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The Plough and the Stars

 



Depicting events surrounding the 1916 Easter Uprising in Dublin that eventually led to Irish independence, a drama that follows an Irish revolutionary leader and his long-suffering wife who fears for his life.

From the producers: Pretty young newlywed Nora Clitheroe is the talk of her tenement as she tirelessly works to lift her family out of their impoverished circumstances. She tries to keep her husband Jack from the revolutionary fervor sweeping through Dublin. But Jack becomes a Commandant in the Irish Citizen Army, and when the Easter Rising of 1916 begins, he leaves a pregnant Nora to help lead the fight. The disparate, quarrelsome tenement residents are forced to shelter together as urban warfare makes their home nearly as treacherous as the streets. Passions and ideals rise and converge, but in the end, loss and devastation triumph over the promise of a new Ireland.

"The Plough and the Stars" is the third play of Sean O'Casey's well-known "Dublin Trilogy" - the other two being "The Shadow of a Gunman" and "Juno and the Paycock." It is widely hailed as O’Casey’s most complex and masterful work. Its premiere at the Abbey Theatre in 1926 was met with riots condemning O’Casey’s negative portrayal of the recent revolution and its heros. However, the play was otherwise successful, receiving wide acclaim both in Ireland and abroad. Drawing from his own childhood and experiences with the Irish labor movement and in the Irish Citizen Army, "The Plough and the Stars is among O’Casey’s most autobiographical works.

The Irish Rep revival is joined by repertory productions of "The Shadow of a Gunman" and "Juno and the Paycock." The cast includes Úna Clancy, Terry Donnelly, Rory Duffy, Meg Hennessy, John Keating, Robert Langdon Lloyd, Ed Malone, Michael Mellamphy, Clare O’Malley, Adam Petherbridge, Maryann Plunkett, James Russell, Harry Smith, and Sarah Street.

What's Irish Rep? Occasionally, a group of artists finds a large room somewhere in the city, and settles down there for a decade or so to stage the plays that they like, in the manner that they enjoy making them. That's the case here. Though it's one of the smaller shops among the long-running Off-Broadway companies, these folks have been staging Irish drama in these rooms for quite awhile, and the enjoyment can be infectious. More here.

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