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New Plays from the Abbey Theatre, 1996-1998, Vol. 2 written by Judy Friel


New Plays from the Abbey Theatre, 1996-1998, Vol. 2 written by Judy Friel


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 lives 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.


The latest volume in the series of plays premiered at the National Theater of Ireland contains scripts for Love in the Title by Hugh Leonard, Dolly West's Kitchen by Frank McGuiness, and The Muesli Belt by Jimmy Murphy. It also includes one or two photographs from each production. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Library Journal

In this third installment of the publisher's series, Friel, former literary manager of the Abbey Theatre (and daughter of playwright Brian Friel), and Sternlicht, an English professor at Syracuse and editor of the first two volumes in this series, present three original works that were produced during the 1999-2000 season. In the first two plays, Hugh Leonard's Love in the Title and Frank McGuinness's Dolly West's Kitchen, generational and various family and sexual relationships are both surrealistically and realistically portrayed. In the third, Jimmie Murphy's The Muesli Belt, Dublin's real estate expansion destroys old community ties built on loyalty and friendship. Rich Irish flavor and temperament are vividly apparent in the settings-the idyllic site of the giant Clough-a-Regan stone, a family kitchen, and an old bar-and human dramas unfold with humor, passion, and pathos. The introduction includes Friel's explanation of the original "Abbey Theatre Series of Plays," published between 1905 and 1933, and the new anthology beginning in 1993, along with Sternlicht's succinct presentation of the plays and playwrights. Recommended for comprehensive modern drama collections in both large public and academic libraries.-Ming-ming Shen Kuo, Ball State Univ. Lib., Muncie, IN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Title: New Plays from the Abbey Theatre, 1996-1998, Vol. 2

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