Three plays carry Irish hopes of Broadway honours


Three Irish plays will be among the contenders at tomorrow's Tony awards, when Broadway honours productions from the past year. Brian Friel's Faith Healer, Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Conor McPherson's Shining City have a total of 11 nominations in seven categories.

At a reception in New York yesterday to honour the Irish nominees, Consul General Tim O'Connor said the success of the three plays highlighted the central role that culture played in the contemporary Irish story and in Irish-American relations.

"This is something for us to capture and to celebrate. It is such an exciting weekend for us," he said.

The Gate Theatre's Michael Colgan, who produced Faith Healer, said its success was particularly sweet in view of the fact that an earlier production of the play on Broadway closed early after poor reviews.

All three plays have nominees for best actor in a leading role - Ralph Fiennes for Faith Healer, Oliver Platt for Shining City and David Wilmot for The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

Veteran Irish actor Milo O'Shea (80), who first performed on Broadway more than 40 years ago, expressed delight at the nominations. "In our business, it goes in waves and this is a big wave that's come in and we're very proud of it."

Tony awards: Irish nominations

The Lieutenant of Inishmore, by Martin McDonagh: best play; best performance by a leading actor: David Wilmot; best performance by a featured actor: Domhnall Gleeson; best performance by a featured actress: Alison Pill; best direction: Wilson Milam

Faith Healer, by Brian Friel: best revival of a play; best performance by a leading actor: Ralph Fiennes; best performance by a featured actor: Ian McDiarmid; best lighting design: Mark Henderson

Shining City, by Conor McPherson: best play; best performance by a leading actor: Oliver Platt