From the Thomas Kilroy Archive at NUI Galway
Theatre Archive Document of the Month – February 2013
Typescript letter from and signed by Max Stafford-Clarke, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre, London, to Thomas Kilroy, Department of English, University College Galway, 28 March 1980, and writing:
“Dear Tom, I have been talking with Joe Dowling about the possibility of the Royal Court and the Abbey mounting a joint production of THE SEAGULL. The idea is that the play should be cast with English and with Irish actors and instead of being set in Russia, should be set in the midst of an Anglo-Irish family.”
The letter continues with Stafford Clarke asking of Kilroy “Would you be interested in doing a translation and would you have time for it?”
Other items in the file related to the Royal Court production of the Seagull include the typed "Rehearsal script" (68 pp); correspondence from literary agents, Royal Court; weekly box-office returns; programme and press reviews. Also including a black and white photograph (250 x 177 mm, no credits) with Harriet Walter as "Lily". The play was directed by Max Stafford-Clarke and cast members included Alan Rickman, Harriet Walter, Alan Devlin, T.P. McKenna and others.
Other files relating to The Seagull include the manuscript drafts of the play in this version by Kilroy, production records from subsequent staging by the Irish Theatre Company (October 1981, Dublin Theatre Festival) The New Cross Theatre (London, Irish Arts Festival, Mar 1992) The Gate Theatre, Dublin (March 1994) and the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, (U.S.A., August 2001)
Other records include manuscript drafts by Kilroy for a radio production and a film version of The Seagull as well as correspondence around the publication of Kilroy’s original playscript.
The Kilroy archive catalogue can be viewed in full here
A video of Thomas Kilroy in conversation with Prof. Adrian Frazier to mark the launch of the Kilroy Archive can be viewed here