ARTS AND FEATURES — 26 March 2014

Writer Mark O’Rowe and actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor

Landmark Productions have announced that Howie the Rookie, starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, will play at the Barbican in London.

The production will play for one week only at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin from 11 – 15 November, before transferring to the Barbican in London from 19 – 29 November.

Howie the Rookie premiered at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Theatre in 1999 and is one of playwright Mark O’Rowe’s most acclaimed plays although it was always performed by two actors until the show was revived last year (touring Ireland and playing to the Edinburgh Festival) and Mark, as director, felt Tom was the man to play both roles in his gritty double-hander.

Mark told The Irish World last year of why he decided to put it all on Tom: “I knew Tom could pull it off but as a concept, I felt it would work in a way that it mightn’t work in something like film. Tom being so good, I thought he had too much potential and too much skill just to play one part. I kind of thought about other actors and I had that kind of eureka moment which was: ‘What if he was to play both of them?’”

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, known for playing Nidge in Love/Hate, told The Irish World before its Edinburgh run last year of his reaction at learning he would play both roles: “Iwas sitting on my wife’s parents’ couch and I kind of nearly wet myself, literally, because I knew the play and I knew how brilliant it was. I was kind of asking my agent: ‘What part do they want me to play?’ And they didn’t really say and my agent was a bit confused because no one had said which and then he said ‘I think it’s actually both parts’ and then I was like: ‘Oh my God’. But there are challenges that come up in your life where you’ve got to either take them on or not take them on so it was one of those ones where you go: ‘It’s just such an amazing challenge, I have to take this’.”

www.barbican.org.uk

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