US production of Caldwell’s “Three Sisters”

News, Plays

Living Room Theatre, a boutique Equity company of New York professionals entering its seventh season that concentrates on classics (Chekhov, Shaw, Strindberg) is  presenting the U.S. première of Lucy Caldwell’s Irish adaptation of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters,” set in Belfast in the 1990s at the end of the Troubles directed by Christopher McCann.

The cast includes Monique Vukovic as Orla, Oona Roche as Erin, Hannah Beck as Marianne, Allen McCullough as Vershinin and Kirk Jackson as Uncle Beattie and is  playing through Aug. 18 at Living Room Theatre in North Bennington.

Discussing the production, Director Chris McCann,  a founding member of the company, emphasized that Caldwell’s play was not just a simple rewrite of Chekov.

“Though these different circumstances inform the actors, and ultimately audiences, in substantial ways, `Three Sisters’ is not about the time and locale,” McCann said. “Rather, it’s about the people within the time and locale hoping to live normal lives, with expectations that change and dreams that go unrealized,”
(see a full review at the Berkshire Eagle)


Cast Interview

More theatre Talk interviewed the cast of Three Sisters. Click below to listen to it

Interview with Living Room Theatre

Production Photographs from “Three Sisters”

News, Plays

“The acting in this play is superb top to bottom, and I would be remiss if I didn’t single out the sisters themselves. Vukovic, Beck and Roche absolutely grasped the cross-generational dynamics at play in Caldwell’s version, taking the very different but also powerful female leads, and making them planets about which the rest of the cast beautifully orbited.

In addition, LRT co-founder McCullough, as well as Wadsworth and Jackson, provided three radically different, but intensely effective, testosterone balances to this story’s equation.

There is so much to this play, and discerning audience members will need a bit of time at the start to digest all of the characters entering the scene of Erin’s birthday party. Once oriented though, Caldwell’s tapestry welcomes and drapes you.”

(from Bennington Banner)

“Three Sisters” at the Lyric

News, Plays

threesistersAs part of the Vivid Faces season at the Lyric Theatre, Lucy Caldwell was  commissioned to create a modern resetting of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. This new version, which will have its world premiere at the Lyric in October 2016, is to be directed by Selina Cartmell.


Vivid Faces

The Lyric Theatre  announced its Spring – Autumn 2016 season, entitled Vivid Faces: Eight plays exploring the nature of identity. The plays, which will be performed between April and November, include the world premieres of three new works by local writers, a co-production with the Young Vic in London of Conor McPherson’s new play (also a world premiere), and plays to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme.

More information about Vivid Faces can be had at the Lyric Theatre website.

Hier Soir, Demain Soir


scene from "Hier Soir, Demain Soir" © J Louis FernandezHier Soir, Demain Soir (Last Night, Tomorrow Night), a commission by the Comédie de Valence, was presented at the Festival Ambivalence(s) in May-June 2012 as part of group of pieces by five playwrights called Une Chambre en ville. The monologue, performed by Mireille Mossé, was translated by Séverine Magois and and directed by Claire Semet

A middle-aged woman enters her hotel room fiercely determined. Her mind is made up; everything has been planned with the utmost care. But it’s not so easy to take one’s leave…

View the Threatrical trailer

Notes to Future Self


Scene from Notes To Future Self“Judy’s my mom. It’s an understatement to say she’s a bit of a hippy. I mean who else but a New Ager calls their baby ‘Philosophy Rainbow’? I try to go by ‘Sophie’.”

Sophie and Calliope have never been to school. Their mum ran away from home when she was seventeen to join the New Age movement and the girls have been raised in Goa, San Francisco and Morroco at a series of ashrams, communes and impromptu raves.

Then one day Sophie gets ill and the family has to return to Birmingham. Sophie and Calliope are introduced to a strange new world where meditation and tree-hugging are replaced with Maths homework and television. They’re also introduced to Daphne: the grandmother that the girls have never met. And it’s against this bewildering new backdrop – the normality she’s always longed for – that Sophie must come to terms with her own mortality.

Caldwell… is one of those few playwrights who uses sentiment neither out of intellectual weakness nor emotional cowardice but as a glowing affirmation. These 75 minutes are about three women, each of whom is negotiating a new existence of her own, and at the centre a girl facing the end of life almost before she understands what it is […] a multi-levelled awareness of what life and death may mean to each of us
★★★★☆ Financial Times (more)

[A] brave, beautiful and quite extraordinary play
The Stage

Cast & Creative

  • Philosophy Rainbow (Sophie): Imogen Doel
  • Daphne: Jane Lowe
  • Judy: Amanda Ryan
  • Calliope: Jayne Wisener
  • Director: Rachel Kavanaugh
  • Designer: Colin Richmond
  • Lighting Designer: Simon Bond
  • Composer: Catherine James
  • Sound Designer: Dan Hoole
  • Associate Director: Robert Shaw Cameron
  • Casting Director: Alison Solomon
  • Dramaturg: Caroline Jester

Notes To Future Self by Lucy Caldwell premiered March 2011 at Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company.

BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Drama“Notes to Future Self” on Radio 4

Lucy Caldwell’s play “Notes to Future Self”, which premiered last year at Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 as the Afternoon Play at 2.15 on Tuesday 30th October. Lucy herself abridged and adapted the play, and it was recorded in Belfast with the original cast and is produced and directed by Heather Larmour.

The play is no longer available on the BBC iPlayer catch-up service but details of the programme can be found here.


The Luthier (2009)


SPINNING-THE-TIMESLucy Caldwell’s tale of a young apprentice luthier on the West Bank in Palestine premiered as part of Spinning the Times, a series of pieces by five Irish playwrights produced by Origin Theatre Company as part of the New York 1st Irish Festival at 59E59 Theaters in September 2009

Praise for “The Luthier”

The best of [the plays] is “The Luthier” by Lucy Caldwell, about a Palestinian youth who is learning to repair violins. Ethan Hova gives a beautiful performance
New York Times

Fugue and The Luthier tread ground that has been covered before, but both are nonetheless rich in their humanity. … Ethan Hova stars in The Luthier, as a Palestinian man trying to carve out a peaceful life in a world that refuses to yield to his nature. A luthier is an artisan who repairs violins; Dawood dreams of practicing his craft in the U.S. as he remembers pivotal, tragic moments from his past here in Gaza. Both David and Dawood are refugees because of ancient hatreds afflicting their homelands; from their circumstances can we learn compassion for problems that, here in America, always seem so far away?

The Luthier, by Lucy Caldwell, takes us to Palestine where Dawood (Ethan Hova) fixes violins. “Except for fire, there is no damage which cannot be repaired,” he says. While he may be able one day to save violins, Dawood cannot restore the damage the persistent bombings have wreaked on his friends and family. It is a portrait of senseless violence and innocence destroyed, and Hova’s understated performance is heartfelt and sweet, even in the face of horrific destruction.

Guardians (2009)


DancingAnd they all told us we were crazy, everyone told us we were crazy. But we knew we were right. And now, I think: what if we were wrong? What if they were right, after all, and we were wrong?

Bright twenty-somethings Molly and Conor have been married for a year. Forced to relocate to Conor’s family-home in Belfast, their love and understanding of each other is brought irretrievably into question. In Guardians, the beautifully crafted follow-up to Lucy Caldwell’s George Devine Award-winning play Leaves, Caldwell explores what happens when our expectations come up against reality, and how easy it is to miss our step. Guardians is directed by Natalie Abrahami, joint Artistic Director of London’s Gate Theatre: ‘A director of exceptional flair’ Guardian.

Cast & Crew

Molly: Sonya Cassidy
Conor: Andrew Simpson

Director: Natalie Abrahami Dramaturge: Ben Power Design: takis Lighting: Matt Prentice Sound: Steve Mayo Video Projection: Dick Straker for Mesmer Voice: John Tucker Casting: Camilla Evans Production Manager: Jae Forrester Stage Manager: Al Orange Assistant Stage Manager: George Moustakas

Guardians_GuardianPraise for “Guardians”

“Now in its third year, the High Tide festival is based in the small Suffolk town of Halesworth and exists primarily to promote new writing. It has already notched up a big success with the London transfer of Adam Brace’s Stovepipe. Having seen two of the three plays on show this year, I would confidently predict an afterlife for Lucy Caldwell’s Guardians: the second in a Belfast trilogy that began with Leaves, seen at the Royal Court in 2007.

Caldwell’s gift is for exploring the texture of domestic unhappiness. In Leaves, she dealt with the impact on a middle-class family of their daughter’s aborted suicide. Here, she shows how young love can go disastrously wrong. Molly is an American doing a thesis on post-conflict societies, and Conor is a Belfast-born law student. Having met and married hastily in Indiana, they come to Northern Ireland to house-sit for a year in Conor’s parental home. Although they seem very much in love, rifts soon appear: Molly feels an outsider in Belfast and finds her academic work blocked, while Conor is unable to cope with Molly’s idealised vision of him as a talented musician. Within a few months they part, apparently irrevocably.

What Caldwell understands very well, in a manner reminiscent of Rattigan, is the inequality of passion: Molly simply has a capacity for love more profound than that of her young husband. While the theme may not be startlingly original, Caldwell invests it with a wealth of enlivening detail. Denied a family wedding herself, Sonya Cassidy’s wonderfully touching Molly sits alone desolately watching home movies of other people’s nuptials. There is something equally poignant about the admission of Andrew Simpson’s law-obsessed Conor that he is not as interesting as his wife once thought.

Caldwell may be a miniaturist, but she writes with real power about lost love and, although I found Natalie Abrahami’s production sombrely underlit, I was much moved.”

Michael Billington “Guardian”