Award-winning novel ‘Asking For It’ to hit Cork's Everyman stage

The world stage premiere of the award-winning novel Asking For It will be performed in Cork next year.

The novel is to be adapted for the stage for the first time in what is expected to be a technically ambitious production at the Everyman Theatre, thanks to funding to be announced today by the Arts Council.

The funding will be used to adapt and produce the stage version of the controversial novel by West Cork author and Irish Examiner columnist Louise O’Neill which deals with the shattering impact on a teenager of a horrific act of sexual violence which takes place in a small Irish town.

Ms O’Neill, in the novel, highlights the issues of consent, sexual assault, social media and public shaming in a way that has resonated with many people since the book was published in 2015.

The stage adaption, the brainchild of artistic director Julie Kelleher, is set to be presented at the Everyman Theatre during the Midsummer festival in June 2018.

Adapted by playwright Meadhbh McHugh, it will be produced by the Everyman Theatre and drama company Landmark Productions in association with Cork Midsummer Festival and the Fighting Words Cork creative writing programme at Graffitti Theatre.

“This is the first adaptation of the book,” says Ms Kelleher, who said that she was personally “rocked” by the story, adding that when Ms O’Neill was approached about a possible stage premier of the book, she was very positive.

“She felt the book would come to life on stage,” Ms Kelleher, said, adding: “As a society we need to talk about the issue of consent and we decided that by adapting Louise’s book and bringing it to the stage was a great way of encouraging this.

"We would hope that we would reach young people and, generally, people from all walks of life with this play.”

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