Plays by Bob Dylan

Girl from the North Country  

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Girl from the North Country is a play by Conor McPherson with music and lyrics by Bob Dylan. It was first performed at The Old Vic, London, on 8 July 2017, transferring to the Noel Coward Theatre in the West End on 29 December 2017.

The play's action is set in a guesthouse in Duluth, Minnesota, in the winter of 1934. The guesthouse proprietor, Nick Laine, owes more money than he can ever repay, while his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is pregnant with a child that no one will account for. When a preacher selling bibles and a boxer looking for a comeback turn up in the middle of the night, things spiral beyond the point of no return. Interwoven with the action are songs selected by Conor McPherson from the extensive songbook of Bob Dylan.

In an introduction to the published script, Conor McPherson writes: 'Maybe five years ago I was asked if I might consider writing a play to feature Bob Dylan’s songs. I initially didn’t feel this was something I could do and I had cast it out of my mind when, one day, walking along, I saw a vision of a guesthouse in Minnesota in the 1930s. ... And I saw a way Mr Dylan’s songs might make sense in a play.'

The first production was directed by Conor McPherson and designed by Rae Smith. It was performed by Sheila Atim, Ron Cook, Bronagh Gallagher, Shirley Henderson, Ciarán Hinds (as Nick Laine), Claudia Jolly, Arinzé Kene, Debbie Kurup, Kirsty Malpass, Jim Norton, Tom Peters, Karl Queensborough, Sam Reid, Michael Shaeffer, Jack Shalloo and Stanley Townsend.

Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author and painter, who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades.
Since bursting into the public’s consciousness in the early 1960s, Dylan has sold more than 125 million records, won eleven Grammy Awards and has six entries in the Grammy Hall of Fame. His contribution to worldwide culture has been recognised with many awards, including the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature (the first songwriter to receive such a distinction); America’s highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, from President Obama in 2012; a Special Citation Pulitzer Prize in 2008; an Academy Award in 2001 for ‘Things Have Changed’ from the film Wonder Boys. He released his thirty-ninth studio album, Triplicate, in April 2017, and continues to tour worldwide.