Blackbird  theatre


by David Harrower

Decadent Theatre Company

Decadent Theatre Company continues to forge a theatrical path to venues around Ireland with a national tour of David Harrower’s award-winning drama, Blackbird. Directed by Andrew Flynn, it comes to Ballina Arts Centre on Thursday 2nd June as part of an extensive tour running from April to June 2022.

Blackbird was an adrenaline jolt to critics and audiences alike when it premiered at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival. It has since received productions around the world including in the West End where it won the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Play and on Broadway starring Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams.

Blackbird is a heart-stopping confrontation between two people forever bound by a shared experience that torments them both. This blistering two-hander boils theatre down to its most essential elements.

After years in prison and subsequent hardships, Ray has a new identity and has made a new life for himself, thinking that he cannot be found. Una has thought of nothing else. Upon seeing a photo of Ray in a magazine, she has arrived unannounced at his office.

Guilt, rage, and raw emotions run high as they recollect the illegal relationship they had fifteen years ago, when she was twelve and he was forty. Moral judgment is suspended until the end in a play that never shies away from the shattering consequences of the past. Questions far outnumber answers in this dark drama.

Decadent has commissioned theatre educator Dani Gill to curate an outreach programme that will offer context for this complex and challenging work. It will be available for audiences to view online before attending Blackbird.

Andrew Flynn, Artistic Director of Decadent Theatre Company tackled Blackbird as part of the 2009 Galway International Arts Festival. The Irish Theatre Magazine said, “Blackbird is a stunning play, dense with philosophical and ethical issues about human sexuality.”

This new production stars Declan Conlon as Ray and Maeve Fitzgerald as Una.

Decadent Theatre Company is firmly established as a leading force in Irish theatre and touring is in Decadent’s DNA. No other Irish company tours as much.

In recent years Decadent has brought 24 live theatre shows to 34 venues of all sizes across Ireland.  Always one of Ireland’s busiest companies, in 2019 alone Decadent produced five productions by five Irish playwrights that toured to 21 venues in 14 counties. The Company led the way toward the resumption of touring theatre with Eden which travelled to twenty Irish venues in October and November 2021. 

Andrew Flynn is one of the most successful and sought-after directors at work today. Recent productions include Kevin Barry’s There Are Little Kingdoms as part of the 2021 Galway International Arts Festival and The Lonesome West by Martin McDonagh for Gaiety Productions.

Blackbird’s national tour is supported by the Arts Council’s Touring and Dissemination of Work and Capacity Building Schemes.

Blackbird contains strong language and adult content. 

The sexual abuse of a minor is discussed. It is suitable for ages 16+. Running time is 80 minutes with no interval.

Tickets: €18 / €16. Early booking advised.