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Saoirse Ronan says London show was ‘most difficult thing I’ve ever done’

Saoirse Ronan is Harper’s Bazaar UK’s latest cover star  (Harper’s Bazaar UK/Agata Pospieszynska)
Saoirse Ronan is Harper’s Bazaar UK’s latest cover star (Harper’s Bazaar UK/Agata Pospieszynska)

Saoirse Ronan has described her portrayal of Lady Macbeth at London’s Almeida Theatre in 2021 as “the most difficult thing I’ve ever done”.

The Irish actress, 29, was starring in the revival of The Tragedy of Macbeth opposite James McArdle.

The production, which was directed by Yaël Farber, opened its doors in October 2021 during the tail end of the pandemic.

Reflecting on that time, Ronan admitted the Shakespearean production became much more than the “discipline that the show required” but was also about contending with the “heaviness” the UK was feeling following several lockdowns.

Ronan is Harper’s Bazaar UK cover star for October (PA)
Ronan is Harper’s Bazaar UK cover star for October (PA)

Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar UK for their October cover shoot, the four-time Oscar nominee said: “It was probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, professionally.

“Because of the discipline that it required – getting on my bike at 5 o’clock night after night, in the dead of winter, to do a play that dark and at a time when the country was still in the throes of Covid, meaning we were all carrying a heaviness already.”

It’s not the first professional theatre production Ronan has starred in having previously appeared on Broadway in The Crucible in 2016.

Elsewhere in the same interview, the Carlow native paid tribute to the Irishwomen that have inspired her and the pride she feels to be able to look up to individuals such as the late Sinéad O’Connor and Sharon Horgan in the industry.

She shared: “Think of Sinéad [O’Connor], of Sharon [Horgan], everyone who was around in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties, who just didn’t give a f**k and moved away from the template that had been set.

“There’s been a lot to overcome for all women, but I think in a country like Ireland, where there was such ownership over us in every sense – physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially – how unbelievably brave.

“What incredible stock to come from. I don’t take that for granted at all.”

The October issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK is on sale from Thursday, September 7