In 1914, during his long self-imposed exile from his native Ireland, Joyce wrote Exiles, between his classic novels Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. It’s based in part on the author’s own relationship with his common-law wife Nora Barnacle. Back in Dublin after nine years abroad, Richard and Bertha have to confront two other people who love them and ask themselves questions about guilt and responsibility. Will infidelity hold them together?
Overnight critics commented on how modern the play’s themes are, dealing with infidelity and immorality in a way which was quite shocking for audiences at the time it was written. They were impressed with the controlled performances of the cast and admired Hildegard Bechtler’s evocative design.
- by Caroline Ansdell