Conor McPherson's The Veil is a haunted house drama set in a decaying Irish country house in the 1820s. It is McPherson's first period-set play. The Veil was first performed in the Lyttelton auditorium of the National Theatre, London, on 4 October 2011 (previews from 27 September).
The action takes place in May 1822 in a fine old country house belonging to the widowed Lady Lambroke. Threatened by rural unrest and her own impoverishment, Lady Lambroke has arranged for her seventeen-year-old daughter Hannah to be married off to an English aristocrat to pay off her debts. A defrocked Anglican minister, the Reverend Berkeley, arrives at the house with his philosopher acquaintance Charles Audelle, tasked with chaperoning the girl to England. The two men, however, are enthralled by Hannah's reputation for extrasensory awareness, and intend to put it to the test, regardless of the consequences.
The National Theatre premiere was directed by Conor McPherson and designed by Rae Smith, with Jim Norton as Reverend Berkeley, Adrian Schiller as Audelle, Emily Taafe as Hannah, Fenella Woolgar as Lady Lambroke and Bríd Brennan as the housekeeper, Mrs Goulding.
The play was premiered in the US by Quotidian Theatre Company at The Writer’s Center, Bethesda, Maryland, in July 2014, in a production directed by Jack Sbarbori.