Royal Court’s Cyprus Avenue comes to screens

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Following its original sold-out run at the Royal Court and transfers to The Public Theatre, New York, Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and The MAC Belfast; David Ireland’s black comedy Cyprus Avenue has been captured by The Space and was transmitted on BBC Four this September before heading to iPlayer for 30 days..

“Gerry Adams has disguised himself as a new-born baby and successfully infiltrated my family home.”

David Ireland’s Cyprus Avenue is a multi-award-winning play and production starring Stephen Rea and directed by Vicky Featherstone. Originally co-produced at the Royal Court Theatre and Abbey Theatre, the critically acclaimed production toured to Belfast and the Public Theater in New York. This adaptation mixes live capture of performance from the Royal Court Theatre stage with location shooting in Belfast.

Eric Miller is a Belfast Loyalist. He is experiencing a psychotic episode and mistakes his five-week old granddaughter for Gerry Adams. Generations of sectarian trauma convince him that his cultural heritage is under siege. He must act. This hard hitting black comedy Cyprus Avenue tells the story of a man struggling with the past and terrified of the future. It was awarded Best New Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards and the James Tait Black Prize for Drama in 2017. For his portrayal of Eric, Stephen Rea won Best Actor at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017.

Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director at Royal Court Theatre, commented;

“This is such an extraordinary opportunity granted to us by The Space for more people to see this exceptional play – all of us involved feel strongly that it communicates vital messages about intolerance, systemic hatred and violence and examines the consequences of long term division and national trauma. What could be more fitting.”

On BBC Four

Cyprus Avenue was broadcast on BBCFour on Sunday 15th September at 10pm and is now available to watch online for a limited period.

Cyprus Avenue featuring Stephen Rea Photo: Ros Kavanagh
Cyprus Avenue featuring Stephen Rea Photo: Ros Kavanagh

This recording, commissioned by The Space, creates a completely original adaptation for screen of David Ireland’s Cyprus Avenue.

About this artist

The Royal Court Theatre is the writers’ theatre. It is the leading force in world theatre for energetically cultivating writers – undiscovered, emerging and established.

Through the writers, the Royal Court is at the forefront of creating restless, alert, provocative theatre about now. It opens its doors to the unheard voices and free thinkers that, through their writing, change our way of seeing.

Over 120,000 people visit the Royal Court in Sloane Square, London, each year and many thousands more see its work elsewhere through transfers to the West End and New York, UK and international tours, digital platforms, our residencies across London, and our site-specific work. Through all its work it strives to inspire audiences and influence future writers with radical thinking and provocative discussion.