Three Plays

Three Plays

£8.99
Author:
Genre: Drama
Tag: Three Plays
Translated by Won-Jae Jang

In his study Irish Influences on Korean Theatre during the 1920s and 1930s, Won-Jae Jang alerted scholars to a previously unexamined example of intercultural exchange in which Korean scholars looked to Irish writers and especially Irish dramatists to help them find a way of freeing themselves from the cultural imperialism of Japan. They studied the stated aims of Yeats, Lady Gregory and Synge in founding an Irish National Theatre Movement to gain independence from the dominance of English drama, read translations of their plays as well as some by O’Casey and T. C. Murray, and decided to follow that example, first by adaptations, then imitations and finally with original dramas that nonetheless reveal a profound debt to distinct Irish models.

The three plays by Chi-Jin Yoo (the centenary of whose birth is celebrated in 2005) that are contained in this volume belong to this last group. He focuses on the lives of the deprived and the impoverished, country people struggling to maintain a degree of security if only to retain some vestige of human dignity. In this he follows the Irish realist tradition rather than the Yeatsian preoccupation with the legendary and the heroic. Wan-Jae Jang offers the reader literal translations from the Korean, the better to respect the raw energy of the original dramas, into which Chi-Jin Yoo welded a surprising variety of influences from Irish playwrights. As well as the three plays, The Cow, The Mud Hut and The Donkey, also published here is an article by Yoo, ‘Sean O’Casey and I’, which shows the major influence that O’Casey in particular had on his work.

Won-Jae Jang was born in Seoul, graduated from Korea University (BA), and Goldsmiths College, University of London (MA), and was granted his PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2000. He is now working for Soongsil University as a Junior Professor. His Irish Influences on Korean Theatre during the 1920s and 1930s was published in 2003.

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Selected Plays of Lennox Robinson

Selected Plays of Lennox Robinson

£8.95
Chosen and Introduced by Christopher Murray

The first volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

ISBN: 0-86140-087-9 / 978-0-86140-087-4 £25.00

Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-088-7 / 978-0-86140-088-1 £9.95

Contains: Patriots, The Whiteheaded Boy, Crabbed Youth and Age, The Big House, Drama at Inish, Church Street, bibliographical checklist.

Lennox Robinson was one of the leading playwrights of Dublin's Abbey Theatre as well as being its general manager and a director for many years. As with many other playwrights of the twentieth century, his work has been unjustly neglected, this volume, published in 1982, being the first of his plays to have appeared for over a quarter of a century. It is fitting, therefore, that this selection should be the first of a new series, Irish Drama Selections, which has sought to remedy the shortage of texts of the work of Ireland's dramatists, which with the exception of perhaps ten authors, are virtually unobtainable except in rare editions, long out of print.

Christopher Murray is Emeritus Professor of Drama and Theatre History, School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin. He is former editor of Irish University Review and former chair of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL). Among his publications are Twentieth Century Irish Drama: Mirror up to Nation and Sean O'Casey, Writer at Work: A Biography. He also chose and introduced the fifteenth volume in the Irish Drama Selections series, Selected Plays of George Shiels.

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Selected Plays of Douglas Hyde ‘An Craoibhin Aoibhin’

Selected Plays of Douglas Hyde ‘An Craoibhin Aoibhin’

£7.99 pbk
Chosen and Introduced by Janet Egleson Dunleavy and Gareth Dunleavy

The seventh volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

Hardcover ISBN: 0-86140-095-X / 987-0-86140-095-9 £25.00

Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-096-8 / 978-0-86140-096-6 £8.99

21.6 x 13.8 cm    192 pp.   1991   

Contains: The Twisting of the Rope, The Marriage, The Lost Saint, The Nativity, King James, The Bursting of the Bubble, The Tinker and the Sheeog, The Matchmaking, The School-master, bibliographical checklist. This volume publishes the original Irish language texts with Lady Gregory's translations.

