Royal Court streams Cyprus Avenue for free

David Ireland’s award-winning pitch-black comedy Cyprus Avenue, starring Stephen Rea, is now available to watch online for free.

Cyprus Avenue Royal Court film streaming
Stephen Rea as Eric Miller. Photo by Ros Kavanagh

Originally produced by London’s Royal Court Theatre and Dublin’s Abbey Theatre five years ago, the production of Cyprus Avenue was adapted into a film mixing live performance on stage at the Royal Court with location shooting in Belfast.

The film, previously broadcast on BBC Four in September last year, was commissioned by The Space which helps artists and organisations make art and reach new audiences digitally.

The film was released on World Theatre Day on Friday (27 March) for one month, available to watch for free on the Royal Court’s website, its Facebook page and its YouTube page. It will not just be available in the UK, making this the first time the film can be seen internationally.

Cyprus Avenue tells the story of a man struggling with the past and terrified of the future. Belfast loyalist Eric Miller is experiencing a psychotic episode and mistakes his five-week-old granddaughter for Gerry Adams. Generations of sectarian trauma convince him that his cultural heritage is under siege – and he must act.

Directed by Vicky Featherstone, the production also stars Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo, Chris Corrigan, Andrea Irvine and Amy Molloy. It also toured to The MAC in Belfast and the Public Theater in New York.

It was awarded best new play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards and the James Tait Black Prize for Drama in 2017. Stephen Rea won best actor at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017.

Featherstone, who is the artistic director of the Royal Court, said: “Last year we were fortunate enough to make a film of our production of Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland with BBC Four and The Space. We were going to put it up on our website for a month from 27th March – World Theatre Day. We still are. But now the world has changed immeasurably it is an opportunity to watch some theatre, free, at home, safely and remember that when we all return to each other, great plays and great performances which entertain and help us understand the world we live in, like this, will be filling your theatres for you to enjoy. Don’t forget about us. We will be back.”

The film was executive produced by Lucy Davies, Jane Featherstone, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson.

A trailer for the film can be watched on YouTube.

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