Northern Ireland news

Woody Harrelson to join Derry Girls star in Troubles-themed black comedy play Ulster American

Woody Harrelson is set to appear in a new London stage production of Ulster American, by Belfast playwright David Ireland.
Paul Ainsworth

HOLLYWOOD star Woody Harrelson is to join Derry Girls actress Louisa Harland in a new stage production of an award-winning play by Belfast writer David Ireland.

The True Detective and Natural Born Killers star will appear in Ulster American, which will begin a run at London's Riverside Studios in December.

The plot revolves around plans for the staging of a West End production based on the Troubles, and the dark comedy was first performed in 2018 at the Edinburgh Festival, and won that year's  Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award.

Harrelson will appear as Oscar-winning actor Jay Conway, while Dublin-born Louisa Harland, who starred as fan favourite Orla McCool in Derry Girls, will pay the role of Northern Irish playwright Ruth Davenport.

Lord of the Rings star Andy Serkis will also star in the production.

Read more: Belfast playwright David Ireland on courting controversy with Ulster American

Ulster American will be directed by Jeremy Herrin, who said: “I’m delighted that this rollercoaster of a play has summoned such a stellar roster of talent to join us for this pitch black comedy at the beautifully refurbished Riverside Studios.

The director said he has always admired the "fearlessness" in the writing of David Ireland, who hails from Belfast's Sandy Row.

"It’s an honor to bring the legend that is Woody Harrelson to London; to welcome Andy Serkis back to the stage after so much success in the movies; and to enjoy the brilliant Louisa Harland going toe-to-toe with them both," he added.

Northern Ireland news