When Douglas Hyde was elected in 1938 as first President of Ireland, he brought to this last of many rôles the prestige of an important scholar, a noted author and a leader of the cultural nationalist movement. Born in 1860, the son of the Church of Ireland rector at Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon, he grew up among the local people, learning Irish and listening  to folk tales, which he began to record and which proved valuable experience when writing dialogue for his plays. After study at Trinity he became a founder member of the Gaelic League, formed in 1893 to preserve and promote the Irish language, and he was its President for twenty-two years.

Hyde was struck by the idea of promoting the Irish language through drama, especially puppet shows and short plays. In the hands of a writer less gifted in mimicry, with a less-developed sense of humour, the results of an effort undertaken for admittedly propagandist purposes might have been deadly. In his hands they ushered in a new dramatic tradition. That his one-act plays, classics of the modern Irish theatre, continue to be performed today, both in their original Irish and in Lady Gregory's English translations is but one indication of the versatility of his talent and his appeal to both popular and artistic tastes. Eight one-act plays are reproduced here with Lady Gregory's translations on the facing pages.

More than three decades after his death, the inevitable reassessment is under way and new stock must be taken of his rôles as folklorist, poet, translator and playwright, each assumed at a carefully chosen time for what it could contribute to the goal of his life: first the cultural, then the social and political independence of Ireland.

 

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Where There is Nothing

Where There is Nothing

£19.50
Edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by Katharine B. Worth

First published in 1903, Where There Is Nothing was never reprinted in the author’s lifetime. It lost its place in collected editions of Yeats’s plays to a new version, The Unicorn from the Stars, in which Lady Gregory had a major share. There has long been a need for an edition of Where There Is Nothing to restore to general view an interesting play which, unusually for Yeats, has a modern setting, a middle-class hero, and a predominantly naturalistic technique.

Yeats gave various reasons for abandoning the original play. Perhaps one he did not mention was his doubt whether its open and direct style and modem Irish background might not identify the author too closely with the visionary central character, Paul Ruttledge. Many of Yeats’s deepest preoccupations are reflected in Paul’s pursuit of his apocalyptic vision: he abandons a life of bourgeois comfort for hard freedom among the tinkers, follows a religious life in a monastery, and finally dies a martyr at the hands of a mob who cannot understand his ecstatic message: “Where there is nothing, there is God.”

The drastically revised version, The Unicorn from the Stars, changes the period and social milieu and introduces new characters and plot complications which bear the marks of Lady Gregory’s distinctive style. Both plays are included in this volume to allow comparison of the plays themselves and to throw light on the characteristic methods of these two preeminent playwrights.

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The Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival

£14.99
Author:
Series: Selected Titles
Genre: Drama
Tag: Harvest Festival
ISBN: 978-0-86140-045-4
22.9 x 14.5 cm.      xvi, 91 pp.  1979

The Harvest Festival is Sean O’Casey’s earliest extant play. Written in about 1918 or 1919, it was the second play that O’Casey offered the Abbey Theatre. It was turned down, but he kept the manu­script and it now forms part of the extensive O’Casey archive in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library. It has never been performed, and this is its first pub­lication in the U.K. and Ireland, following on its U.S. publication by only a few months.

The plot focuses on the turmoil of an outside world of strikes and riots converging on a Dublin city church in the midst of its preparations for a harvest festival. Set in 1913, it deals with Irish workers’ battles against economic oppression and religious hypocrisy, with that vital combina­tion of passion, humour and pathos that distinguishes O’Casey’s later plays. It is a rich melodrama of class struggle, with ironically pointed clashes involving representatives of Church, Employers and Labour.

An incomplete revision of the first act, which O’Casey kept with the original manuscript, is included as an Appendix to show the direction the playwright might have gone had he chosen to revise the entire play: as it is, students of drama will see in The Harvest Festival the seeds of O’Casey’s later works, and the lineal descendants of its characters appear in Red Roses for Me, The Drums of Father Ned, and The Bishop’s Bonfire. Eileen O’Casey has contributed a foreword entitled ‘Clench Your Teeth’, and John O’Riordan has written an Introduction.

