Adrian Dunbar plays Brendan Behan in this warm and funny drama of an Irish national treasure. This Lyric Theatre Belfast production opened the Naughton Studio in 2011 to great acclaim before being revived for an international tour, including a limited run at the Acorn Theatre in New York, and now returns to Ireland.
It is 1960s New York in legendary bohemian bolt hole, The Chelsea Hotel. Arthur Miller is just across the hall and the symphony of 24th Street is rising up and in through the open window of Brendan Behan’s room. He is broke, hung over and way past the delivery date of his latest book, the first line of which he is yet to write. He was told to stop drinking or he’d be dead in six months – that was two years ago.
Today is not going well. His mistress keeps ringing, the bills aren’t paid and a wire arrives from Dublin with the kind of news that’s guaranteed to put his blood pressure through the roof…
Since reopening its doors in May 2011, the Lyric theatre has gone from strength to strength as Northern Ireland’s only full time producing theatre. The brand new £18.1 million building forms a cultural hub at the heart of Northern Ireland’s capital. The world class facilities enable the theatre to continue creating performance work of the highest standard to entertain audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
- Written by Janet Behan
- Directed by Adrian Dunbar
- Lighting Design by James C McFetridge
- Set and Costume Design by Stuart Marshall
- Cast includes Adrian Dunbar, Pauline Hutton, Richard Orr, Samantha Pearl and Chris Robinson
“Dunbar’s performance alone makes Brendan at the Chelsea a must”. New York Times
“Thanks to a terrific and eclectic cast, aided by Stuart Marshall’s sets and James McFetridge’s sensitive lighting, Brendan at the Chelsea is a thoughtful evocation of one of Ireland’s great writers. Much like Behan, it pulls no punches.” Huffington Post
“In Adrian Dunbar’s riveting central performance, Behan plays the stage Irishman to perfection, a song permanently on his lips, his slurring, alcohol-soaked wit delighting a succession of hangers-on with its scathing, self-deprecating observations.” The Stage
Contains strong language and scenes of a sexual nature.