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The Shadow of a Gunman

 



Set during the Irish War of Independence. a drama that centers on the mistaken identity of a building tenant who is thought to be an IRA assassin.

From the producers: It’s 1920, and the Irish War of Independence rages on the streets of Dublin as Irish revolutionaries clash with British auxiliary forces. Aspiring poet Donal Davoren tries to avoid the conflict, but when Donal learns of a rumor that he is a gunman on the run, he cannot resist the curiosity it stirs in beautiful young Minnie Powell… and he cannot escape the attention of his other neighbors. As the rumor grows, the war outside moves closer to home with tragic consequences.

"The Shadow of a Gunman" is the first in Sean O'Casey's "Dublin Trilogy" - the other two being "Juno and the Paycock" and "The Plough and the Stars." The play premiered at The Abbey Theatre in 1923 to immediate success, selling out tickets for the first time in Abbey history, and establishing O’Casey’s career as a playwright at age 43. The first of The Dublin Plays, this two-act work is written in O’Casey’s characteristic tragicomic style. Although it is widely considered a masterpiece, it is lesser-known than the later two Dublin Plays. Irish Rep last produced "Gunman" in 1999.

The Irish Rep revival will be joined by repertory productions of "Juno and the Paycock" and "The Plough and the Stars" later in the season. The cast includes James Russell, Una Clancy, Terry Donnelly, Rory Duffy, Meg Hennessy, John Keating, Robert Langdon Lloyd, Ed Malone, Michael Mellamphy, and Harry Smith. Ciarán O’Reilly directs.


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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