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Gay Love Story Has New Zealand Premiere In Iconic Irish Pub

Four Nights In The Green Barrow Pub by Auckland playwright Kieran Craft has its New Zealand Premiere in JJ Murphy & Co in November, the iconic Irish Pub on Wellington’s Cuba Street.

“With Four Nights in the Green Barrow Pub, I wanted to bring a bit more nuance to the kinds of gay stories I've seen” says Kieran Craft, Auckland based playwright who has his Wellington debut in November. Shortlisted for the Adam New Zealand Play Award and Highly Commended for Playwright’s b4 25 competition, Four Nights In The Green Barrow Pub is something of a departure for Craft who typically writes musicals for his company Back and Forth Productions. That’s not to say there isn’t music in Four Nights, which features a great many Irish folk tunes to get your toes tapping.

The play follows Darragh (Finlay Langelaan), the young owner of the Green Barrow whose inherited the pub from his father. He tries to keep the pub running in his father’s memory, supressing any urge to make it his own, reflecting who he is and his identity. When a handsome young stranger Arad (Alex Rabina) arrives for four nights, he sparks a fire within Darragh, to express himself more passionately and make the pub his own.

With all the scriptwriting acclaim, Four Nights has been a sought-after play and its finally being staged by Red Scare Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Cassandra Tse.

“I felt a strong emotional connection to this play from the very first read, and knew I wanted to direct it,” Tse says. “I loved the play’s strong sense of place, its warm, relatable characters and the many opportunities it had for incorporating some classic Irish music. When we were able to secure J.J. Murphy’s as our venue, it just all fell into place. It seemed perfect.”

This will be the first theatrical production staged at J.J. Murphy & Co, which has previously housed a Bollywood movie, short films and numerous pub quizzes. Located in the heart of the CBD on Wellington’s iconic Cuba Street, audiences can grab a Guinness and take in a new NZ show in the poolroom upstairs.

The full cast features a mix of talented up and comers and established professionals, working together to create this sweet, moving tale of love, friendship and Irish folk songs. Finlay Langelaan and Aimee Sullivan star as brother and sister Darragh and Aisling, Alex Rabina stars as Arad, returning to Red Scare after his performance in Yellow Face in 2017. This will be Karen Anslow’s third Red Scare appearance after starring in the sell-out M’Lady and Red Scare’s first production Right Dishonourable. Hilary Norris (The Light Between Oceans) and Ralph Johnson (The Lazarus Lottery) round out the cast as jovially fighting couple Nuala and Glendon. They’ll be joined by musicians Thomas Whaley and Emily Griffiths in a band led by music director Michael Stebbings, back for his fifth show with Red Scare.

Craft hopes that Four Nights can bring a bit more specificity in how we tell gay stories. “The narratives I’ve seen tend to focus on the process of coming out as this massive event, after which everything changes forever. I wanted to show somebody who has come out, but their life hasn't really changed all that much, for the better or for the worse, and they need to figure out what they want now. Sometimes taking ownership of your life requires more than just a single big step, it requires lots of small steps that you're able to keep taking, every day.”

Four Nights In The Green Barrow Pub runs from 14 – 23 November in J.J. Murphy & Co. Early bird tickets are still available from $16, tickets available at Eventfinda.


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