Playwright Brian Friel's Faith Healer is set for a major new revival at the Abbey Theatre in 2020, with actor Aidan Gillen cast in the titular role.

In the new production, due to open on March 30th, 2020, Gillen will play travelling faith healer Frank Hardy; over the course of a series of monologues delivered by Frank, his wife Grace, and his manager Teddy, the story unfolds of the healer's journey and a terrible event that changes their lives forever.

Acclaimed for his TV work in iconic series like Game Of Thrones, Peaky Blinders, Love/Hate, The Wire and Queer As Folk, Gillen is also a seasoned theatre veteran - in 2004 he was nominated for a Tony Award, for his performance in a Broadway production of Harold Pinter's The Caretaker. 

Gillen in Peaky Blinders

Friel's 1979 masterpiece has long been associated with actor Donal McCann, who starred as Hardy in the original Abbey production of the play in 1980, and returned to the role a decade later. Joe Dowling, who directed both productions, will also helm the new Abbey revival. 

He last appeared on the Abbey stage in a 1992 production of Lennox Robinson's comedy Drama At Inish, itself currently enjoying a revival at the Abbey for the Christmas season.

Barbara Brennan, Aidan Gillen Niall Buggy and Mick Lally in Drama At Inish
(Pic: Amelia Stein, via Abbey Archives)

Faith Healer will run at the Abbey Theatre from 30 March - 16 May 2020 - find out more here.