Covid forces Abbey Theatre to cancel 10 performances

Theatre cancels dates for Brian Friel’s Translations but does not say how many cast or crew affected

The Abbey Theatre has been forced to cancel 10 performances of its headline play this month due to Covid.

Brian Friel’s renowned colonisation drama Translations was due to run from Friday night until Saturday, June 25th.

However, the theatre issued a statement apologising to its would-be audience, citing the Covid-19 virus as the cause for its cancellation. It did not say how many cast or crew were affected.

“We apologise for the inconvenience — this decision is related to Covid,” it said. “Our box office team will be in touch with all impacted ticket holders to move tickets to new dates or to arrange credit/refunds as soon as possible.”


Performances of the production, directed by Donegal native Caitríona McLaughlin, are expected to proceed as planned from Monday, June 27th.

The play, set in an Irish-speaking community in Co Donegal in 1833, has reached global audiences since being penned by the Co Tyrone playwright in 1980.

The Abbey had pitched this latest production has having “a new potency, in a time where Brexit has thrown current Anglo-Irish relations into sharp relief, redrawing old boundaries and opening up old wounds”.

Its cancellation is an unwelcome throwback to the mass disruption to the arts caused by the pandemic.

On Friday, chief medical officer Tony Holohan warned of increased pressure on the hospital system in the coming weeks as a consequence of rising numbers of infections.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times