Audiences are set to return to the Cork Opera House in October for a production of Philadelphia, Here I Come!

The Brian Friel play will be the first major dramatic presentation to live audiences in Cork since the easing of restrictions.

It will see big name actors such as Alex Murphy (Conor in The Young Offenders), Catherine Walsh, Seamus O’Rourke, Fionula Linehan and Michael Sands take to the stage.

It is by Patrick Talbot Productions and runs from 5 to 16 October.

Chief executive of Cork Opera House Eibhlín Gleeson said they are delighted to host the play.

“At a very difficult time for the arts, it's wonderful to be in a position to welcome a local production on to our stage. We look forward to once again welcome the people of Cork, and beyond, into our theatre.”

The play

Philadelphia, Here I Come! is regarded as Friel’s first masterpiece. He would go on to write legendary titles such as Translations, Dancing at Lughnasa and Faith Healer.

Set in the fictional town of Ballybeg, it premiered in 1964 and subsequently transferred to Broadway, where it received numerous Tony Award nominations.

The plot follows young Gar O’Donnell, who is disillusioned with his dreary existence in suffocating 1960s Ireland. He decides to emigrate to America and live with his aunt Lizzy in Philadelphia.

Over the course of his final day and night, Gar wrestles with the wrenching pain of leaving while wondering if he can completely re-invent himself in America.

Tickets are on sale here.

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