A three-quarter leather edition with wood veneer panels, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, intended to be limited to 50 copies, ISBN 0-86140-052-6, signed by the writers of the Foreword and Introduction, Eileen O'Casey and John O'Riordan, was also published, but of the 50 copies only 30 were actually bound.

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The Wonder and Supernatural Plays, being the Third Volume of the Collected Plays

The Wonder and Supernatural Plays, being the Third Volume of the Collected Plays

£25.00
General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe

Edited and with a Foreword by Ann Saddlemyer

22.2 x 14.00  cm.  

This volume of Lady Gregory’s Collected Plays contains all those that deal with the magic of Irish folk stories or the supernatural aspects of ghosts or religion. Those which use as their plot magic and kings' sons were written for an audience of children. In The Dragon the theatrical monster is to come and carry off the princess as all good dragons should and then be killed by a prince, but in this case the disguised prince does not kill the beast but does a transplant giving him a squirrel's heart which makes him chase off to the West Indies in search of cocoa-nuts.

For her adult audiences, Lady Gregory wrote her Irish passion play, The Story Brought by Brigit, and Shanwalla, a play about the drugging of a prize racehorse just before a race. The innocence of the accused trainer is only proved after the appearance of the ghost of the trainer's murdered wife who sup­plies particularly relevant informa­tion which shakes the villain into a confession. The third act of this play was not as good as it might have been, and after Yeats had criticised it Lady Gregory rewrote the first part, published here for the first time. The original act, together with Yeats' criticisms, are included in an Appendix. The other plays in this volume are what Lady Gregory called her “first play”, Colman & Guaire; her beautiful miracle play set in the West of Ireland, The Travelling Man; The Full Moon; Aristotle's Bellows and Dave.

Volume I of the Collected Plays contains the Comedies; Volume II The Tragedies and Tragic-Comedies, and Volume IV the Translations, Adaptations and Collaborations. Each volume is edited and has a foreword by Professor Saddlemyer.

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The Herne’s Egg

The Herne’s Egg

£17.50
Author:
Series: Irish Dramatic Texts, Book 6
Genre: Drama
Tag: Herne's Egg
Edited, with an introduction and notes, by Andrew Parkin.

This play has long been attacked as repugnant in subject – for example, the brutal gang rape of a woman by seven men – and confused in tone. Yet despite its bloodshed, murder, rape, and suicide, Yeats still imbues the play with farcical, ironic humour, and compared to his last two plays, Purgatory (1939) and The Death of Cuchulain (1939), this tragic farce is the lightest in mood and tone.

Professor Parkin draws on the clash of values – between Christian and Pagan – and maintains that this central theme justifies the violence, sacrilege, sensuality and ferocious energy. Yeats imbues the play with farcical and ironic humour and his action is never tasteless or merely sensational. The Herne's Egg is an exuberant and crucial landmark in Yeatsian drama.

This, the first critical edition, will be of very real interest to the modern reader or actor. More info →

Cock-A-Doodle Dandy

Cock-A-Doodle Dandy

£18.75
Author:
Series: Irish Dramatic Texts, Book 5
Genre: Drama
Tag: Cock-A-Doodle Dandy
Edited, with an introduction and Notes, by David Krause

ISBN: 978-0-86140-342-4
21.6 x 13.8 cm.        xxiv, 119 pp.     1991            Irish Dramatic Texts 5

Regarded by O'Casey as his best play, this dark comedy about Irish rural life at mid-century symbolises the struggle between repression and liberty. Although the final victory is to the forces of oppression (in the shape of Father Domineer and his gombeen men) the play is highly amusing. Initially it was regarded as anti-Catholic and suppressed in Ireland and New York. This publication is the only definitive edition available, having been compared with the original manuscript (in the New York Public Library). Professor Krause is the official biographer of O'Casey.

