Award-winning stage and screen actress Fiona Shaw will return to the New York stage this spring with The Testament of Mary, by the acclaimed author Colm Tóibín, directed by Deborah Warner. The production will begin previews on Tuesday, March 26, and open on Monday, April 22 for a twelve-week limited engagement through Sunday, June 16 at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48 Street.) The production will not only mark the New York theatrical debut for the multi-award winning novelist but will also be the first collaboration between Fiona Shaw and Deborah Warner to premiere on this side of the Atlantic.
The Testament of Mary takes place after the Crucifixion. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is in the city of Ephesus where she is both guarded and protected. As two of her son's followers set about giving shape to Jesus' story, Mary tells her own story - the one which has not been heard.
Penguin/Viking published The Testament of Mary last fall to international acclaim. The New York Times called it "beautiful and daring." London's The Independent proclaimed it as "a searing, stunning work." "Flawless. Touching, moving and terrifying," said the New Statesman. Entertainment Weekly raved, "it's spellbinding; exquisitely emotional. A generous leap of imagination," and The New York Review of Books called it "subversive and ruthless, Tóibín's boldest jump yet," and lauded it for its "sensational theatricality."
The Scott Rudin production will feature set design by Tom Pye and lighting design by Jennifer Tipton.
"One of the most richly creative partnerships in theatrical history," is how the Daily Telegraph described the seminal, long-time collaborative relationship between Fiona Shaw and Deborah Warner. Ms. Shaw and Ms. Warner received Tony Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Director for their production of Medea, and won the Drama Desk Award for their production of T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland. Their many productions in both London and around the world include Electra, Titus Andronicus, The Good Person of Szechwan, Hedda Gabler, Richard II (with Ms. Shaw in the title role), Mother Courage and Her Children, and Happy Days, which was seen in New York at BAM.
With The Testament of Mary Colm Tóibín returns to a subject - mothers and sons - which he has explored to great acclaim both in his novel A Long Winter and his short story collection Mothers and Sons. Short-listed twice for the Booker Prize for the novels The Blackwater Lightship and The Master (also named Novel of the Year by the Los Angeles Times), Tóibín's other work includes The South, Homage to Barcelona, The Heather Blazing, The Story of the Night, and Brooklyn (winner of the Costa Novel of the Year Award). In addition to Mothers and Sons, his short stories have been published in the collection The Empty Family. He is the author of two collections of critical essays: All A Novelist Needs, about the work of Henry James, and New Ways To Kill Your Mother, which explores the relationships between writers (ranging from Tennessee Williams to James Baldwin) and their families. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and The London Review of Books and is currently Mellon Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.