Enda Walsh’s Medicine makes its American premiere at St. Ann's Warehouse beginning November 11 after playing the Edinburgh International Festival and Galway International Arts Festival earlier this year. Starring in the Brooklyn production are Domhnall Gleeson, Clare Barrett, Aoife Duffin, and percussionist Seán Carpio.
Medicine, a co-production with Landmark Productions and GIAF, follows John Kane, who is undergoing treatment with two attendants (both named Mary) as they replay trauma from John’s life both before and during his years-long institutionalization. Walsh penned the absurdist work after coming across accounts of abuse in psychiatric institutions and watching his mother’s experience with Alzheimer’s in a retirement home.
“It’s about the absence of love—and our longing and great need for love,” said Walsh in an earlier statement. “The characters are tied to structure and rules and ways of living that have twisted them into dysfunctional isolated souls. But knitted through the play, I hope, is a call for understanding and listening—and with that, our responsibility to care properly for one another and particularly for those who are vulnerable.”
Serving on the creative team are set designer Jamie Vartan, lighting designer Adam Silverman, composer Teho Teardo, costume designer Joan O'Clery, and sound designer Helen Atkinson. Cathy Belton, Zara Devlin, Seán McGinley, Aaron Monaghan, Mikel Murfi, Tadhg Murphy, and Marty Rea provide vocal talent to create a surround sound environment.
Medicine is the ninth production written or directed by Walsh to play St. Ann’s, after The Walworth Farce, The New Electric Ballroom, Penelope, Misterman, The Last Hotel, Arlington, Ballyturk, and Grief Is the Thing with Feathers. The playwright won the Best Book of a Musical Tony Award in 2012 for Once.
(Updated November 11, 2021)