New Plays from the Abbey Theatre, Volume 1

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This anthology invites readers to experience five of the best new plays produced since 1993 in Ireland's famous Abbey Theatre. Michael Harding's Hubert Murray's Widow, his fourth play for the Abbey, is a surreal nightmare revolving around a killing and a funeral. With a macabre sense of humor, he explores the sense of confusion and harsh reality of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland's border counties today. Neil Donnelly has had five plays produced by the National Theatre Society since 1980. His comedy, The Duty Master, deals with an Irish-born school teacher who has rejected his roots to the extent that he has become "more English than the English". Marital strife, combined with a visit from his brother to the exclusive public school north of London where he works, results in his being forced to reconsider his personal and national identity. In Asylum! Asylum! Donal O'Kelly explores the mysteries and horrors of Irish Asylum Law (or the lack of it). With humor, compassion, and anger, O'Kelly presents the plight of an illegal African immigrant. Niall Williams's A Little Like Paradise depicts with hope and humor the regeneration of a small Western Irish town unknown to the European community and ignored by Dublin. The final play in the collection, Tom Mac Intyre's Sheep's Milk on the Boil is set on a remote island off the Irish coast.

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Joan OHara and Olwen Fouere in By the Bog of Cats

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About the author (1996)

Christopher Fitz-Simon is an Irish author whose books include The Arts in Ireland and The Most Beautiful Villages of Ireland.

SANFORD STERNLICHT teaches in Syracuse University's English Department and Judaic Studies Program. He is the author of "Chaim Potok: A Critical Companion" (Greenwood 2000). He also frequently writes on poetry and Irish literature, including contributions to "Modern Irish Writers: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook" (Greenwood 1997).

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