Domhnall Gleeson Talks Returning to Live Theater with “Medicine”
Although those working in the arts – and especially theater – have faced considerable challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Harry Potter actor Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley) has returned to the stage for the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF). Gleeson is appearing in the world premiere of Medicine, a play by Enda Walsh that began its run on August 4.
Gleeson was interviewed by the Scotsman about the play via Zoom.
When Enda contacted me about Medicine, and sent me an early version, it was the only thing I wanted to do. And now we get to bring it to Edinburgh and be part of the experience of theatre reopening, which is very exciting.
The Scotsman noted that the play itself was delayed by a year because of the pandemic and that Gleeson had just returned from the United States to see friend and fellow actor Cillian Murphy’s A Quiet Place Part II at the time of the interview. Seeing A Quiet Place Part II marked Gleeson’s first time in a movie theater since the start of the pandemic.
It was just magic, so I look forward to being able to do that with theatre. You can feel it when people are invested, just being in a room [that] is built only for that.
Gleeson, however, refused to spoil Medicine in the interview.
I don’t want to give away Enda’s secrets ahead of the show, but I think it takes place in a more concrete setting than some of his other work. You know where you are. Basically, this man gets to tell his story once a year, and this is him telling it in real time [in] one of those years. As it goes on, it becomes clear why he is telling it, and you understand more about it as it goes along.
The EIF website describes Medicine as follows:
Domhnall Gleeson leads a formidable cast in a new play from revered Irish playwright Enda Walsh. Devastatingly funny and profoundly moving, Medicine examines social responses to mental health concerns while deconstructing the fabric of theatrical performance.
John Kane sits on a hospital trolley. Very shortly, a giant lobster, two women called Mary, a very old man and a jazz percussionist arrive. Then everything starts.
Medicine is a dark and frequently absurdist work that shatters the boundary between cast and audience; actors are interrupted by crew members, technical mechanics happen on stage and performance becomes a kind of therapy.
The website additionally cautions that the play “contains strong language, loud noises, and references to bullying and violence.” Tickets, however, are currently sold out through the rest of the play’s run, ending August 29.
For the full interview with Domhnall Gleeson, you can visit the Scotsman.