The first ever co-production between the Gate Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company, the play will open at the Gate Theatre on Thursday 8th February before transferring to Sydney for a run from Saturday 13th April. For this rare and remarkable international collaboration, the cast and creative team will be drawn equally from the finest Irish and Australian theatre-making talents to create a singular, global theatrical event.
Colm O’Callaghan, Gate Theatre Executive Director, and Róisín McBrinn, Gate Theatre Artistic Director: ‘We are thrilled to announce this new partnership with the world-renowned Sydney Theatre Company, the first time our companies have co-produced together. In the coming years, one of the goals we have set for international work at the Gate is to create reciprocal co-productions with a meaningful exchange at the heart of them. The President, which features the best of both Irish and Australian actors and creatives, does just that. We are excited for both Irish and Australian audiences to experience this production in 2024.’
In a small, unnamed country, there has been an assassination. However, the gunmen missed their intended targets, the President and the First Lady, killing instead a loyal bodyguard and the First Lady’s beloved dog.
As a revolution brews right outside their front door, the First Lady sits with a mixture of hysterics, rage and obsession. The President holds forth in a verbal tsunami of self-aggrandisement and vainglory, while his mistress, an actress, gambles his cash away in the blackjack room next door.
Acclaimed actors Olwen Fouéré and Hugo Weaving play the First Lady and the President in this unforgettable Irish Premiere of Thomas Bernhard’s genius play, translated by Gitta Honegger.
With its depictions of the abuses of power, the disdain and paranoia of privilege, and prophecies the age of surveillance, corruption and terrorism, The President is as striking and resonant as it was when it was first performed in 1975.
THOMAS BERNHARD was an Austrian novelist, playwright and poet. He is widely considered to be one of the most important German-language authors of the postwar era. Born in 1931, he was raised in Austria and studied dramatic arts in Salzburg.
His first novel, Frost, was published in 1963, and his first full-length play, A Party for Boris, premiered in 1970. In total he published nine novels, eighteen plays and five volumes of poetry. His works were awarded numerous German and European literary prizes. He died in 1989. The Austrian National Library acquired his papers in 2022 for €2,100,000 and a book written by his brother-in-law Peter Fabjan, A Life Alongside Thomas Bernhard: A Report, became a Top 10 bestseller in Austria in 2021