These selected plays illustrate the extraordinary variety of Irish drama today as well as the brilliance of Irish playwrights, both seasoned veterans and those beginning to build reputations on the stages of the world’s premier national theater, The Abbey.
The first play, Sour Grapes by award-winning playwright Michael Harding, explores the taboos of seminary life including pedophilia and homosexuality. Thomas Kilroy’s The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde tells the historical drama of the marriage of Constance to Oscar Wilde and recounts the tragedy that was her marriage and life. Interlocking lived of a varied group of eight morally adrift young Dublin women and men, Alex Johnston’s dramatic comedy Melonfarmer illuminates the difficulty of human communication in a fast-paced urban society. By the Bog of Cats by Marina Carr completes the volume in an intense, profound, and poetic tragedy of brutal Irish rural-Midlands life in which money and land outweigh all other values.
Judy Friel was born in Derry in the North of Ireland. She is the literary manager of Ireland's National Theatre.
Sanford Sternlicht teaches English at Syracuse University. He is the author of many books, including C. S. Forester and the Hornblower Saga, Revised Edition, also published at Syracuse University Press.