Heartbeat star in Crucible season

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Full casting has been announced for two plays in an upcoming season of work by Irish playwright Brian Friel at Sheffield Theatres this spring.

Afterplay stars Heartbeat’s Niamh Cusack and Sean Gallagher from Coronation Street.

With recent stage appearances in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, as well as TV roles in Heartbeat and Midsomer Murders, Niamh Cusack plays Sonya.

Sean Gallagher, best known for his roles in Silent Witness and Coronation Street, plays Andrey.

Set in 1920s Moscow, Afterplay follows a chance meeting between the two characters – first brought to life in the writing of Anton Chekhov – in a late-night café. Their personas unravel and their true identities are revealed.

Directed by Róisín McBrinn, Afterplay opens the season at the Crucible Studio from February 6 to March 1.

The second play in the season, Translations, is set in 19th-century rural Ireland and is a co-production with English Touring Theatre and Rose Theatre Kingston.

It follows the story of farm-girl Máire. She finds herself torn between the affections of the local schoolteacher and the love of a British soldier, as the British Army arrives in her village to translate Gaelic place names into English.

The cast for Translations, at the Crucible from February 13 to March 8, is Cian Barry (Owen), Paul Cawley (Captain Lancey), Beth Cooke (Máire), Hannah James (Bridget), Gary Lilburn (Jimmy Jack), Rory Murphy (Doalty), Roxanna Nic Liam (Sarah), James Northcote (Yolland) and Ciaran O’Brien (Manus).

Niall Buggy returns to Sheffield Theatres, having previously appeared in The Birthday Party and Waiting for Godot, to play the role of Hugh.

Directed by James Grieve, who directed Jumpers for Goalposts, Hopelessly Devoted and The Sound of Heavy Rain as part of the Roundabout Season at Sheffield Theatres, the show will have its premiére at the Crucible.

Wonderful Tennessee completes the season. The cast will be announced shortly.

Brian Friel is a dramatist, author and director, celebrated for his portrayal of social and political life in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

He also wrote Dancing at Lughnasa.

Box office: 0114 249 6000 or visit sheffieldtheatres.co.uk