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Critically acclaimed On Blueberry Hill transfers to the West End

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING hugely successful, sell-out seasons in Dublin and New York, Fishamble’s critically acclaimed production of On Blueberry Hill is transferring to the West End. Sebastian Barry’s new play, it will run at Trafalgar Studios for a strictly limited season – from March 11 (previews from March 5) to May 2, 2020.

On Blueberry Hill is Sebastian Barry’s first new play in 10 years. He is one of Ireland’s greatest living writers and the current Laureate of Irish Fiction. Born in Dublin in 1955 his novels and plays have won, among other awards, the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Prize, the Costa Book of the Year award, the Irish Book Awards Best Novel, the Independent Booksellers Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

Barry also had two consecutive novels, A Long Long Way (2005) and The Secret Scripture (2008), shortlisted for the MAN Booker Prize.

In Barry’s beautiful style, On Blueberry Hill features best of friends and worst of enemies Christy (Niall Buggy) and PJ (David Ganly), who are destined to share their lives for twenty years. As the two men reflect on the hope and torment of life outside – they slowly uncover the events that have led them to their world with explosive, bittersweet consequences.

Reprising their roles as Christy and PJ are Irish Times Theatre Award and Olivier Award winner Niall Buggy and West End and Broadway star David Ganly. Directed by Fishamble’s Jim Culleton, this new play is bursting with humanity, as it explores forgiveness, survival and, ultimately, love.

Sebastian Barry said: “So happy to hear the splendid news that the truly brilliant work of Niall Buggy, David Ganly, director Jim Culleton and all the crew at Fishamble, will be seen at the fabulous Trafalgar Studios. We all longed for a further life for characters Christy and PJ, holed up in Mountjoy Jail, and now here it is, wonderfully, in very best style.”

Niall Buggy is one of the leading Irish actors of his generation, having worked extensively on the stage and screen in Ireland, the UK and the US. Some of his better known roles include: the title role in Brian Friel’s Uncle Vanya, for which he won Best Actor at The Irish Times Theatre Awards and for his role as Casimir in Aristocrats for which he won the Time Out Award, Obie Award in New York, Drama Desk Award and a Clarence Derwent Award. He also received the Olivier Award for Best Comedy Performance in Dead Funny, while his performance in Juno and the Paycock won him Best Actor in the TMA Awards.

David Ganly’s numerous theatre credits include: Girl from the North Country, Shakespeare in Love (Noël Coward Theatre); The Velveteen Rabbit (Unicorn Theatre); Once, Grease, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz (Olympia, Dublin); The Lonesome West (Tron, Glasgow); The Plough and the Stars (Abbey, Dublin/Irish Tour/US Tour); King Lear (Theatre Royal, Bath); Drum Belly, Uncle Vanya, The Cavalcaders, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Philadelphia, Here I Come! (Abbey, Dublin); The Wizard of Oz (London Palladium); Beauty Queen of LeenaneOFFIE nomination for Best Actor (Young Vic); and Chicago (Cambridge Theatre).

Fishamble: The New Play Company is an Olivier Award-winning, internationally acclaimed Irish theatre company, which discovers, develops and produces new work, across a range of scales. It provides audiences with a diverse range of contemporary, compelling and heartfelt dramatic works.

On Blueberry Hill is designed by Sabine Dargent, with lighting design by Mark Galione, sound design and composition by Denis Clohessy and is produced for Fishamble by Eva Scanlan. This production of On Blueberry Hill was originally produced by Fishamble and will be produced in the West End by Trafalgar Theatre Productions and Fishamble.

Tickets: From £15. To book, visit or

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7:30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2:30pm.