Derry Girls’ Louisa Harland to appear opposite Hollywood stars in London play

Louisa Harland (Matt Crossick/PA)
Louisa Harland (Matt Crossick/PA) Louisa Harland (Matt Crossick/PA)

Derry Girls actress Louisa Harland is set to star in Northern Irish playwright David Ireland’s production of Ulster American on the London stage.

The satirical dark comedy will see Dublin-born performer Harland play Northern Irish playwright Ruth Davenport, opposite The Lord Of The Rings actor Andy Serkis as English director Leigh Carver, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star Woody Harrelson playing Oscar-winning actor Jay Conway.

It is billed as a “pitch-black comedy” which will see the three characters begin rehearsals for a new play which could transform each of their careers, but when it transpires they are not on the same page “the night threatens to spiral out of control”.

Woody Harrelson and Andy Serkis
Woody Harrelson and Andy Serkis Woody Harrelson (left) and Andy Serkis both star in the play (Ian West/PA)

The play, from Belfast playwright Ireland, will preview at London’s Riverside Studios on December 4 and have its opening night on December 13, running until January 28.

Director Jeremy Herrin 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.

“I’ve always admired David Ireland’s fearlessness and the way he manages to skewer pretension in its many guises.

“It’s an honour 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.

“It’ll be a thrilling evening and I can’t wait to see our audience’s reaction to this explosive show.”

In 2017, Harland starred in Oscar-nominated actor Harrelson’s feature film Lost In London, with her other screen credits including Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls where she played Orla McCool opposite Irish stars Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell and Nicola Coughlan.

Ulster American first premiered in 2018 at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh and later received the annual Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award and the Scotsman Fringe First Award.

Second Half Productions has announced it will offer 200 free tickets for the upcoming play to west London NHS staff through its partnership with Tickets For Good.

Tickets will go on general sale at 10am on October 12 with priority booking open from October 10.