REHEARSALS are underway for a much-anticipated revival of Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa which opens at the National Theatre in London next month.
Josie Rourke’s striking take on the Irish classic will open at the venue's Olivier theatre in April.
The cast includes Derry Girls star Siobhán McSweeney and star of Father Ted and Death in Paradise Ardal O’Hanlon.
Alison Oliver, of Conversations with Friends, and Louisa Harland, also of Derry Girls, are in cast too, alongside Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Bláithín Mac Gabhann, Justine Mitchell and Tom Riley.
Director Josie Rourke said: “In my time as Artistic Director of the Donmar, we staged four works by Brian Friel.
“During those years, I was lucky enough to meet Brian and it was a joyous honour to be near this great man and his plays, which are defining works of the theatre.
"It’s a privilege to be the director of this revival for the National Theatre."
She added: “It was on the South Bank that the seed of the play was planted with Friel and it was always his intention that this play be produced by the NT.
"I’m so happy to be working with this glorious cast and creative team to bring it to the Olivier stage.”
Set during harvest time in County Donegal in 1936, outside the village of Ballybeg, Friel’s play tells the story of the five Mundy sisters as they battle poverty to raise seven-year-old Michael and care for their Uncle Jack.
During the Festival of Lughnasa, Pagan and Christian meet and collide and the sisters fight, love, dance, yearn and survive, in this astonishing evocation of a family’s world on the brink of change.
The play runs from April 6 to May 27. Tickets for Dancing at Lughnasa are available now here.