Sonia Friedman Productions (SFP) today announces Tony award-nominee J. Smith-Cameron (Succession) will star as Juno Boyle opposite Mark Rylance as ‘Captain’ Jack Boyle in a new production of Seán O’Casey‘s timeless masterpiece, Juno and the Paycock, directed by Tony and Olivier award-winner Matthew Warchus(Matilda The Musical, Pride).

The strictly limited run at the Gielgud Theatre opens on Thursday 3 October, with previews from Saturday 21 September, and will run until Saturday 23 November 2024.

Juno and the Paycock sees Sonia Friedman, Matthew Warchus and Mark Rylance reunite following their acclaimed productions of Boeing-Boeing and La Bête. Further casting to be announced.

The creative team is Rob Howell (Set and Costume Designer), Hugh Vanstone (Lighting Designer), Claire van Kampen (Composer) and Serena Hill CDG (Casting Director).

 General booking opening on Friday 24 May at 10am. Individuals can sign up for priority booking here:

As part of an ongoing commitment to make theatre accessible for as many people as possible, there are over 1100 tickets per week at £25 or lower, with 35% of the house for every performance priced at £55 or lower.

Matthew Warchus said, “I have long been in love with this staggeringly great melodrama – a play which collides an Irish working-class domestic tragedy with some of the comedic bravura of the 1920s Music Hall in an unforgettable indictment of the chaos of civil war. I’m very excited to be embarking on my seventh collaboration with Mark Rylance, and my first with the brilliant American actress J. Smith-Cameron, on the 100-year anniversary production of this internationally acclaimed, strikingly relevant, Irish classic.

J. Smith-Cameron said, “Juno and the Paycock is not simply a brilliant piece of theatre but an eternally relevant play so long as people must endure violent repression. The prospect of revisiting this work in the company of the great director Matthew Warchus and the truly legendary Mark Rylance absolutely floors me; I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Mark Rylance said, “It is a joy to be playing Seán O’Casey’s masterpiece with J. Smith-Cameron, and to be doing so in its 100th anniversary year. I am also delighted to be reuniting with Matthew Warchus on what will be our seventh theatrical collaboration and with Sonia Friedman who has supported me in eight previous productions.”

Dublin, 1922, the Irish Civil War is tearing the nation apart. In the cauldron of the family’s tiny tenement flat, Juno Boyle, a beleaguered matriarch whose sharp wit is a survival tool, struggles to make ends meet and keep the family together. Her husband, ‘Captain’ Jack Boyle, fancies himself a ship’s commander but sails no further than the pub. When providence comes knocking with life changing news, could the family’s troubles finally fade away?

Poetic, poignant, and hilarious, Juno and the Paycock is a big-hearted, black-humoured, tragi-comic triumph that reflects on a mother’s resilience in the midst of life’s most trying moments.


Mark Rylance

This is happily the seventh theatrical collaboration between Mark and Matthew Warchus.

Giles Havergal and The Glasgow Citizens Theatre gave Mark his first professional job in 1980.

In the eighties and nineties, Mark worked with many theatre companies in England and America, including the NT; The Bush; The Tricycle, Contact (Manchester); TANA (New York); A.R.T. (Boston); The Guthrie (Minneapolis). He became an Associate Artist of the RSC, where he played Hamlet, Romeo, and a number of other roles. He founded two cooperative theatre companies, The London Theatre of Imagination and Phoebus’ Cart, which toured sacred sites such as The Rollright Stones.

He trained at RADA in the great days of Hugh Cruttwell and the work of Mike Alfreds, and his company, Shared Experience, continues to be particularly inspiring and transformative in all he does.

In 1996, at age 36, Mark became the first Artistic Director of Sam Wanamaker’s project to rebuild Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Throughout his career, he has acted in more than 50 productions by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. He is a trustee of The Shakespearean Authorship Trust and friend of The Francis Bacon Research Trust.

After leaving the Globe in 2006, Sonia Friedman became his angel. With her company and associates she has supported Rylance in eight productions, Boeing-Boeing, La Bête, Jerusalem, Twelfth Night, Richard III, Farinelli and the King, Nice Fish, and most recently Dr Semmelweis. Rylance was a co-author of Dr Semmelweis and Nice Fish, and also wrote I am Shakespeare for Greg Ripley Productions and The Chichester Festival Theatre.

Film work includes three films with Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies, The BFG, and Ready Player One. Other films include The Outfit, Don’t Look Up, The Phantom of the Open, Bones and All, Waiting for the Barbarians, Dunkirk, Prospero’s Books, The Grass Arena, and The Institute Benjamenta.

His television appearances include four mini-series with Peter Kosminsky; The Government Inspector, The Undeclared War, Wolf Hall, and the soon to be broadcast Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light.