Co-published with the Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C.   More info →
The Tragedies and Tragic-Comedies, being the Second Volume of the Collected Plays

The Tragedies and Tragic-Comedies, being the Second Volume of the Collected Plays

£22.50
General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe

Edited and with a foreword by Ann Saddlemyer

22.2 x 14.0 cm.     
  Although Lady Gregory's first plays were comedies, she preferred writing tragedies which she found easier. As Ann Saddlemyer writes in her foreword to this volume: "In the tragic form, with the character of comedy deliberately left out, one could celebrate strength where 'fate itself is the protagonist'. 'You may let your hero kick or struggle, but he is in the claws all the time.' "

Lady Gregory wrote five traged­ies, The Gaol Gate, Dervorgilla, Grania, McDonough's Wife and Kincora. Kincora gave her the most trouble in writing, perhaps because, as she herself thought ‘I kept too close to history’', and she had to ask Yeats and Synge for their help. It exists in two versions, the first of which appears in the Appendix of this volume.

This volume also contains the Tragic-Comedies, The White Cock­ade, The Canavans, The Image (which with The Gaol Gate was her favourite) and The Deliverer, the only bitter play Lady Gregory ever wrote.

Volume I of the Collected Plays contains the Comedies, Volume III, Wonder and the Supernatural, and Volume IV, Translations, Adapta­tions and Collaborations. Each volume is edited and has a fore­word by Professor Saddlemyer.

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Virgil & Caesar

Virgil & Caesar

£8.95
Author:
Series: Oxford Theatre Texts, Book 11
Genre: Drama
Tag: Virgil & Caesar
21.6 x 13.8 cm. Oxford Theatre Texts 11

‘In his new play, Virgil and Caesar, the completion of a serial epic entitled AGORA, Francis Warner explores the dramatic tension between worldly rule, the pragmatism of politics, and the vision of the poet as idealist.
‘Staged in the uniquely fitting setting of Oxford University’s Convocation House, the production by Tim Prentki and Dominic Shellard exploited the limited space of fan-vaulted beauty to fine advantage.
‘The play, as it explored the relationships between the machinations of worldly power, the wooing of the army, the detecting of subterfuge from the judiciary, the temptation of tyrannical power, the duties of family life, and the seductive disasters of succumbing to lust, unfolded in masterly fashion against the background of the philosophical and other views of the poets.
‘Warner brings to our attention the perennial conflicts that are as timeless as they are timely. The command of English through poetic imagery must rank as the very best. Here we have laid before us the perennial crises of humanity dressed in classical clothes yet intensely of today.
‘How valuable such rare and important plays are, being written in times when not only biological species are under threat around the world, but also cultural continuity itself.’ The Stage

'Detailed. . . accurate . . . moving, with convincing dramatic power, Warner’s verse filled the ear satisfyingly, and echoes in the memory.’ Jasper Griffin, in Oxford Magazine

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Selected Plays of T.C. Murray

Selected Plays of T.C. Murray

£8.95 pbk
Chosen and Introduced by Richard Allen Cave

The tenth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

Hardback ISBN: 0-86140-142-5 / 978-0-86140-142-0 £30.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-143-3 / 978-0-86140-143-7 £ 8.95

21.6 x 13.8 cm.    

Contains: Sovereign Love, Birthright, Maurice Harte, The Briery Gap, Autumn Fire, The Pipe in the Fields, the essay ‘George Shiels, Brinsley MacNamara, Etc.’, and the previously unpublished Illumination , bibliographical checklist.

The playwriting career of Thomas Cornelius Murray (1873-1959) started in 1909 with the production of his first play, Wheel of Fortune (which he revised in 1913 and renamed Sovereign Love), at the Cork Little Theatre, but it was his Birthright, produced at the Abbey Theatre in the following year that established him as a writer of stark and tragic realism. His most enduring plays were all written during the next two decades, but none of the plays written after 1930 can be compared for quality with his earlier work.

The present selection contains Sovereign Love (1909, revised 1913), Birthright (1911), Maurice Harte (1912), The Briery Gap (1917), Autumn Fire (1925), and The Pipe in the Fields (1927), together with Appendices containing Murray's essay 'George Shiels, Brinsley MacNamara, Etc.' (1939), which not only discusses these authors' work but sheds considerable light on his own views about playwriting, and Illumination (1939) which despite its evident weaknesses is still the best of his later dramas. There is a bibliographical checklist of his writings.

