Shepard arrival fulfilment of dream: Stephen Rea

Playwright Sam Shepard
Playwright Sam Shepard

STEPHEN Rea says bringing Sam Shepard to Londonderry for his new version of the Oedipus legend in December is a long held dream.

The forthcoming Field Day production of Shepard’s new play - ‘A Particle of Dread’ - promises to be one of the highlights of the UK City of Culture 2013 programme.

Said Mr Rea: “In the sixties American theatre exploded into extraordinary life in the shape of such groups as ‘Living Theatre,’ ‘La Mama’ and Joe Chaikin’s ‘Open Theatre,’ bringing a new daring and openness to theatrical presentation.

“Towards the end of the decade, some of the younger practitioners found their way to London, giving shape, direction and excitement to an emerging experimental Fringe theatre.

“Nancy Meckler and Sam Shepard were two of the most gifted of those to arrive in Europe. I worked with them both back then, and now I’m fulfilling a long held dream by bringing them to Ireland to work with some of our finest actors in this new version by Sam of Oedipus, directed by Nancy Meckler.”

A true renaissance man of both stage and screen, Shepard has worked with Wim Wenders, Ridley Scott, Jack Nicholson, Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Jack Nicholson and Helen Mirren in a variety of key roles on films as diverse as Paris, Texas, Black Hawk Down, The Pelican Brief and The Pledge.

Two more especially commissioned plays by The Playhouse have also been announced; the first ever Northern Irish performance of ‘The Clearing’ by Helen Edmundson, and the rarely performed ‘Three Monologues’ by Jennifer Johnston.

‘The Clearing’, which deals with post-Cromwell Ireland in the 1650’s, will be jointly produced by The Playhouse and Dear Conjunction Theatre Company, Paris in November, and leading theatre director Caitríona McLaughlin will direct ‘Three Monologues’ by Jennifer Johnston in December.

Three secret locations will provide the backdrop for ‘Twinkletoes’, ‘Mustn’t Forget High Noon’ and ‘Christine’, three monologues written by the award-winning Irish author in response to The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Several leading culture festivals will also be hosted at The Playhouse, including the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival, the Belfast Media Festival and the long established Playhouse Big Tickle Comedy Festival.

Going strong since it first started in 2004, The Big Tickle will again start off the autumn programme, showcasing an eclectic mix of stand up comedians and comedy plays, including Neil Delamere, Micky Bartlett, comedy troupe FNT Live, and the return of Love the Concept. Ki Productions will also be bringing riotous piece of Musical Theatre show ‘I Love You, You’re perfect, Now Change’ during the festival.

For more information and to get a copy of the new September to December 2013 brochure contact The Playhouse on (028)71268027 or download a copy at