British actress Rebecca Root will make history by becoming the first trans actor to play a trans character in professional Irish theatre with her upcoming role in the play Rathmines Road.
Root first came to wide attention with her starring role in the BBC sitcom Boy Meets Girl. It was a groundbreaking moment for UK television wherein a trans person took the lead role in a mainstream programme.
Root’s casting comes at a time when many are criticising the casting of straight cis actors in trans and gay roles. Scarlett Johansson pulled out of the now cancelled Rub And Tug due to huge online backlash, while the announcement of Jack Whitehall playing Disney’s first out gay character in the upcoming Jungle Cruise, has drawn the ire of many.
Written by Deirdre Kinehan, the fraught, funny and ferocious Rathmines Road challenges the cultural response to accusations of sexual assault. Bristling with tension, it unleashes a brutal truth that affects us all. It is a play that asks: when and how do we take responsibility?
The play is presented by Fishamble and the Abbey Theatre, both of whom are committed to presenting a diverse range of voices on the Irish stage and to representing communities with authenticity.
Gordon Grehan of TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland) said: “We are delighted that, for the first time in Ireland, a transgender actor has been cast as a trans character in a play. Acceptance and understanding of our community is fostered by the positive visibility of trans people in all areas of life, including in the arts. It is exciting that trans people will attend our national theatre and see themselves represented on stage by the talented, trailblazing Rebecca Root, in what we are sure will be another must-see Fishamble production.”
Rathmines Road will play as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival, previewing in Tallaght’s Civic before transferring to The Abbey Theatre’s Peacock stage. Tickets are available here.
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