Howie the Rookie: In brief
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor plays both roles in a reconceived version of writer-director Mark O’Rowe’s brutal Dublin drama, which first rocked New York in 2001.
Howie the Rookie: Theater review by Helen Shaw
Mark O’Rowe’s Howie the Rookie has already had two New York productions, a tour in 2001 and a local production in 2005. Now it is back, in a startlingly beautiful one-man version that seems written for its new star, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, perhaps because O’Rowe himself has taken on directing duties. And if producers want to bring Howie back four years from now, then ten, then twelve, we’ll still greet the gorgeous thing with huzzahs: O’Rowe’s hilarious, pimp-rollin’, blood-soaked text has Shakespeare’s interiority, Marlowe’s viciousness and a cowboy’s jangling gait; it’s got Joyce’s sense of place, Faulkner’s sense of language and even a sprinkling of murderously timed fart jokes. Read more
The 1990s in theatre meant more than “in-yer-face” plays. At the same time as British drama was growing graphic and biological, a crop of Irish playwrights were breathing new life into the monologue form. Conor McPherson and Enda Walsh are the best known, but in 1999 Mark O’Rowe’s Howie the Rookie almost bridged the gap between the monologue and in-yer-face currents.
Howie Lee and Rookie Lee – no relation – share a surname and a city, Dublin. In Mark O’Rowe’s revival of his own cult classic, both men are played by a single actor, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, and they seem to share much more besides: a Neanderthal gait, empty eyes and a slack-jawed drawl. It’s like they were destined to meet in fateful circumstances.
Landmark Productions is delighted to announce that Howie the Rookie, starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, will play at the Barbican in London.
The production will play for one week only at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin from 11 – 15 November, before transferring to the Barbican in London from 19 – 29 November, with a press night on Thursday 20 November 2014.
Mark O’Rowe, who not only wrote but also directed the award-winning production of his play Howie the Rookie, said: ‘Working with Tom Vaughan-Lawlor has been an absolute high point in my theatrical life, and so I am thrilled beyond belief that audiences both in Dublin and London are going to have another opportunity to see his astonishing performance in Howie the Rookie.’
Howie the Rookie is part of the Barbican’s ‘bold programme of new theatre and daring adaptations from around the globe’, including productions from Irina Brook from France, Thomas Ostermeier from Germany and Dmitry Krymov from Russia. The season also includes Gregory Doran’s productions for the RSC of Henry IV Parts I and II, starring Antony Sher and Jasper Britton, as well as an eagerly-anticipated new production of Hamlet, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role.