The Steward of Christendom
by Sebastian Barry
Director Max Stafford-Clark
Designer Julian McGowan
Lighting Johanna Town
Music Sean Davey
Sound Paul Arditti
Original cast: Kieran Ahern, Tina Kellegher, Cara Kelly, Maggie McCarthy, Aislin McGuckin, Rory Murray, Jonathan Newman
World Premiere: 30th March 1995, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs
Sebastian Barry’s extraordinary play deals with a crucial moment in Ireland’s history as Thomas Dunne, an ex-superintendent of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, looks back on his life and attempts to keep his ghosts at bay.
When The Steward of Christendom opened at the Royal Court’s tiny Theatre Upstairs in February, the impact was enormous. The power of the writing, the production and Donal McCann’s magnificent central performance led to a triumphant run two years later at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.
‘the great Irish actor Donal McCann gives a performance of compelling beauty and power’
‘Max Stafford-Clark’s direction is a quiet miracle of strength and feeling. The play is a must’
The Sunday Times
‘I have seen no better play this year…I doubt whether I have ever been so moved in a theatre’
‘Donal McCann as Thomas Dunne is outstanding’