Three Irish Plays


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We’re very excited to be performing at World Museum Liverpool as part of Liverpool Irish Festival this October.

In a programme of three of short plays, we explore the theme of ‘the undead’ and how Irish peasantry’s relationship between the living and dead was full of mysticism and myth.

Three plays: Riders to the Sea & The Shadow of the Glen by JM Synge and Purgatory by WB Yeats.

Sat 22 Oct – every hour from 11am til 4pm – plays performed in rotation.
Sun 23 Oct – every hour from 11am til 4pm – plays performed in rotation.

Treasure House Theatre, World Museum

Free to enter, no booking required.

Tickets are free and available on first-come, first-served basis from the booking desk at World Museum, Liverpool (William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EN)

The plays look at how superstition and folklore influenced relationships with the spirits, the living and past. Originally performed as a trinity of plays by the RSC,Alsop Drama capture the essence of rural life in early twentieth century Ireland through these well-known playwrights.

Riders to the Sea, 25 mins
John Millington Synge, b.1871-d.1909

A tragedy of a mother and the loss of her husbands and sons to the sea. Based not on the traditional conflict of human will, but on the hopeless struggle of people against the impersonal and relentless cruelty of the sea, this clearly Catholic family find themselves wary of the supernatural characteristics of natural elements, an idea ever present in Celtic paganism. Some consider this the perfect one act play.

The Shadow of the Glen, 30 mins
John Millington Synge, b.1871-d.1909

A ‘tramp’ seeks shelter at the Burkes’ isolated farmhouse, finding Nora tending to the corpse of Dan. Nora goes to find Michael, whilst Dan reveals his death is a mere ruse to the ‘tramp’. Playing dead again on her return, Dan leaps up in protest when Michael proposes to Nora. Dan kicks Nora out, leaving her to wander the roads with the ‘tramp’ who promises her a life of freedom.

 Purgatory, 15 mins
William Butler Yeats, b.1865-1939

A family saga of decline and fall told through its two remaining members: an Old Man (the father) and a Boy (his sixteen-year-old son). It is set outside the former family home, which the Old Man’s father had drunkenly burned down, leading him to kill his father as the building perished. Tonight, the Old Man tells the Boy, is the anniversary of his mother’s wedding night…This was the night on which he was conceived.