Cillian Murphy to star in Max Porter stage adaptation

Cillian Murphy to star in Max Porter stage adaptation

Irish actor Cillian Murphy is to star in a new production based on Max Porter's debut novel Grief is the Thing with Feathers (Faber).

The production will be directed by Enda Walsh and will see him reunited with Murphy following the success of their past collaborations "Disco Pigs", "Ballyturk" and "Misterman".

The book, about a widower and his young sons drawn from Porter's own experience of childhood loss and inspired by the work of Ted Hughes, was first published in 2015. It went on to win the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Sunday Times PFD Young Writer of the Year Award, the Europeese Literatuurprijs and the Books Are My Bag Reader’s Award. It was also shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and The Goldsmiths Prize.

The adaptation will be produced by Complicité and Wayward Productions in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival, and will tour in 2019.

Walsh said it was a "real honour" to be bringing Porter's "singular and wonderful book" to the stage. He added: "It’s thrilling to be premièring this new work next spring.”

Murphy said he "couldn't be any more excited about the prospect of making this piece of work".

"Grief is the Thing with Feathers truly broke my heart when I first read it and it will be a privilege to bring it to life on stage in Ireland", he said. "Complicité’s work on stage has inspired me for many years, and it is always a joy to get in a room with my most trusted collaborator and friend Enda Walsh.”

Porter added that he was 'humbled and thrilled" that Complicité would be adapting his work and praised Walsh and Murphy's "phenomenal creative partnership".

“I cannot think of a company I would rather see adapting Grief is The Thing With Feathers for stage than Complicité", said Porter. "I am humbled and thrilled that this most influential, restless and dynamic company will transform my book into live theatre. Enda Walsh and Cillian Murphy are a phenomenal creative partnership. I have seen with my own eyes the magic of their collaborative practice. The way they think and speak about my text, about family and poetry, about humans and birds, gives me total faith in this production.”