Mark is an honorary bencher of the Middle Temple Hall in London. He is also a founding patron of the London-based charity Peace Direct, which supports local peacebuilders in areas of conflict. Lately his work has focused on Intermission Youth Theatre and The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. He will always be a patron of Survival, the international movement for Tribal Peoples and Stop the War.

In 2017 he was knighted for services to the Theatre.

J. Smith-Cameron

J. Smith-Cameron is an award-winning stage, film, and television actress. She recently completed run as ‘Gerri Kellman’ on the acclaimed HBO series, Succession, earning her two back-to-back Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and a SAG Award for Outstanding Cast of a Drama Series. She will next star in the third season of the hit HBO series, Hacks, this spring.

Other notable television credits include: Rectify, Waco: The Aftermath, True Blood and Search Party.

J. was last seen on stage in Love Letters opposite Victor Garber at the Irish Rep. Other Broadway/ Off-Broadway credits include: Juno and the Paycock (Joe A. Callaway Award winner and Drama Desk nominated),Our Country’s Good (Tony nominated), Sarah, Sarah (Drama Desk nominated), Fuddy Meers (Outer Critics and Drama Desk nominated) and As Bees in Honey Drown (Obie Award winner).

Recent film work includes: Turtles all the Way Down, The Year Between opposite Steve Buscemi, andVengeance directed by B.J. Novak.

Past credits include: Nancy (Independent Spirit Award nominated) opposite Andrea Riseborough, Christine, and Margaret written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan.

Matthew Warchus, Director

Theatre includes: LungsPresent Laughter‘Art’The CaretakerThe Master BuilderFuture ConditionalSpeed-the-Plow, OLD VIC: IN CAMERA – A Christmas CarolFaith HealerThree KingsLungs (The Old Vic); A Christmas CarolGroundhog DayThe Norman Conquests (The Old Vic/Broadway); Matilda The Musical (RSC/West End/Broadway/International tour); Ghost the Musical (West End/Broadway/South Korea); La Bête (West End/Broadway); God of Carnage (West End/Broadway/LA); DeathtrapEndgame (West End); Our HouseMuch Ado About Nothing (West End/UK tour); Boeing-Boeing (West End/Broadway/UK tour); The Lord of the Rings (West End/Toronto); Buried ChildVolpone (National Theatre); Follies (Broadway); Life x 3 (National Theatre/The Old Vic/Broadway); True West (Donmar/Broadway); The Unexpected Man (RSC/West End/Broadway); ‘Art’ (Broadway/West End/Los Angeles); HamletHenry V (RSC); BetrayalDeath of a SalesmanThe Plough and the StarsFiddler on the RoofWho’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?True WestPeter Pan (Leeds Playhouse).

Opera includes: FalstaffCosì Fan Tutte (ENO); The Rake’s Progress (ROH/WNO).

Film includes: Roald Dahl’s Matilda The MusicalPride — BIFA Best British Independent Film, Simpatico.

Matthew was an Associate Director at Leeds Playhouse and Artistic Associate at The Old Vic before being appointed Artistic Director of the theatre in 2014.

Seán O’Casey

Seán O’Casey was born on the north side of Dublin in 1880 and lived through troubled and turbulent times; the 1913 Lock-out and Strike, the 1916 Easter Rising, the Anglo-Irish War and the Civil War. Seán O’Casey was involved directly with the Lock-out and Strike, starving with his fellow workers, and like many other Dubliners, he saw and was affected by the horrors of the Rising and the troubles that followed.

When he was forty he wrote three plays within three years depicting the lives of the slum dwellers he was familiar with; The Shadow of a GunmanJuno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars. These plays now stand with the great plays of the Twentieth Century.

The most remarkable thing he had ever done, O’Casey later said, was to escape from the slums of Dublin. He managed to do this after his second play, Juno and the Paycock, was performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1924. Only then was he able to give up his job as labourer working on the roads. These three plays made his name, and he became known to an international audience. 

In 1926 he travelled to London to receive the Hawthornden Prize for Literature and also give publicity for The Plough and the Stars. He decided to stay. During re-casting he met and later married Eileen Carey. They moved to Devon in 1938 with his two sons Breon and Niall: a daughter, Shivaun, was born a year later. Niall tragically died of Leukaemia, aged 21, and Seán O’Casey died eight years later, aged 84.






Gielgud Theatre

Saturday 21 September – Saturday 23 November 2024

Opening Night: Thursday 3 October, 7pm


Box Office:


Performance schedule:

Previews (21 September – 2 October):

Monday – Saturday at 7pm

Wednesday 2 October at 2pm


From 4 October:

Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm

Wednesday & Saturday at 2pm


Tickets: from £20


BSL Interpreted Performance – Saturday 19 October, 2pm


Audio Described Performance – Saturday 2 November, 2pm


Captioned Performance – Saturday 9 November, 2pm