Sullivan, and a cast of extraordinary Irish actors - including the legendary Rosaleen Linehan - the play will have its world premiere in the Black Box Theatre in Galway on Monday 17 July 2017 as part of Galway International Arts Festival. Tickets now on sale.

In September, it will open the autumn season on the main stage of London’s hugely prestigious arts centre, the Barbican.

World Premiere of Woyzeck in Winter

Woyzeck and Die Winterreise were written within ten years of each other - the twenty-four songs of Die Winterreise in 1827, the twenty-four scenes of the play in 1836 - by troubled geniuses, both of whom died young. Thrillingly re-imagined by Conall Morrison and a leading creative team, this daring new production will be sung in English.

Woyzeck - a poor soldier - earns extra money for his family through menial jobs and participation in bizarre medical experiments. Brutalised by society and consumed with jealousy, he is driven to the far side of alienation and despair – and finally to a desperate, violent act.

Exploiting the uncanny similarities between these two dark masterworks, adaptor and director Conall Morrison draws on Schubert’s sublime music to illuminate the inner landscape of Woyzeck’s tortured mind. With the startling story set amid a terrain of broken pianos (the set design is by Jamie Vartan), vivid scenes flow seamlessly into raw, passionate songs, translated into English by Stephen Clark.

The music will be played live at each performance by musical director Conor Linehan, and the phenomenal Irish cast also includes such outstanding actor-singers as Stephen Brennan, Peter Coonan, Susannah De Wrixon, Rory Nolan, Shane O'Reilly and Barry McGovern.

From Galway International Arts Festival to the Barbican

“We are delighted to be working with Landmark Productions, a company we have long admired for its range of work and artists, and with whom we presented Howie the Rookie in 2014," said Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre at the Barbican, adding; "We are also delighted to be working with Galway International Arts Festival, a highlight of the annual arts calendar, and with whom we presented Lessness with Olwen Fouéré as part of our international Beckett Season in 2015. It is a great boon for us, as co-commissioner, to join forces with these amazing co-producers to bring Woyzeck in Winter to our stages and to have these supremely talented Irish actors, some already known to Barbican audiences: Patrick O’Kane who was in our production of Antigone; Barry McGovern, seen here in the Gate Theatre Dublin Beckett festivals in the solo shows I’ll Go On and Watt; Rosaleen Linehan who gave us an unforgettable Winnie in Happy Days, also part of the Gate Theatre Dublin inaugural Beckett festival; and Camille O’Sullivan, who has performed many times in the Barbican Hall in our contemporary music programme. We also welcome the other actors and creative team members making their Barbican debuts in September and we look forward to this seeing how this brilliant pairing of Büchner’s play Woyzeck with Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise makes us consider these well-known and much-performed works afresh.”

Anne Clarke, Producer of Landmark Productions said the company is thrilled to be working with the Barbican, one of the leading arts centres in the world, on the premiere of Woyzeck in Winter. "Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre at the Barbican, has been a passionate and committed advocate for the show since she first heard about Conall Morrison’s daring fusion of two great masterworks, Büchner’s Woyzeck and Schubert’s Winterreise. We are delighted to have brought together a company of phenomenal Irish actor-singers, led by Patrick O’Kane as Woyzeck, Camille O’Sullivan as Marie, and the legendary Irish actress Rosaleen Linehan as the Hurdy Gurdy Man.

Galway International Arts Festival Artistic Director Paul Fahy said the Festival is “hugely excited" to have assembled such a stellar cast and creative team for this production. "This will be one of the theatrical highlights of the year. Following the world premiere in Galway in July, Woyzeck in Winter will open the autumn season on the main stage at the Barbican. This is a real thrill, and it could not happen without the support of both the Arts Council and Culture Ireland, for which we are very grateful. Audiences are in for an absolute treat.”