Catholic ascetic Matt Talbot, the "workers' saint" (1856-1925), provokes Kilroy's ingenious examination of the idea of sanctity in the modern world. The very incorporation of penance and spiritual search, his conversion from alcoholism to prayer, fasting and self-mortification is sketched in the textured resonances of the idiom of the Dublin streets and in the soaring lyrical versions of the final visions -- all while Talbot's coffin remains on stage. in the words of the playwright, Talbot's Box is "a play about aloneness, its cost to the person, and the kind of courage required to sustain it.
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