06 Feb 2013

Elga Ryan

 Ballymaloe Grainstore is delighted to launch its Spring Season of shows with the internationally-acclaimed drama, The Tailor of Inverness, on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 February at 8pm.

 Matthew Zajac’s mesmerising true story of his Polish father’s survival in World War II Europe transforms a personal family story into a universal work that moves, entertains and enlightens in equal measure. 

The performance combines storytelling and songs with a rich soundscape of live violin music to create an evening of deeply satisfying theatre.

The Tailor of Inverness has entranced audiences across the world since its premiere in the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  It dominated the awards, scooping up ‘Best Solo Performer,’ ‘Best Actor’ and the prestigious ‘Scotsman Fringe First,’  as well as rave reviews from critics across the UK.  The Observer said it “brilliantly encapsulates the effects of war on individuals, families and societies…a triumph.”

Zajac’s brave biographical play about his father is a story of journeys, of how a boy who grew up on a farm  in Eastern Poland came to be a tailor in Inverness, Scotland.  The tailor was taken prisoner by the Soviets in 1939 and forced to work near the Urals, then freed in an amnesty after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.  He then joined the thousands of Poles who travelled to Tehran, then Egypt, to be integrated into the British Army, fighting in North Africa and Italy.  He was ultimately resettled in Britain in 1948, joining his brother in Glasgow.  The Tailor of Inverness  is his story.

The play has toured Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Sweden, Australia, USA, Denmark and Sweden to sold-out audiences and standing ovations.  It is now on a national tour of Ireland, including Ballymaloe Grainstore on 22 and 23 February.

Tickets are €18 and can be booked on 021-4651555 or  Packages for pre-show dinner and accommodation in Ballymaloe House are available for all performances – bookings by phone only.   For event updates and ticket give-aways, ‘like’ the Ballymaloe Grainstore on Facebook.  

Ballymaloe Grainstore is a 300-seat performing arts venue located in Shanagarry, twenty miles east of Cork City.  The only purpose-built venue in East Cork, it combines terrific acoustics with an intimate atmosphere just steps away from the world-famous Ballymaloe House.

Performances of The Tailor of Inverness will also take place in the Everyman Palace Theatre in Cork City from Monday 25 February through Saturday 2 March as part of an 11-venue tour of Ireland.

The Irish tour is presented by Dogstar Theatre Company and Richard Ryan Promotions.  The season of spring shows in Ballymaloe Grainstore is presented by Patrick Talbot Productions.

RTÉ Supporting the Arts is gratefully acknowledged.

Click here to see an excerpt on youtube.

What the critics say about The Tailor of Inverness:

**** “theatre at its best … achieves more power, humour and inventiveness in its 75 minutes than most full-length plays manage in three hours … Zajac’s performance is phenomenal. It is easy to get swept away by the narratives, the numerous characters and the constant theatrical surprises that Harrison and Zajac create … personal, creative and mesmerising. This should not be missed.” –

“a beautifully realised tale of the reality of survival in war-torn Eastern Europe … Matthew Zajac’s moving performance is a triumph of evocative staging and storytelling” – The Observer

****beautifully performed, and directed… this is a deeply affecting piece of personal theatre that I heartily recommend” – London Evening Standard

***** “Zajac sews up the story superbly … this is a compelling and magical piece of theatre” – Edinburgh Evening News

**** “a brave biographical piece that has succeeded in turning a deeply personal family story into a universal work of theatre” – Sunday Herald

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