World premiere of ‘Asking for It’ by Louise O’Neill for Cork Midsummer Festival 2018
Landmark Productions and the Everyman
in association with the Abbey Theatre and Cork Midsummer Festival
Asking for It
by Louise O’Neill
a stage adaptation by Meadhbh McHugh
in a collaboration with Annabelle Comyn
co-commissioned by the Abbey Theatre
Louise O’Neill is the best YA fiction writer alive today – The Guardian
Try to be brave, grown-ups. O’Neill’s second novel may be scary, but it is riveting and essential. Teenagers will recognize its difficult truth and devour it – behind your backs, if need be. –The New York Times
Louise O’Neill is a multi award-winning Irish writer. Her first novel, Only Ever Yours, which was initially released as a Young Adult novel, was subsequently released in an adult edition. Her second novel, Asking for It, caused a sensation, won the Book of Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2015, and has spent 52 weeks in the Irish top 10 bestseller lists. Bandit are developing a three-part made-for-TV film adaptation of the novel, which is in the early stages of development, and a documentary of the same name – borne out of the novel, and presented by O’Neill – aired on RTÉ television, the Irish national broadcaster, in November 2016.
O’Neill also writes as a journalist for a variety of Irish national newspapers and magazines, covering feminist issues, fashion and pop culture.
Welcoming the prospect of a stage adaptation, Louise O’Neill said: “Since the novel has been published, I have been overwhelmed by how people have responded. I receive emails from men and women all over the world who want to share their stories with me. They tell me that this book has helped them endure. It has made them feel as if they are not alone. They say that this book has, finally, given them a voice. I have been humbled by these emails but it reinforced my belief in the power of art. I believe that art is not just a mirror, showing us our true selves, but it has the ability to shape the way in which we see ourselves, that it has the power to transform the world that we live in. Culture can change culture. I am truly eager to see what sort of change a theatrical adaptation of Asking For It could enact.”
Director Annabelle Comyn said: “When I read Asking For It by Louise O’Neill it was like a punch to the stomach. I want my daughter, and her friends, and this next generation to be informed, made aware, and enabled and encouraged to speak openly about an important, complex and tricky and at times deeply divisive subject. Let it be controversial; let us look at ourselves.”
Asking For It is ‘a devastating novel: a genuinely heartbreaking, sickening and truthful examination of society’s penchant for victim-blaming, its treatment of women and the concept of rape culture’ – The Guardian
Landmark Productions and the Everyman, Cork will co-produce the world premiere of the stage version of Asking for It in June 2018. The production is co-commissioned by the Abbey Theatre, which will present the production on its main stage in November 2018.
In association with Fighting Words Cork at Graffiti Theatre Company, Cork Midsummer Festival will deliver a participatory and community programme, working with young people and schools to champion the voices and creativity of 14-19 year olds.
Conceived as a large-scale, technically ambitious production, the production will be adapted by Meadhbh McHugh in a collaboration with leading Irish theatre director Annabelle Comyn, who also directs.
The production was announced today as one of eleven projects supported by the Arts Council under its Open Call funding round. Open Call is a programme which funds ambitious, once-off artistic projects by some of Ireland’s best artists and arts organisations. Other projects supported by the Arts Council under this round include The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by Michael Keegan-Dolan for Teac Damhsa (formerly Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre); Home Theatre (Ireland) presented by Draoicht, which will commission and produce 30 one-person plays, to be inspired by residents of Dublin 15 and performed in their homes; and The Lost O’Casey, a reframing through a contemporary lens by Louise Lowe’s ANU Productions of a lost play by Sean O’Casey, Nannie’s Night Out, which was performed only once at the Abbey Theatre in 1924.
About Landmark Productions
Landmark Productions is one of Ireland's leading theatre producers. Led by Anne Clarke, the company produces wide-ranging and ambitious work in Ireland and tours Irish work abroad. The company’s recent work includes several productions by Enda Walsh: The Walworth Farce, starring Brendan Gleeson, Brian Gleeson and Domhnall Gleeson; the world premiere of The Last Hotel, an opera by Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh, in a co-production with Wide Open Opera; and the multi award-winning musical Once. Its award-winning co-productions with Galway International Arts Festival include the world premieres of Walsh’s Arlington, Ballyturk and Misterman.
Landmark's work has toured to the Barbican and to the National Theatre in London, to the Edinburgh International Festival, and to St Ann's Warehouse and to BAM in New York.
Recent work includes two world premieres at Galway International Arts Festival July 2017: Woyzeck in Winter, adapted and directed by Conall Morrison and starring Patrick O’Kane, Camille O’Sullivan and Rosaleen Linehan (a co-production with GIAF); and The Second Violinist, composed by Donnacha Dennehy and written and directed by Enda Walsh (co-produced with Wide Open Opera).
The company received the Judges' Special Award in The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards for 2011, in recognition of its 'sustained excellence in programming and for developing imaginative partnerships to bring quality theatre to the Irish and international stage'. Anne Clarke received the Special Tribute Award in 2015, in recognition of her work as a 'producer of world-class theatre in the independent sector in Ireland’.
Future productions include the world premiere of The Approach, written and directed by Mark O’Rowe, starring Cathy Belton, Derbhle Crotty and Aisling O’Sullivan, which will play at Project Arts Centre in Dublin and at the Everyman in Cork early next year.
About The Everyman Theatre, Cork
The Everyman is a beautiful 650 seat theatre and a jewel of late Victorian architecture. A listed building, the theatre is steeped in history and is a favourite with audiences and performers alike for its intimacy and atmosphere.
The theatre celebrates its 120th anniversary this year. From its origin as a music hall, through its cinema years, The Everyman is now one of the leading presenting and producing theatres in Ireland, serving as a vibrant cultural hub for the people of Cork. The Everyman aspires to be a beacon of inspirational storytelling and performance, to provide experiences which have the power to alter perspectives and make the heart beat a little bit faster.