Reviews: Here's What Critics Are Saying About London's Josie Rourke-Directed Dancing at Lughnasa Revival | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: Here's What Critics Are Saying About London's Josie Rourke-Directed Dancing at Lughnasa Revival

Derry Girls' Siobhán McSweeney and Louisa Harland star alongside Alison Oliver, Bláithín Mac Gabhann, and Justine Mitchell in the National Theatre production.

Siobhán McSweeney, Bláithín Mac Gabhann, Louisa Harland, Alison Oliver, and Justine Mitchell in Dancing at Lughnasa Johan Persson

Reviews are coming in for National Theatre's revival of Brian Friel's Olivier-winning play Dancing at Lughnasa following its April 18 opening. Previews began April 6 in the Olivier Theatre at the London venue for an engagement through May 27.

It's 1936, and harvest time has come in Ballybeg, a village in the Ireland's northwestern county, Donegal. Five sisters living in poverty are struggling to raise seven-year-old Michael while also caring for their Uncle Jack. As they fight and love, yearn and survive, the family's world arrives on the brink of change during the Festival of Lughnasa where pagan and Christian traditions convene.

Siobhán McSweeney (Derry Girls), Alison Oliver (Conversations with Friends), Louisa Harland (Derry Girls) Bláithín Mac Gabhann, and Justine Mitchell star as the play's leading five sisters. Joining them in the cast are Ardal O’Hanlon (Father Ted), Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, and Tom Riley. Sean Donegan, Lauren Farrell, George Turner, Amy Brown, and Caitríona Williams serve as understudies.

Read the reviews here.

Broadway World (Gary Naylor)

Culture Whisper (Holly O'Mahony)

Evening Standard (Nick Curtis)

The Guardian (Arifa Akbar)

iNews (Fiona Mountford)*

London Box Office (Stuart King)

London Theatre (Marianka Swain)

London Theatre 1 (Chris Omaweng)

The Reviews Hub (Richard Maguire)

The Stage (Sam Marlowe)*

The Telegraph (Dominic Cavendish)*

TimeOut (Andrzej Lukowski)

The Times (Clive Davis)*

The Upcoming (Constance Ayrton)

WhatsOnStage (Sarah Crompton)

Why Now (James Harvey)

*This review may require creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

Directed by Josie Rourke, the production features set and costume design by Robert Jones, lighting design by Mark Henderson, choreography by Wayne McGregor, compositions by Hannah Peel, sound design by Emma Laxton, video content creation by Chris Ross, and associate video design by Arthur Skinner. Casting is by Alastair Coomer.

Dancing at Lughnasa made its Broadway premiere in 1991 at the Plymouth Theatre where it began previews October 11 and opened October 24. It closed a year later on October 25 and was recognized with eight Tony nominations. Of those, it won the awards for Best Play, Best Direction of a Play, and Best Featured Actress in a Play for Bríd Brennan's performance.


Go inside the rehearsal room with the gallery below.

See Rehearsal Photos of The National Theatre's Dancing At Lughnasa


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