The Keegan Theatre closes out its 17th season with the world premiere A Midsummer Night’s Riot, reuniting the artistic team of playwright Rosemary Jenkinson, director Abigail Isaac, and Josh Sticklin in another one-man tour de force. This is Keegan’s third time producing acclaimed Irish playwright Rosemary Jenkinson’s work – previous shows Basra Boy and Cuchullain were met with widespread critical praise, and audiences were delighted and moved by the wicked wit and piercing humanity in the script. The press opening is Sunday, May 18 at 3:00pm.
Ross dreams of being the famous professional golfer Rory McIlroy – the Belfast prodigy with the pro tennis player girlfriend. But living in the Cluan Place neighborhood of Belfast means Ross has no cash for golf clubs and no place to practice but in the middle of the nightly street riots. The only ones noticing Ross’ killer swing are the riot police.
This is Rosemary Jenkinson’s third exploration of the lack of opportunities for the youth of Belfast in the one-man play format, and this time she addresses the culture of sectarian violence directly. Street riots between Protestant and Catholic youth are a regular occurrence every summer – still – and A Midsummer Night’s Riot tells this story from a very personal, up-close point of view. Ross has the most ambition of Jenkinson’s young heroes, and also the most wit: no one is safe from Jenkinson’s biting humor.
“We are thrilled to follow up HAIR – a well-known rock musical and a huge undertaking – with a world premiere on a much smaller scale,” says Mark A. Rhea, Keegan’s producing artistic director. “Keegan wants to keep pushing the limit, and part of this growth is challenging ourselves by offering a variety of theatre experiences for our audiences. They appreciate the diversity of the programming, and we love the complexity of tackling plays and musicals of all sizes and shapes. Rosemary’s voice is unlike any other playwright I’ve read; she cuts to the heart of what it means to be young in Ireland right now. We’re honored that she continues to trust us with her new work and it’s been a wonderful collaboration, once again.”
A Midsummer Night’s Riot, runs through June 5, 2014 and is performed in repertory with Things You Should Say Past Midnight (opening May 10). The Keegan Theatre, in its 17th season, continues their In Good Company capital campaign, after the 2013 purchase and renaming of the Church Street Theater. Renovations to the Church Street venue are slated to begin in late June 2014.