Announcing Smurfit Kappa as DruidO’Casey Production Partner

We are delighted to share the news that Smurfit Kappa will be the exclusive Production Partner for DruidO’Casey

1 August 2023

Druid has announced that Smurfit Kappa will be the exclusive Production Partner for their 2023 production DruidO’Casey. Renowned for their previous play cycles (DruidSynge, DruidMurphy and DruidShakespeare) DruidO’Casey presents Sean O’Casey’s three great plays – The Plough and the Stars, The Shadow of a Gunman and Juno and the Paycock – as an epic theatrical event for audiences to experience over the course of a single day.

As a cultural ambassador for Ireland, bringing award-winning productions to audiences around the world, Druid is delighted to form this exciting partnership with Smurfit Kappa Group, a proud Irish company which has grown to be one of the leading paper-based packaging companies in the world. Bringing the two brands together for this unique production provides a platform to celebrate and showcase the best of Irish cultural and commercial talent working together on the national and international stages.

Smurfit Kappa will come on board as the Production Partner for DruidO’Casey across its 2023 tour which includes Galway, Belfast, Dublin, New York and Michigan.

With what may be one of the largest single arts sponsorships in recent years, Smurfit Kappa wanted to support the arts in a significant and impactful way. Partnering with Druid, who have toured their productions internationally to great acclaim, and supporting a project of the scale and ambition of DruidO’Casey, aligns with their core values and standards of excellence as well as with their vision of being a globally admired business.

This partnership with Smurfit Kappa is the third major strategic partnership announced by Druid in the past 18 months, following the new 10-year partnership with University of Galway announced in February 2022, and the extended 2-year Community and Education Programme in partnership with Aerogen and the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation, announced in December 2021.

A century ago, Ireland was reborn in the fires of rebellion and war. The playwright Sean O’Casey bore witness to these seismic events and dramatised them as the Dublin Trilogy, three great works of Irish theatre, full of history, humanity and humour.

100 years later, Druid will weave The Plough and the Stars, The Shadow of a Gunman, and Juno and the Paycock into an epic theatrical event of conflict, national identity and the human toll of war - DruidO’Casey.

Audiences will experience O’Casey’s work as never before: directed by Tony Award winner Garry Hynes, a company of 18 actors will perform the three plays in one day, drawing parallels between an Irish past and an international present. A limited number of individual performances of the three plays in the trilogy will also take place.

DruidO’Casey will open in Galway in July 2023 before embarking on an international tour, a significant Irish cultural undertaking marking the end of Ireland’s decade of centenary celebrations.

Garry Hynes, Druid Co-Founder and Artistic Director: "We are delighted to welcome Smurfit Kappa as Production Partner on DruidO’Casey. As a proud, long-standing Irish company with an extensive global presence, they are the ideal partner for Druid as we take on this challenging and ambitious, but very exciting, production. It also helps us to further our vision of ‘Irish Performance for the World’."

Ken Bowles, Chief Financial Officer of Smurfit Kappa: "The arts are a vital and, at times, under-funded part of our culture so we were delighted to come on board with Druid for this very special production. Personally, as a proud Dubliner, I can’t wait to see O’Casey’s work brought to life in such a unique, creative and thought-provoking way. Everyone here at Smurfit Kappa wishes the cast and crew the very best in their forthcoming tour."