 

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Selected Plays of Lady Gregory

Selected Plays of Lady Gregory

£9.99 pbk
Chosen and Introduced by Mary FitzGerald

The third volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

Hardcover ISBN: 0-86140-099-2 / 978-0-86140-99-7 £25.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-100-X / 978-0-86140-100-0 £9.99
21.6 x 13.8 cm. 379 pp. 1983  

Contains: The Travelling Man, Spreading the News, Kincora, Hyacinth Halvey, The Doctor in Spite of Himself, The Gaol Gate, The Rising of the Moon, Dervorgilla, The Workhouse Ward, Grania, The Golden Apple, The Story Brought by Brigit, Dave, Lady Gregory on playwriting and her plays, bibliographical checklist.

Lady Gregory wrote her first play when she was forty-nine years old. Apart from her collaborations with W. B. Yeats and others, and translated adaptations, she produced thirty-nine plays, while devoting a great deal of time to the management of the Abbey Theatre, and the Lane Pictures.

Described with admiration by Bernard Shaw as the Irish Molière, she contributed plays in every genre – comedies, tragedies, tragic-comedies, wonder and supernatural plays - and for every audience, most effectively in the one act form.

This collection of thirteen plays, and her writings about them, is intended to show the breadth of her playwriting abilities, and her thoughts on the plays and their creation. Chosen, with an introduction, by Mary FitzGerald, this third volume in the Irish Literary Studies series has a bibliographical checklist by Colin Smythe.

Mary FitzGerald gained her PhD from Princeton University for work on Lady Gregory and W. B. Yeats, and taught at Fordham University before taking up her appointment at the University of New Orleans. She was Review Editor of Yeats: An Annual of Critical and Textual Studies.

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Requiem and its maquettes

Requiem and its maquettes

£8.95

'Mr Warner’s talent is remarkable, original, and is not content with achieving easy things. He sees theatre in terms of musical and pictorial construction. His visual sense is extraordinarily vivid. His verbal mastery too, is undeniable. The permissive theatre is both employed and transcended by the force and beauty of Francis Warner’s brooding and baroque imagination. . . The text is one of the richest encountered in the theatre for a long time.’ Harold Hobson, The Sunday Times

Maquettes was called by a reviewer in The Sunday Times ‘one of the triumphs of this year’s Edinburgh Festival’.

'This remarkable trilogy achieves its effects through a combination of musical, theatrical, and pictorial techniques.' Elizabeth Kilburn on CBC Radio said of the Canadian performance, ‘Warner creates rôles for women that are absolutely brilliant.'Plays and Players

'The sort of illuminated shorthand of his style, allied to his arresting visual images, is clearly capable of making a very direct contact – and an electrically shocking one at that. He is a considerable writer.’ Time Out

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Selected Plays of George Moore and Edward Martyn

Selected Plays of George Moore and Edward Martyn

£9.95
Chosen and Introduced by David B. Eakin and Michael Case

The eighth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

Hardcover ISBN:0-86140-144-1 / 978-0-86140-144-4 £35.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-145-X / 978-0-86140-145-1 £9.95
21.6 x 13.8  cm.          

Contains:  George Moore's The Strike at Arlingford, The Bending of the Bough, The Coming of Gabrielle, The Passing of the Essenes; and Edward Martyn's The Heather Field, Maeve, The Tale of a Town, bibliographical checklist.

GEORGE MOORE is best known as a master of English prose, but he also wrote plays, usually in collaboration with other authors, and occasionally based on or on the precursors of his own novels, the best known of which are probably Diarmuid and Grania (with W.B.Yeats), The Strike at Arlingford, and The Bending of the Bough (based on Edward Martyn's The Tale of a Town). Apart from the last two, this selection also contains Moore's The Coming of Gabrielle and The Passing of the Essenes.

EDWARD MARTYN was, with W.B.Yeats and Lady Gregory, a founder of the Irish Literary Theatre, the second production of which, opening on 9 May 1899, the day after Yeats's The Countess Cathleen, was his The Heather Field. Apart from this play, the present volume also contains Maeve and The Tale of a Town.

