Riots greeted the first performance of The Playboy of the Western World at Dublin's Abbey Theatre on 26 January 1907. Eggs, potatoes and even a slice of fruit cake were hurled at the actors during subsequent performances, and it seems unlikely that much of the actual play could have been heard in the uproar. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, with the two other plays in this volume, Yeats's The Countess Cathleen (1892) and O'Casey's Cock-a-doodle Dandy (1949), mark vital stages in the rich explosion of ...
Riots greeted the first performance of The Playboy of the Western World at Dublin's Abbey Theatre on 26 January 1907. Eggs, potatoes and even a slice of fruit cake were hurled at the actors during subsequent performances, and it seems unlikely that much of the actual play could have been heard in the uproar. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, with the two other plays in this volume, Yeats's The Countess Cathleen (1892) and O'Casey's Cock-a-doodle Dandy (1949), mark vital stages in the rich explosion of Irish drama that first made itself heard at the turn of the century and gathered momentum during the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Civil War.
This award-winning audio producer's latest effort reprises the critically acclaimed Pacific Resident Theatre's full-cast production of Synge's Irish comedic classic, starring Orson Bean, Alexander Enberg, and Jacqueline Heinze. The author's 1907 wickedly satiric masterpiece is a trenchant attack on the acceptance of appearances in a small Irish village. Christy Mahon turns up at the home of Michael Flaherty and his daughter, Peegen Mike, and is accepted by the town as a hero following his boastful story of murdering his tyrannical father. The town, especially the women, is seduced by Christy but ultimately turns savagely against him when his "slain" father appears looking for his son. The language is beautifully poetic and lush while being firmly grounded in the colloquial idioms and dialect of rural Ireland. The cast is, without exception, outstanding, and Bean is a delight. The technical quality is consistent with L.A. Theatre Works' high standards of professional excellence. A real gem.--Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
John Millington Synge was born in 1871, of Anglo-Irish Protestant land owning stock. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, and then spent a few years wandering on the continent. Synge went to the Aran Islands in 1898, and subsequently revisited them several times. In the Shadow of the Glen and Riders to the Sea were both completed in the summer of 1902, and both were taken from material he had collected on the islands. The Playboy of the Western World, in which a young man lies about the death of his father offended audiences when first produced in 1907, on account of its 'immodest' references to Irish womanhood and aroused a prolonged and bitter controversy, which lasted until the author's death in 1909. His other works include a few poems and two books of travels The Aran Islands. Deirdre of the Sorrows was published posthumously.
John Millington Synge (1871-1909) is widely regarded as the greatest ever Irish dramatist. Born in Dublin in 1871, he trained first as a musician and composer, but after a meeting with W. B. Yeats in Paris, came to focus on literature, giving voice for the first time to those communities on the West Coast of Ireland. Capturing their dialect and energising their stories, the lives of the people of Connemara, and the Aran Islands were brought to life through his six great plays: In The Shadow of the Glen (1903), Riders to the Sea (1904), The Well of the Saints (1905), The Playboy of the Western World (1907), The Tinkers' Wedding (1908), and his unfinished mythological drama Deirdre of the Sorrows (performed posthumously in 1910); as well as his travel journal of his time off the coast of Ireland entitled simply The Aran Islands (1907).
A strong advocate and contributor to the nascent Abbey Theatre, Synge, along with Lady Gregory and W. B. Yeats, was its leading light. His premature death from Hodgkin's disease left the Irish theatre bereft of its first great genius.