The Glencairn Cycle cast to set sail from New Ross to California

Sean Keane


Sean Keane


All set for America

Bryan Hynes, Gary Stephens, Ronan Berry, Andy Doyle, Jack Matthews, Gerard O’Riordan, Stephen Byrne, John Crosbie, Michael Murphy, Tony Brennan and Paul Walsh Director on the Dunbrody

The team behind the Eugene O’Neill Festival today announced the programme details of the second annual festival, which is set to take place in New Ross, County Wexford from October 8th to 13th 2019.

The Festival organisers also announced that their production of the Glencairn Cycle of plays is invited to be showcased during the US Eugene O’Neill Festival this September in San Francisco Bay.

Sean Reidy Chairman of the Irish Festival said, “We are delighted to unveil our second annual festival programme, it is filled with top quality productions of O'Neill's finest works plus a number of a panel discussion with Ireland’s leading literary luminaries, this festival truly and uniquely celebrates one of our greatest ever playwright.”

It is also an honour to announce that the Wexford cast of our Glencairn Cycle of plays has been invited to perform as part of the US festival which celebrates the life and works of Eugene O’Neill in California. On September 1st the Irish production will be showcased to the American audiences aboard the Balclutha berthed at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco Bay.”

The award-winning Long Days Journey Into Night tells the story of the O’Neill Family emigration from New Ross. O’Neill remains the only American playwright to win the Nobel Prize and also four Pulitzer Prizes. Eugene O’Neill’s father James was born in 1845 in Tinneranny, one mile from New Ross. He emigrated as a small boy with his family from the quayside of New Ross in 1851. James’ son Eugene O’Neill remains the only American playwright to win the Nobel Prize and also four Pulitzer Prizes. Eugene retired to Tao House in Danville, California in 1937 where he then wrote four of America’s greatest plays including his autobiographical masterwork, Long Days Journey Into Night.

The historic St Michael’s Theatre, New Ross will be the main venue of the festival which will  open on Thursday, October 10th with a production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece Long Day’s Journey Into Night, an autobiographical insight into its late, legendary playwright and a compassionately brutal look at one family’s struggle to fight for love itself.

Also on offer is a staged reading of ‘Strange Interlude’. The Pulitzer Prize-winning experimental play in nine acts will be presented as a professional Irish production in a staged reading directed by Ben Barnes. This 4-hour production will offer guests dinner at the evening interval at the Dunbrody Visitor Centre.

Twice daily aboard the beautiful Dunbrody Famine Ship berthed at New Ross Quayside will be the Glencairn Cycle of Plays, a series of three one-act plays directed by Paul Walsh set aboard the fictional ship the ‘SS Glencairn’, Bound East for Cardiff, The Long Voyage Home and In the Zone. These three one-act plays will be presented in one sitting lasting an hour.

A number of lunchtime sessions will also be on offer on October 10th and 11th at 1 pm, featuring a programme of readings and performances of a selection of O’Neill’s short plays and writings.

Closing the Festival on Sunday evening and nurturing the talent of the local modern-day playwright will be a production of The Diary of Maynard Perdu written and directed by the award-winning Wexford playwright Billy Roche and starring the acclaimed actor/musician Peter McCamley. The Diary Of Maynard Perdu is set in the fantastic, mirrored, burlesque world of the Spiegeltent where fantasy and delusion reign supreme. Based on the novella by Billy Roche, this one-man show takes us on a romantic journey of adventure and intrigue all of which serves to mask the pain and loss that are buried deep within.

A programme of Eugene O’Neill scholarly events is also set to take place in conjunction with Waterford Institute of Technology during the 2019 festival.

Commenting on the festival announcement and the international partnership, New Ross Cathaoirleach, Cllr John Fleming said, “The Eugene O’Neill Festival offers a significant tourism boost to New Ross in what is typically a tourism shoulder season. The international partnership between this Festival and that of San Francisco and Danville, California offers great opportunity not only for the arts and celebrating one of Ireland’s greatest every playwright but it also provides a unique connection to further grow international visitor numbers to this region.”

At Tao House in Danville this September and at St Michael’s Theatre in New Ross this October, in a partnership the festival organiser’s call “One Festival, Two Countries”, a celebration of the life and works of both James and Eugene O’Neill will take place in their adopted and ancestral countries. 

Tickets to the festival weekend at St. Michael’s Theatre in New Ross are available at €100. Tickets for individual events are available from €15; for further details see