As well as the introduction by David B. Eakin and Michael Case, there are also bibliographical checklists of Moore's and Martyn's works.

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Poets and Dreamers

Poets and Dreamers

£30.00
General Editors of the Coole Edition: T. R. Henn CBE and Colin Smythe

With a Foreword by T. R. Henn

ISBN: 978-0-900675-35-5
Studies and Translations from the Irish, including nine plays by Douglas Hyde

22.7 x 13.8 cm.  286 pp.    illus.  1974   Volume 11 of the Coole Edition of Lady Gregory's works In Poets and Dreamers Lady Gregory has gathered together a number of essays and translations she had made from the Irish of Douglas Hyde, An Craoibhin Aoibhinn, ‘the Sweet Little Branch’, who was founder and President of the Gaelic League at the time and later to be the first President of the Republic of Ireland.

Lady Gregory has also written about other poets in this volume, notably Raftery, who was the model for Yeats’s Red Hanrahan, and also writes about West Irish ballads, and those by Jacobite and Boer and that beautiful poem by the expatriate Shemus Cartan, ‘A Sorrowful Lament for Ireland’.

Her other essays are covered by the Dreamers part of the title, ‘Mountain Theology’, ‘Herb Healing’ and ‘Workhouse Dreams’ among them. This edition contains a further five plays by Hyde, translated by Lady Gregory, three of which have not hitherto been published.

The Ap­pendices contain a number of early versions of poems and articles and includes ‘Dreams that have no moral’ by W. B. Yeats. This has been added from his Celtic Twilight (1902) as an Appendix in order to give an example as to how Lady Gregory worked together with him in providing him with material for his volumes. Lady Gregory refers to the story in ‘Workhouse Dreams’.

The Editors have also added a quant­ity of her revisions and an essay, ‘Cures by Charms’, which first appeared in the Westminster Budget with two of the other essays in this volume, but which was not included in the first edition.

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Rembrandt’s Mirror

Rembrandt’s Mirror

£9.95
Author:
Series: Oxford Theatre Texts, Book 14
Genre: Drama
Tag: Rembrandt's Mirror
Volume 14 of Oxford Theatre Texts series viii, 138pp. plus  32pp colour illus.    

'This new play by Francis Warner followed the life of Rembrandt from his arrival in Amsterdam in 1625 until his death some fifty years later. By tracing his friendships with the great figures of the day, the play explored the interactions of art and life in the Dutch Republic during a period of political turmoil and religious intolerance.
"Central to this cultural milieu was the Speelhouse, essentially a highly refined brothel, whose patrons included Prince Frederik Hendrik, the poet Joost van den Vondel, the royal advisor Constantijn Huygens, and of course Rembrandt... Such liberated more conflicted directly with the prevalent Dutch Calvinism, whose moral severities were personified by the Reverends Smout and Trigland, a ludicrous duo of preachers... They brought about the suppression of the speelhouse, thus causing the dissolution of Rembrandt's circle and initiating his decline. "The language, while stylised, came to sound entirely natural, thanks to the skill of the actors, at times achieving a lyrical beauty; and its cadences gave a suitable distance to seventeenth century Holland.
"Rembrandt (Simon Kane) had a commanding stage presence, and his defences of art were some of the most convincing I have heard from a fictionalised artist.
"The play's emotional involvement was very strong, and there were moments when the audience's identification with the characters became almost palpable. This was exemplified by the shocked silence that greeted the deaths of Rembrandt's first wife and child. Death was the overarching theme of this play, and its impact on Rembrandt's work became pronounced towards the end, especially in his final self-portrait where the experience of the years was etched in his face."  Oxford Magazine

‘The play is fabulously detailed and interweaves the joy and tragedy of individuals with the background of political and religious change. The language is rich, with sparks of humour and pertinent observations on love, sensuality, grief, morality and art. This depth is sustained by immaculate and engaging acting and lavish costumes. A few hundred words cannot do this play justice. Go and see it."             Eva Spain in Theatre Review (Daily Information, Oxford)     More info →

Selected Plays of M. J. Molloy

Selected Plays of M. J. Molloy

£9.95
Chosen and Introduced by Robert O'Driscoll

The twelfth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

Hardcover ISBN; 0-86140-148-4 / 978-0-86140-148-2 £35.00
Paperback ISBN; 0-86140-149-2 / 978-0-86140-149-9 £9.95

21.6 x 13.8 cm.   

