John B. Keane’s hugely successful play, Sive, returns to the Abbey Theatre this November, as part of its ongoing national tour.
Directed by the award-winning Conall Morrison, the play is set in 1950’s rural Ireland and tells the story of social status and greed. It was John B. Keane’s first play and was rejected by the Abbey Theatre initially only to receive huge enthusiasm and praise when it was performed by The Listowel Drama Group in 1959. Sive then won the All-Ireland Drama Festival in Athlone and was eventually performed in 1985 on the Abbey stage for the first time.
The story of Sive centres on a young illegitimate girl named Sive, played by Róisín O’Neill, who lives with her uncle and aunt in Kerry. A burden to them, a local matchmaker convinces the pair to force her into marriage with the elderly Seán, played by Derry Power, for a large sum of money. However, Sive is in love with another man of whom her family don’t approve.
John B. Keane was one of Ireland’s most admired literary figures. Born in Co. Kerry, he wrote plays that are widely regarded as classics of the Irish stage such as Sharon’s Grave, The Field, which was adapted into an Oscar winning film in 1991, and Big Maggie.
Also the writer of many successful novels, essays, letters and short stories, John B. Keane won many awards, including the Abbey Theatre’s highest award of a Gradam medal. He died on 30th May 2002 after a battle with cancer but his words and inspiration live on.
The play runs from Wednesday 12th until Saturday 22nd November at the Abbey Theatre. Performances are from Monday to Friday at 7.30pm with a 2pm matinee showing on Saturdays.
27, Lower Abbey Street
Tel: 01 878 7222