By John O'Riordan
An intensive consultant and research of playwright Sean O'Casey's works - performs and Playlets- by way of John O'Riordan. Touches on 23 of his O'Casey's works.
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Additional resources for A Guide to O’Casey’s Plays: From the Plough to the Stars
The climax of tragedy comes with Juno's mourning exit, the Ezekiel-inspired 'Sacred Heart o' Jesus, take away our hearts o' stone, and give us hearts o' flesh! ' The ending is supreme: in the midst of all the tragedy, the 'Paycock' andJoxer saunter in, roaring drunk, turning Ireland's misery, and their own family misfortunes to ridicule. The irony of it hits the audience like 'a bullet in the kisser' (to use Joxer's memorable phrase). It is the whole feeling of the play and the whole spirit of O'Casey.
To judge from O'Casey's own bitter comments afterwards, the play was certainly greeted with a mixed response, particularly on the first night, which the playwright himself attended; and at the end of the performance, he avowed in Inislifallen, Fare Thee Well: The audience received the little play in dead silence, in a silence that seemed to have a point of shock in its centre. Not even a cold clap of a hand anywhere. They all got up from their seats, and silently filed out of the theatre. He was the one and only playwright to have had a play received in silence by an Abbey audience ...
3 Kathleen Listens In (1923): a Post-Civil War Whimsicality Subtitled, 'A Political Phantasy in One Act', this quixotic caricature is described by the playwright, in his autobiographical volume, lnishjallen, Fare Thee Well, as 'a jovial, sardonic sketch on the various parties in conflict over Irish politics - Sinn Fein, Free State, and Labour'. By way of explanation, many years later, O'Casey has stated: 'it was written specifically to show what fools these mortals were in the quarreling factions soaking Ireland in anxiety and irritation after the Civil War'.
A Guide to O’Casey’s Plays: From the Plough to the Stars by John O'Riordan