Contains: The King of Friday's Men, The Paddy Pedlar, The Wood of the Whispering, Daughter from over the Water, Petticoat Loose and the previously unpublished The Bachelor's Daughter, bibliographical checklist.

Michael Joseph Molloy (1917-1994) was born and died in Milltown, Co. Galway. Originally intending to enter the priesthood, this was prevented by his being struck down by tuberculosis, and it was during the long periods he spent in hospital that he started writing plays, having been inspired by a childhood visit to the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. His first play, Old Road, was produced at the Abbey in 1943, as was The Visiting House in 1946, and The King of Friday’s Men in 1948. When the old theatre burned down and the company moved to the Queen’s Theatre his The Wood of the Whispering and The Paddy Pedlar were produced there in 1953, followed by The Will and the Way in 1955, The Right Rose Tree in 1958, and The Wooing of Duvesa in 1964.

After the company’s return to the rebuilt Theatre in 1966 his plays – with their romantic plots and Syngean dialogue – did not find favour with the new Abbey, and with the exception of Petticoat Loose in 1979, none of his later works were performed professionally.  By the late 1980s he had come to believe – as he wrote in one letter to the publisher of this selection – that the Abbey  no longer even read plays by authors based in the provinces until they had been produced elsewhere (here he cited himself and John B.Keane as examples), and that his works scared the ‘actor Artistic Directors who know nothing about provincial Ireland and nothing about the rules of playwriting’.  He feared his plays might be the last full-length folk plays written in Ireland.

Robert O'Driscoll, an authority on Samuel Ferguson and on the early works of W. B. Yeats, was Professor of English Literature at St Michael's College, University of Toronto, until his retirememt. He died in 1996.

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The Comedies, being the First Volume of the Collected Plays

The Comedies, being the First Volume of the Collected Plays

£19.50
General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe

Edited and with a Foreword by Ann Saddlemyer

ISBN: 978-0-900675-29-4
22.2 x 13.8 cm  

Lady Gregory first tried her hand at playwriting when she was almost fifty years old, and during the last thirty years of her life this late-flowering talent produced nearly fifty plays. These are published in four volumes: I, The Comedies; II, The Tragedies and Tragic-Comedies; III, Plays dealing with Wonder and the Supernatural; IV, Translations, Adaptations, and Col­laborations with W. B. Yeats and Douglas Hyde. (Lady Gregory's direct translations of Dr. Hyde's plays appear in her Poets & Dreamers).

This volume contains those plays by which she is probably best remembered and which are still performed after sixty years: Spread­ing the News, Hyacinth Halvey, The Jackdaw, The Rising of the Moon and The Workhouse Ward (this last giving rise to an anonymous parody, The Worked-Out Ward, A Sinn Féin Allegory, which is given in an appendix). They appeared in Lady Gregory's first volume of plays, Seven Short Plays, published in 1909 and dedicated to W. B. Yeats, ‘because you have taught me my trade’. Of her later comedies, The Bogie Men was re­vised after publication; the revised version being given in the body of the text while the first version is to be found in the Appendix. A Losing Game, the first version of her first play to be performed, Twenty Five, is also included among the Appen­dices.

There are also five plays written after 1916 which have not been published before: Michelin, The Meadow Gate, The Dispensary, The Lighted Window and The Shoelace.

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Living Creation

Living Creation

£6.95
Author:
Series: Oxford Theatre Texts, Book 8
Genre: Drama
Tag: Living Creation
21.6 x 13.8 cm. Oxford Theatre Texts 8

Highly praised by the critics, Living Creation is Francis Warner’s tenth successful play. It tells the story of Lorenzo de’ Medici’s dominance over Florence, of his patronage of the poets and artists, and particularly of his relationship with Botticelli (whose life unifies the action), and covers the death first of Lorenzo’s brother, then of himself against the background of Savonarola’s rise to power, fall, and execution.

