WELCOME TO THE STRANGER
Asenath Nicholson’s journey through the Great Famine
Written by Rua Breathnach . Directed by Rémi Beelprez
With support from Wallonie-Bruxelles International.
KEEPSAKETHEATRE is a new collaboration between Irish playwright Rua Breathnach and Belgian director Rémi Beelprez.
Their aim is to make exciting, contemporary theatre based on half-forgotten texts and past events that speak urgently to us today.
Inspired by the eye-witness accounts of Asenath Nicholson, an extraordinary American woman who travelled alone through Ireland during the Great Famine, WELCOME TO THE STRANGER reveals both the humanity and degradation of this most traumatic event in modern Irish history.
The public is invited to a post-show discussion of the contemporary significance of the Great Famine with playwright, Rua Breathnach, on 1 August in the Town Hall. All welcome!
"Using a local cast of sixteen actors from the Skibbereen area, a place synonymous with the Great Famine in Ireland, this hugely ambitious new production promises to be one of the highlights of the theatrical year." - The Grapevine
"With a strikingly original staging by Rémi Beelprez, this production re-imagines the Famine from the perspective of a uniquely placed outsider." - West Cork People
Rua Breathnach is a native of Dublin. His first two plays, ‘Rondo’ and ‘Avenida’, premiered in Brussels in 2013 and 2015 respectively. He moved with his family from that city to Union Hall in 2016. ‘Welcome to the Stranger’ is his first full-length play.
Rémi Beelprez has collaborated with many acclaimed theatre makers including Ivo Van Hove, Trisha Brown, Jan Fabre and Thomas Ostermeier.
Since 2010, he has specialised in adapting new texts for performance. Amongst his many credits, he directed Rua Breathnach’s first two plays and, most recently, ‘Les Fruits du Monde’, a piece of opera-theatre, based on the autobiographical writings of 18th century castrato Filippo Balatri, which is currently touring Belgium and France.