Juno and the Paycock

Juno and the Paycock

Gielgud Theatre

  • Opens: Saturday, 21 September 2024 -
    Booking until: Saturday, 23 November 2024
Juno and the Paycock description

Billed as poetic, poignant, and hilarious, Juno and the Paycock is a warm-hearted black comedy full of wit exploring a mother’s resilience in the middle of life’s most challenging moments. A dazzling revival of Sean O’Casey’s acclaimed drama, it stars Mark Rylance and J Smith-Cameron.

Fancy seeing a show that’s all set to become the most-talked about West End production of the autumn? This is classic drama at its best, starring two of the best-respected actors of our times, one from either side of the Atlantic.

Big talent, big black comedy drama

Mark Rylance has been nominated many times and won many awards including Tonys and BAFTAs. At the 88th Academy Awards, he won Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Rudolf Abel in Bridge of Spies. He’s one of eight actors to win the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play twice and one of six nominated for two different acting categories in the same year. And of course, he’s the darling of TV too, playing everything from comedy to Shakespeare and historical drama in style.

Another acting genius, J Smith-Cameron spent most of her career on stage, making her Broadway debut in 1982’s Crimes of the Heart. She won a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play for Our Country's Good in 1989 and was also nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for this play, Seán O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock, in 2014. This will be Smith-Cameron’s UK debut.

Director Matthew Warchus has a stellar West End reputation, Artistic Director of The Old Vic Theatre since September 2015. This is the seventh time he has collaborated with Rylance. The creative side of the production is crafted by Rob Howell (Set and Costume Designer), Hugh Vanstone (Lighting Designer), Claire van Kampen (Composer) and Serena Hill CDG (Casting Director), and the show is Produced by Sonia Friedman Productions.

A potted history of the play

The play was first performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin during 1924, making 2024 its 100th birthday. O’Casey’s classic drama stars witty mother and wife Juno and her hapless drunken dreamer of a husband.

Roll back time to Dublin in 1922, during the Irish Civil War. The Boyles live in a tiny tenement flat where Juno struggles to make ends meet against the odds, using her sharp tongue as a coping mechanism. Her husband ‘Captain’ Jack Boyle isn’t a ship’s commander, as he’d like to think. He just sails between home and the pub. When good luck comes knocking, will their fortunes change?

From 1938 to 1980 it was adapted for TV six times. There have been 11 or more radio adaptations, a 1930 Hitchcock movie version, and a musical in 1959.

Playing at Gielgud Theatre

35-37 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR GB (venue info)

Gielgud Theatre Directions