Shawshank Redemption on stage

Posted: April 15, 2009, 13:26
Here is an article about the stage version of Shawshank Redemption

Taking a shot at Redemption
New play's message of hope set to lift the spirit of a nation

By Stephen O'Farrell
Wednesday April 15 2009

A jailbreak tale, touted as one of the greatest stories of all time, is set to lift our spirits, its writers claimed yesterday.

'The Shawshank Redemption' will have its world stage premiere at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin next month. The writers behind the theatre production said the play's message of hope would help lift the clouds of economic gloom.

The play includes an array of well-known US stars and is being tipped to give the movie's popularity a run for its money.

Speaking at the first day of rehearsals in Dublin yesterday, writers Owen O'Neill and Dave Johns said the story had been a pet project for them.


They said Ireland was chosen for the world premiere, on May 19, due to the enthusiasm shown by the Irish producers, Lane Productions.

"We were thinking of doing it up in Edinburgh but then it got bigger with comedians and we met the producers from Lane Productions," Mr Johns told the Irish Independent.

"They were so enthusiastic about it, so that's why it's in Ireland, because I think they're really up for the challenge.

"And I just think, with this economic climate, that it has a quite apt message of hope. We all need hope so we're bringing it to cheer up the economy that collapsed the most."

'The Shawshank Redemption' theatre production's cast represents close to a mirror image of those in the movie; with 'Sleeping with the Enemy' star Kevin Anderson playing Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), Reg Cathey of 'The Wire' as Red (Morgan Freeman) and Keir Dullea of '2001: A Space Odyssey' as Brooksie (James Whitmore).

Producers Breda Cashe and Pat Moylan from Lane Productions described landing the play as a massive coup. The play will be based on Stephen King's novella as opposed to the 1994 screenplay, they revealed.

"We've been working on it for the best part of two years, so we are delighted," Ms Cashe said.

Lane Productions, which produced hits such as 'Stones in His Pockets', 'I, Keano' and 'Alone It Stands' in the past, said they were very excited by their latest play's prospects.

"One of the things you are as a producer is a gambler and you have a vision and you just hope that comes to fruition," Ms Moylan added.

Actor Reg Cathey said playing the Red character fulfilled a lifetime ambition, but warned audiences not to expect an imitation of Morgan Freeman's part.

"I've only seen the film once so when I got the part my girlfriend wanted to get the movie but I said no because I want to make it my own," he said.

Thanks to Bev Vincent