Fionn O’Shea and Gabriel Byrne star as Samuel Beckett in Dance First trailer

Fionn O’Shea plays young Samuel Beckett in Dance First (PA)
Fionn O’Shea plays young Samuel Beckett in Dance First (PA)

Fionn O’Shea and Gabriel Byrne can be seen sharing the role of the late Irish playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett in a new trailer for upcoming Sky Original film Dance First.

Normal People star O’Shea, 26, plays a young Beckett trying to establish himself as a writer, whilst The Usual Suspects actor Byrne, 73, stars as an older version of the playwright.

The trailer also features Game Of Thrones actor Aidan Gillen as Dubliners author James Joyce, who was friends with Beckett.

The trailer opens with a scene of Beckett getting the Nobel Prize In Literature, before a clip plays of a younger version of the writer meeting Joyce as he tells him he has a “great respect” for his work.

Later, Joyce offers Beckett some advice, saying: “The important thing is not what we write but how we write. We must write dangerously, Beckett.”

The first half of the trailer is in black and white and the ending turns to colour as an elderly Beckett is seen at what looks to be a funeral.

The cast ensemble includes English actress Maxine Peake as Barbara, Game Of Thrones actor Robert Aramayo as Alfred Peron, Northern Irish actress Bronagh Gallagher as Nora and Red Rock actor Barry O’Connor as William Beckett.

The 54th BFI London Film Festival – Awards 2010
Gabriel Byrne plays Samuel Beckett in the film Dance First (PA)

The film offers an in-depth look into one of Ireland’s most famous writers, who was known for plays including Waiting For Godot, Endgame and Happy Days.

Across the years, a number of famous actors, including Sir Ian McKellen, have starred in Beckettian plays.

Sir Ian was in a West End production of Waiting For Godot with Sir Patrick Stewart in 2009 and Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe was in an Old Vic production of Endgame in 2020, which got cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

Dance First is directed by The Theory Of Everything’s James Marsh and will be released in cinemas from November 3, becoming available on Sky Cinema in December and on Sky Arts and Freeview in 2024.