by Colin Murphy
One hundred years ago, a small group of untested politicians left Dublin for London, to negotiate for Irish independence with one of the most formidable delegations ever put together. The Irish were seeking to take back control; the British believed they were stronger together.
The Unionists believed in a hard border on the island of Ireland; the Republicans wanted the border in the Irish Sea. The Irish wanted a hard exit from the British Empire; the British tried to tempt them with the Canada option. And overseeing it all was a prime minister nobody trusted, notorious for his wizardry.
The Treaty is a history play for this moment.
The Treaty was co-commissioned by Fishamble and Pavilion Theatre. This production is part of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media’s Decade of Centenaries programme. This production is supported by Culture Ireland, National Concert Hall, Irish Embassy London, Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Department of Foreign Affairs, and British Irish Chamber of Commerce.
The Treaty was staged in the Kevin Barry Recital Room of the National Concert Hall in November 2021, where the Dáil debates on the treaty actually took place in 1921. The production toured to the Embassy of Ireland in London and was also presented digitally by nch.ie
Fishamble is an Irish theatre company that is passionate about discovering, developing and producing new plays of national importance with a global reach, while championing the role of the playwright.
Fishamble is funded by the Arts Council, Dublin City Council, and Culture Ireland.
SEODA-Culture Ireland Festival –Online
Streaming from Sunday 13th March at 7.30pm to Wednesday the 16th 7.30 pm
Karen Ardiff as Arthur Griffith
Jane Brennan as Eamonn de Valera
John Cronin as Cathal Brugha
Shadaan Felfeli as Robert Barton
Patrick Moy as Michael Collins
Caitríona Ní Mhurchú as Lady Lavery
Simon O’Gorman as Tom Jones
Camille Lucy Ross as Winston Churchill
Kate Stanley Brennan as Kathleen McKenna
Ian Toner as Erskine Childers
Ali White as Earl of Birkenhead
Jonathan White as David Lloyd George
‘a masterclass in tension’
★★★★ The Irish Times
‘spellbinding…performances are a delight…The Treaty is a theatrical event’
‘Electrifying…theatrical magic…a wholly engaging drama’
★★★★★ Broadway World
‘A remarkable piece of political drama’
Michael Billington, The Guardian
DURATION: 80 minutes, no interval
AGE GUIDANCE: 14+
MERCHANDISE: Playscripts for sale at a cost of 7-15€ at www.fishamble.com/store
An education pack to accompany this production is available for teachers on request.