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The Plough and the Stars

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Set amid the tumult of the Easter Rising of 1916, The Plough and the Stars is the story of ordinary lives ripped apart by the idealism of the time. Sean O’Casey’s absorbing play was directed by Olivier Award-winning director Sean Holmes at the Lyric in 2018 in a co-production with the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

The Education pack below can be used by GCSE and A-Level students to develop their understanding of live theatre as well as providing general information that contextualises the play in its historic, political and social background whilst exploring how it has been contemporised and is relevant to a British audience.

The Plough and the Stars was first performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1926. The audience rioted. Now regarded as a masterpiece, this provocative play is an essential part of our understanding of Ireland in 1916.

This is a dynamic re-imagining: loyal to the spirit of O’Casey’s play whilst unleashing contemporary resonances for a modern audience.


Cast & Creative Team

Jack Clitheroe – Ian Lloyd Anderson
Peter Flynn –Niall Buggy
Sgt. Tinley – Charlie Cassen
Bar-tender – John Currivan
Fluther Good – Phelim Drew
Bessie Burgess – Hilda Fay
Captain Brennan – Liam Heslin
Mollser – Julie Maguire
Lieut. Langon – Paul Mescal
Mrs Gogan – Janet Moran
The Young Covey – Ciaran O’Brien
Nora Clitheroe – Kate Stanley Brennan
Corporal Stoddart – Adam Strawford
Rosie Redmond – Nyree Yergainharsian

Written by Sean O’Casey
Directed by Sean Holmes
Set Design by Jon Bausor
Lighting Design by Paul Keogan
Costume Design by Catherine Fay
Composer and Sound Design by Philip Stewart
Casting by Kelly Phelan


Watch video interviews with the director of ‘The Plough and the Stars’:

View a gallery of photos from the production in March 2018: