The Ferryman, a feast of Irish storytelling in a breathtaking mix of genres, opened on Broadway seven months ago, and since then it’s gotten nine Tony nominations, best play awards from the New York Drama Critics Circle, the Outer Critics Circle, AND the Drama League…and an almost entirely new cast, the original British and Irish actors replaced by Americans.
Even Laura Donnelly has been replaced. She is the Belfast-born actress whose uncle’s disappearance, and the subsequent discovery years later of his murdered corpse, inspired playwright Jez Butterworth to write the play in the first place. Donnelly’s character Caitin Carney is now being portrayed by Holley Fain, an actress born in Kansas.
…Does this matter? It might in one way to those of us who saw the original cast. But to those theatergoers who have not yet had the pleasure of experiencing The Ferryman (which they have only until July 7th to do), the play is still a rich, sweeping entertainment — epic, tragic….and cinematic.