Pilgrim is a powerful comedy/drama set in Newfoundland about an Irishman’s redemption in a world on the brink. An hilarious and moving tale of a young Irishman on a pilgrimage home through a world set ablaze. Christopher’s flight from California to Dublin is suddenly grounded in Newfoundland. It is announced that the Twin Towers have been attacked.

We had a chat with Rex Ryan, star of the play in advance of September dates at The Civic.

Can you tell us about your background and where you grew up?
I grew up in Clontarf on the north side of our beautiful city.  I split my time between my friends there and my friends in East Wall.  Childhood was usual; football, girls and vicious fist fights to the death. I also hold a Russian passport as I was born in the small village of Stary Oskal there when my father was working.

When did you get into acting? What is it like as a career?
I acted in youth theatre in the National performing arts school.  I decided to get my shit together when I graduated from business school. I saw Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire and thought I could attempt to copy him.. Acting as a career is magic if you are committed to it and have an idea why you do it – I believe

What inspires you?
I recently discovered that the Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote 28 poems and a masterful novel, all by memory, no pen, no paper, nothing, while imprisoned in a Gulag in Russia during world war 2 That is inspiring and should remind us in Dublin not to give out if our Avocados are too hard.

Can you tell us a bit about the back story behind Pilgrim?
Pilgrim is a one man adventure story – following Christy Reilly on a wild odyssey of the soul as he embarks on a whiskey fuelled plane trip home to Dublin to become a father. The catch is when he hops on the plane to return from His J1 holiday, the twin towers are hit by two planes. The date is 9/11 and Christy is in for a shock.

What type of play is Pilgrim?
Pilgrim is as much an epic poem as it is a piece of very physical theatre. It’s a good time for the audience, I hope.

What can our audience expect?
Expect Philip Doherty’s beautiful words to be delivered via a sweating, raging, 27 character playing actor.

What’s next for you?
Next I will perform a one man show by one of my favourite English playwrights in an Irish premier which I’m looking forward to. I also will remount Jimmy Murphy’s gangster tragedy IdleWild  with my company Glass Mask Theatre.

‘A meticulously crafted piece of writing’- ★★★★ Irish Examiner
‘Ryan is a regular charmer’ ★★★★ What’s On Stage
‘Remarkable script… amazing performance… superbly hearftelt’ ★★★★ Broadway Baby

Pilgrim, September 6-7