Francis Warner, the Oxford poet and dramatist, has given vivid expression to the civic and religious conflicts of the Medicis, Savonarola, and their contemporaries in renaissance Florence.

Much of the action concerns Botticelli’s creation of some of his masterpieces - shown in colour slide projections - [and] their impact on his fellow Florentines. . . .

Mr Warner, in language that is invariably compulsive and heightened by the richness of sensitive, forceful imagery, has brought to the stage the intrigue, the religious sourness, the savage cruelty and also the beauty of the Florence of the Medicis.’     The Stage

Francis Warner has done Oxford a real service by choosing to stage his latest play at the Examination Schools.

His verse takes on a new muscularity and sensitivity. The large and able cast respond. And Greta Verdin’s beautifully staged and orchestrated production has the same hypnotic appeal as a Botticelli painting.’     Oxford Mail More info →

Selected Plays of Rutherford Mayne

Selected Plays of Rutherford Mayne

£8.95
Chosen and Introduced by Wolfgang Zach

The thirteenth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

Hardcover ISBN: 0-86140-292-8 / 978-0-86140-292-2 £32.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-293-6 / 978-0-86140-293-9 £8.95
21.6 x 13.8 cm  

   

Contains: The Turn of the Road, The Drone, Red Turf, The Troth, Phantoms, Bridgehead and Peter, bibliographical checklist.
Note. Although the two articles ‘The Ulster Literary Theatre’ and ‘Meet Rutherford Mayne’ were announced as being part of this volume they were, for reasons the publisher is unable to explain, omitted from the published book. They can now be read  HERE

Samuel John Waddell (1878-1967), who took on the stage-name Rutherford Mayne when he embarked on a theatrical career, was the most prolific, versatile, and successful playwright that the Irish Literary Revival in Ulster brought forth. In the course of his career as a dramatist, from 1906 to 1934, he wrote thirteen plays – ten plays for the Ulster Literary Theatre, one for the Dublin-based Theatre of Ireland, and two for the Abbey Theatre. Especially his early realistic Ulster 'peasant plays' were very successful, among them The Drone (1908), the most popular Irish folk comedy of the first half of the twentieth century. He also acted a great number of main parts in plays of his own and of other writers, to great acclaim, mainly in Belfast and Dublin but also on tours to England and Scotland, from 1904 onwards until late in his life. His plays disappeared from the stage in the 1950s and when he died at the age of 89, in 1967, his artistic achievements were almost forgotten.

In this selection of Rutherford Mayne's plays, seven of his eight published plays – his most important ones – have been included, The Turn of the Road, The Drone , The Troth, Red Turf, Phantoms, Peter and Bridge Head. Two important prose pieces (one of Mayne's essays and an interview), have been added to the plays as they provide direct insight into his personality, views, and career.

Wolfgang Zach’s introduction shows why the plays should be remembered today, providing a lengthy survey of Mayne's life and works, with particular emphasis on a discussion of all his plays, their critical reception, stage history, and specific features.

 

Wolfgang Zach was Professor of English (Chair) at the University of Innsbruck and Head of its English Department. Before his appointment to this present position in 1994/95, he taught at the University of Graz and also was a Visiting Professor at a great number of universities in each continent. From his Ph.D. thesis on Oliver Goldsmith (1969) onwards he has published widely in the field of Irish literature and was a Vice-President of IASIL (the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures). He hosted an IASIL-Conference and edited its proceedings (with H. Kosok) on Literary Interrelations. Ireland, England and the World, 3 vols. (Tubingen: Narr, 1987), his most recent volume (ed. with R. Freiburg and A. Löffler) is on Swift: The Enigmatic Dean (Tübingen:Stauffenburg, 1998), and for many years he has been active as European Continental Editor of the Irish Literary Supplement.

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