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Cillian Murphy to star in stage adaption of Grief is the Thing with Feathers

Cork actor Cillian Murphy will star in a stage version of Max Porter's novel, Grief is the Thing with Feathers, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

The novel tells the moving story of a widower and his young sons, which becomes a profound meditation on love, loss and living.

"Couldn’t be any more excited about the prospect of making this piece of work,” said Cillian Murphy.

"Grief is the Thing with Feathers truly broke my heart when I first read it and it will be a privilege to bring it to life on stage in Ireland.

"Complicité’s work on stage has inspired me for many years, and it is always a joy to get in a room with my most trusted collaborator and friend Enda Walsh."

Cillian Murphy

The play will be adapted and directed by Enda Walsh, who previously worked with Murphy on Disco Pigs, Ballyturk and Misterman.

"It’s a real honour to be asked to bring Max Porter’s singular and wonderful book, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, to the stage by Complicité - a great company whose work always inspires,” said Enda Walsh.

"Myself and my collaborators will be reunited with our friend Cillian Murphy who worked with us on Misterman and Ballyturk.

"It’s thrilling to be premièring this new work in Ireland next spring.

Enda Walsh

It will have its world premiere at the Black Box Theatre in Galway in March 2018, before transferring to the O’Reilly Theatre in Dublin. It will tour in 2019.

It will be produced by Complicité and Wayward Productions in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival.

“I cannot think of a company I would rather see adapting Grief is The Thing With Feathers for stage than Complicité,” said Max Porter.

"I am humbled and thrilled that this most influential, restless and dynamic company will transform my book into live theatre.

"Enda Walsh and Cillian Murphy are a phenomenal creative partnership. I have seen with my own eyes the magic of their collaborative practice. The way they think and speak about my text, about family and poetry, about humans and birds, gives me total faith in this production."

The production is co-produced with the Barbican, Cork Opera House, Edinburgh International Festival, Oxford Playhouse, St Ann’s Warehouse and Warwick Arts Centre, and supported by Lindsay Badenoch and Brian Carmody.

"We are delighted to be involved in this amazing production and especially to work once again with Enda Walsh and Cillian Murphy," said GIAF’s Artistic Director Paul Fahy.

"Max Porter’s novel is both beautiful and profound and Enda’s adaptation for the stage is deeply moving and exquisite."

Tickets for Galway and Dublin go on sale on Friday, December 8 at 2pm.