The Playboy of the Western World
From: Wednesday, 14th February 2001
To: Thursday, 28 June 2001
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Set in a small village on the west coast of County Mayo, The Playboy of the Western World tells the story of lonely dreamer Christy Mahon who takes refuge in Michael Flaherty’s pub, claiming that he has killed his oppressive father. Christy beguiles the locals with his tall and dramatic tale of bravery in the face of danger and becomes an instant hero. He both charms the village women including Widow Quinn and captures the heart of the landlord’s fiery daughter Pegeen . However, when his tale turns out to be less straightforward than they first thought, the simmering violence of the villagers comes to light. The Playboy of the Western World was first performed in January 1907 at Dublin's Abbey Theatre.
28 February 2001
JM Synge's masterpiece no longer has the power to cause riots (as it did in its 1907 premiere), but it remains an extremely powerful depiction of rural Ireland and the innate urge to hero-worship an outlaw. We see it even now in the popularity of East End gangsters; how resonant must it have been to a rural Ireland, subject to the law of an alien country?
Christy Mahon fetches up at a rural community, fleeing from justice after killing his father. Instead of betraying him, the villagers revere him, and the innkeeper's daughter, Pegeen Mike, falls in love with him, believing he's more of a match than her timorous cousin Sean to whom she's betrothed. But it all goes wrong for Christy when his allegedly dead father turns up at the village.
This outing of the play starts promisingly enough. Robert Jones's set is a superb evocation of a west Irish shebeen, complete with smoky chimney - you can almost smell the peat burning. However, the trouble with Fiona Buffini's produ...
Latest User Review
USER: Whatsonstage.com - 22 June 2001:
Almost everyone in the audience was above 65. Clearly this play is very attractive to one age group, but not others...