NEW YORK – Fiona Shaw will return to Broadway for the first time since her Tony-nominated tour de force as Medea ten years ago, this time playing the mother of Jesus near the end of her life in The Testament of Mary.
Produced by Scott Rudin, the project reunites Shaw with her Medea director Deborah Warner. Their long and distinguished creative association also spans the work of T.S. Eliot, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Brecht, Ibsen and Beckett, including critically lauded productions of The Wasteland, Electra, Titus Andronicus, The Good Person of Szechwan, Hedda Gabler, Mother Courage and Her Children, Happy Days and Richard II, with Shaw in the title role.
The Testament of Mary marks Warner and Shaw's first production to premiere in New York. The single-character drama will begin previews March 26 at the Walter Kerr Theatre, with official opening set for April 22. The 12-week limited engagement runs through June 16.
Written by multi-award winning Irish author Colm Toibin, the play was first performed at the 2011 Dublin Theatre Festival in a different production, under the title Testament. Toibin subsequently expanded the monologue into a novella published to great acclaim last year.
The drama takes place years after the Crucifixion, when Mary is living in solitude in the city of Ephesus, guarded by followers of her son seeking to record her account of the events surrounding his death. In Toibin's portrayal of this iconic figure, she emerges not as the serene image familiar from religious art, but as a complex flesh-and-blood woman torn by grief, self-doubt, skepticism and her refusal to endorse the official version of the story.
In addition to her extensive stage work, Shaw's many film credits include her role in the Harry Potter series. She was a memorable antagonist in season four of HBO's True Blood.