Now there is an opportunity to see the play that many consider his masterpiece — Bailegangaire. Mommo is attended by her two granddaughters, Mary and Dolly. The younger women yearn to be free of the past in order to make a new beginning, and Mary comes to believe that to do so the story of Bailegangaire has to be concluded. A play set in , not by chance, but because is a watermark year in the social conscience of our little country.
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Jun 6, Bailegangaire — Tom Murphy The literal translation of the title of this play is "town without laughter", although the script refers more generally to a "place" without laughter, which gives some indication of its tone. Mary, desperate to hear the ending, tries to prompt her grandmother into completing the tale in the hope that it will somehow answer all of her questions. Dolly is tough on top, but harbors problems of her own.
Conflict ensues when Dolly breaks some news to Mary, and makes a startling proposal to help ease her own suffering. Each of the characters is bound by a combination of circumstance, environment, and psychology. Though it is tempting to classify it as a character study, the script is much too densely loaded with metaphysical rumination and with rich, poetic dialogue to pass for mere psychodrama.
The speech is beautifully written, drawing on the language of classic Irish fireside storytelling, but almost Joycean in its intricacy. The theatrical aesthetics run even deeper, however, as Murphy builds the narrative structure through the uncertainties of his characters. There is sometimes a sense that it is almost too rich, demanding concentration and commitment from its audience which is rewarded only by a need for yet more deliberation once it has ended. Though obviously deeply concerned with humankind and its struggles with itself, the text offers a relatively uplifting ending which, relief though it is, seems convenient in spite of its suggested ambiguities.
The current production at the Peacock is directed by Murphy himself, who brings out every nuance in the script. His superb sense of pace and timing is complemented by three excellent performances both individually and in ensemble. A sense of unease and restraint surrounds her. This is not true of Dolly, expertly played by Fouere. With a believable accent and a sense of physical precision which has distinguished her performances in The Playboy of the Western World and Chair , she creates and sustains a characterization which develops and deepens as the play progresses.
She is particularly good in the most hysterical scenes, controlling her rage with almost frightening intensity and focus. Flanagan is the star performer in this production which, given her supporting cast, is both an enviable and unenviable position. She rises to the challenge very well.
Tom Murphy (playwright)
Life[ edit ] Murphy was born in Tuam , County Galway , the youngest of 10 children. It was entered into a competition for amateur plays, which it won, and was eventually produced in London in , having been rejected by the Abbey Theatre. Though Murphy was religious as a boy, His play The Sanctuary Lamp was produced in the Abbey Theatre and received a hostile reception due to its anti-Catholic nature, with theatregoers walking out and much negative criticism in the media. After this controversy Murphy worked as a farmer for some years. Murphy died on 15 May He is survived by his wife, actress Jane Brennan and his three children by his first wife Mary and a granddaughter.