The Weir (1997)

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The play, set in a bar in a remote part of Ireland, is about a group of friends who one-up each other with scary stories to impress a young woman, Valerie, who joins their group. As the drink flows and the stories become increasingly frightening, Valerie tells a tale so distressing and confounding that it leaves everyone completely shaken.

  • The main house is the Royal Court Downstairs, the small studio theatre is the Royal Court Upstairs. For a while in the late 1990s the theatre was closed for renovation/rebuilding, and while it was closed its management leased two West End theatres. The Duke of York’s Theatre became the Royal Court Downstairs for the duration of the building work, and the smaller Ambassador’s Theatre became the Royal Court Upstairs. The Weir opened on 4 July 1997 at the ‘Royal Court Upstairs at the Ambassadors Theatre’. It was such a success that it transferred to the large ‘Royal Court Downstairs at the Duke of York’s’ and played there from 23 February to 28 March 1998. It then came back again to the ‘Royal Court Downstairs at the Duke of York’s’  from 8 October  1998 – 23 January 1999.
  • Brendan won the 1999 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor.  Following its West End run, the Royal Court production transferred to New York, where he also won a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut.
  • The play won two Oliviers – Best New Play and Best Supporting Performance for Brendan Coyle – as well as the Evening Standard Most Promising Newcomer Award for McPherson and Best New Play honours in 1997 at both the Critics Circle and George Devine Awards.
  • The Weir was voted one of the 100 most significant plays of the 20th Century in a poll conducted by the Royal National Theatre, London.
Conor McPhearson
Ian Rickson
Additional Cast:
Kieran Ahern, Dermot Crowley, Michelle Fairley, Jim Norton
Gate Theatre, Dublin; Royal Court, London, Upstairs and Downstairs (Duke of York Theatre, West End); Brussels, Belgium; World Stage Festival, duMaurier Theatre Centre, Harbourbront, Toronto, Ontario; Walter Kerr Theater, NYC.
Completed play.
The Weir, BBC Radio3, Royal Court Theatre