Monday, March 30, 2009

POW! (Play Of The Week)

This collection of so called ‘peasant plays’ by J.M. Synge offers the reader a language that is sweeter than any nut. Writing in the tongue of the Irish peasant, Synge offers us poetry that, when spoken, will tantalize each and every palate.

In “Riders To The Sea” a one-act written in 1904 and possibly one of the finest tragedies ever produced, we deal with an issue all too common to the West of Ireland, loss of life at sea. A mother and her two daughters struggle to save their brother from the same fate which has claimed the lives of three generations of strong men.

Synge’s masterpiece “The Playboy of the Western World” was written in 1907. When first presented by the Abbey players it sparked riots among Irish patriots who were very sensitive to its bitter humor. The story tells of Christopher Mahon, a young man from the south, who flees from home after killing his dad. ‘Christy,’ as he’s called, enjoys new found celebrity status as “the man killed his father” among the women of the town -- until an unexpected visitor arrives, throwing the whole thing up in the air.

Synge’s bitter humor was also to be heard in “The Well of the Saints” and “In the Shadow of the Glen” the latter being a one-act comedy written in 1903. His later work “The Tinkers Wedding” was never produced for fear of further riots while “Deirdre of the Sorrows” remained unfinished due to the untimely death of the author at the age of only thirty eight.

Scenes/Monologues: Great material for older actresses.

Recommended by: Muiris.