powerful, provocative, hard-hitting, shocking … a sharply observed and at times wincingly true-to-life portrayal of a family and its disintegration … funny, infuriating and unbearably sad
magical sense of youthful exuberance … recreating a party atmosphere on stage is tough but Comyn and her set designer Paul O’Mahony succeed spectacularly
striking production … excellent cast … fizzing with performed sexual confidence and aggression – an accomplished, poetic merging of technology and stagecraft
The Irish Times
Landmark Productions and The Everyman in association with the Abbey Theatre present
Asking for It
by Louise O’Neill
A STAGE ADAPTATION BY MEADHBH McHUGH
IN COLLABORATION WITH ANNABELLE COMYN
Audience reaction to the acclaimed stage adaptation of Louise O’Neill’s devastating novel has been overwhelming. The initial Cork dates quickly sold and the following run at the Abbey Theatre also sold out well in advance of the production even opening there and drew an overwhelming reaction on social media (link to a sample of tweets here)
Recently the play won the Audience Choice Award at The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards for 2018. Commenting on the Award, Louise O’Neill said:“It has been a great honour to see Asking for It brought to life with such energy, imagination, and innovation. I would like to thank Anne Clarke, Julie Kelleher, Annabelle Comyn, and Meadhbh McHugh for their tireless work in creating this extraordinary piece of theatre. I am also grateful to the cast – in particular the astounding Lauren Coe. Watching you inhabit these characters with such artistry has brought me immeasurable joy. To win the Audience Choice award is gratifying as this is a play that asks so much of the viewer – it demands that we bear witness to survivors’ stories, that we refuse to turn away and ignore the reality of the world in which we live. I hope Asking for It will continue to win the hearts of audiences all over Ireland, and start many more vital conversations about sexual violence in this country.”
The play attracted a whole new audience – 60% of bookers were coming to the Everyman for the first time. This timely play really resonates with audiences and the producers are delighted to announce today dates at the Gaiety theatre from 9th October for a strictly limited run.
Produced by Landmark Productions and The Everyman, Asking for It was adapted for the stage by Meadhbh McHugh, in collaboration with Annabelle Comyn, who also directs. Asking for It shines an unflinching light on the experience of a young woman whose life is changed forever by a horrific act of violence. One night in a small town in Co. Cork, where everyone knows everyone, things spiral terrifyingly out of control. What will happen now? – to Emma? To her family? To the others?
Louise O’Neill, who wrote the best-selling novel on which the play is based, was stunned by the production: ‘nothing could have prepared me for what I saw on that stage. The first act was a whirl of youthful energy and raw sexuality, cut through with an undercurrent of crackling tension. During the party scene, the music felt as if it was pulsating in my veins, my heart racing, and my throat closing up with dread. As the huge screen splintered into broken images, with Emma’s voice narrating the scene, I desperately wished for a way to save her from her inevitable fate. I could hear someone quietly sobbing, and jolted when I realised it was me.’ (Irish Examiner)
Asking for It was co-commissioned by the Abbey Theatre and could not have taken place without the support of the Arts Council, who funded the production through an Open Call funding round.
Age guidance: 16+
Performance times: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Matinees: Saturdays 12th, 19th, 26th & Wednesdays 16th, 23rd at 2.30pm
Gaiety Theatre Box Office South King Street, Dublin 2.
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