Touched for the very first time? Hardly. Drama Desk Award winner Fiona Shaw (Medea) will play the Virgin Mary in the Broadway debut of Irish novelist Colm Toibin's The Testament of Mary which is set to begin previews at the Walter Kerr Theatre on March 26, playing a limited engagement through June 16. Opening night is set for April 22. Tony Award nominee Deborah Warner (Medea) directs.
The Testament of Mary takes place after the crucifixion. Mary is hounded by her son's disciples who want to write a new book claiming her son as the "Son of God." But Mary's not buying it. She doesn't even think his death was worth it and she won't cooperate. This is the story of a mother-son relationship told from Mary's perspective.
Shaw is best known for her screen portrayal of Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter series and spooky witch Marnie Stonebrook in HBO's True Blood. In addition to her witchcraft-related film and TV projects, Shaw is a prolific stage actress. She last appeared in New York at BAM in John Gabriel Borkman opposite Harry Potter co-star Alan Rickman.
Much of Shaw's stage work from the last two decades was done in collaboration with Testament of Mary director Deborah Warner. Warner and Shaw have previously worked on Broadway in Medea. Their other works include T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Hedda Gabler, Richard II (with Shaw as Richard), and Mother Courage and Her Children. Both were nominated for Drama Desk Awards for their 2008 production of Happy Days at BAM.
The Testament of Mary, which began as a monologue performed by Tony Award-winner Marie Mullen at the 2011 Dublin Theater Festival, but was released as a short novel last November, marks the New York theatrical debut for Colm Toibin. Toibin's novels include The Blackwater Lightship, The Master, and Brooklyn.