Portia Coughlan & The Verb ‘To Love’| Old Red Lion Theatre

Portia Coughlan

Aria Entertainment presents a double-bill of

Portia Coughlan


a new musical

The Verb, ‘To Love’

at the Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, London EC1V 4NJ

Tuesday 28th April – Saturday 23rd May 2015, 7pm and 8.30pm

Aria Entertainment is taking over the Old Red Lion this May to present a revival of the renowned Portia Coughlan by Marina Carr and the world premiere of a new musical The Verb, ‘To Love’ by Andy Collyer.


 Portia Coughlan

Portia Coughlan


Portia Coughlan is a ferocious, haunting and beautiful Irish tale by Marina Carr writer of By The Bog of Cats, The Mai and Ullaloo.

Portia Coughlan lives in a monstrous limbo, haunted by a yearning for her spectral twin brother lying at the bottom of the Belmont River, unable to find any love for her wealthy husband and children, seeking solace in soulless affairs, deeply afraid of what she might do.

Written to celebrate the centenary of Dublin’s National Maternity Hospital, Portia Coughlan packs a hell of a punch. It hurts to look at it. But it has to be seen. (Irish Independent).

Last performed at The Royal Court Theatre in 1996, this exciting revival at the Old Red Lion is directed by Bronagh Lagan (Rags-in concert (West End), Girlfriends (Union Theatre), Henry VI Part 1 (Rose theatre).

Starring as the haunted Portia Coughlan will be Susan Stanley (The Separation, Almost Maine) She also won the Best Actress Award at the Malaga Film Festival 2013 for her role in new film Hotel Amenities).
Ben Mulhern (Shawshank Redemption)  will return to the role of Raphael Coughlan. Mulhern previously played Raphael in a 2009 production directed by Aoife Connolly in which he skilfully demonstrated the tenderness, and touching – yet ultimately destructive – honesty between man and wife (Irish Theatre Magazine).
Also starring will be:

Alan Devally as Damus
Conan Sweeny as Fintan
Karen Cogan as Stacia
Anne Kent as Blaize
Veronica Quilligan as Maggie May
James Holmes as Senchill
Susan Cummins as Marianne
Chris Dunne as Sly
and Keith Ramsay as Gabriel


The Verb, ‘To Love’


Running in tandem is the world premiere of new musical, The Verb, ‘To Love’ directed by Jonathan O’Boyle (Bash Latterday Plays (Trafalgar Studios), Made in Britain (Old Red Lion) and Assistant Director of The Scottsboro Boys.).

The Verb, ‘To Love’ explores, in an intimate musical, the complications of changing relationships, and the power of different kinds of love; ‘The verb ‘to love’ has so many meanings…’.

Simon is lost, abandoned by James, his partner of twenty-three years. He is alone for the first time, until he finds Ben, the great love of his life, a young man seventeen years his junior, and finds himself rejuvenated and fulfilled in a way he never knew possible. They share the complications of falling in love, undergoing upheavals and experiencing change, until it all falls apart. But does it?

Producer Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment comments: It’s so wonderful to have the opportunity to present a double bill at The Old Red Lion Theatre next season. Both play and musical are dramatic and bold pieces of theatre and I hope our audiences will gain something memorable by their experience at our productions.

Playing the role of Simon will be Martin Neely. No stranger to stage or screen, Neely is about to star on the West End in Kingmaker (St. James Theatre) and spent two years in London’s Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre), as well as appearing in blockbuster films such as Stardust and Shakespeare in Love.

Sharing the stage as Ben will be Gareth Bretherton. Bretherton has spent several years starring as Electra in the German production of Starlight Express (Bochum). A man of many talents, he is an accomplished Musical Director and Pianist as well as a talented singer-songwriter. Bretherton will also act as Musical Director for the musical.

The Verb, ‘To Love’ is supported by Grant for the Arts.


Booking Information

Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, London EC1V 4NJ


Tuesday 28th April – Saturday 23rd May 2015

The Verb ‘To Love’
Tuesday to Saturday, 7pm
Saturday and Sunday matinees, 2pm

Running time 1 hour

Portia Coughlan
Tuesday to Saturday, 8.30pm
Saturday and Sunday matinees, 3.30pm

1h 15 mins


£14/12 (The Verb, ‘To Love’)
£16/14 (Portia Coughlan)


Box Office

Old Red Lion Theatre Box Office

0844 412 4307


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