A true modern classic from one of the twentieth century’s most significant writers, Long Day’s Journey into Night is an intensely autobiographical, magnificently tragic portrait of the author’s own family – a play so acutely personal that he insisted it was not published until after his death.
One single day in the Tyrones’ Connecticut home. James Tyrone Snr is a miser, a talented actor who even squanders his talent in an undemanding role; eldest son Jamie is an affable, whoremongering alcoholic and confirmed ne’er-do well; youngest son Edmund is poetic, sensitive, suffering from a respiratory condition and deep-seated disillusionment; and their mother Mary, living in a haze of self-delusion and morphine addiction.
Existing together under this roof, and the profound weight of the past, they subtly tear one another apart, shred by shred.
‘Set in 1912, the year of O’Neill’s own attempted suicide, it is an attempt to understand himself and those to whom he was irrevocably tied by fate and by love. It is the finest and most powerful play to have come out of America’ Christopher Bigsby
Eugene O’Neill’s play Long Day’s Journey into Night was written in 1939-41, and first published in 1956 (after O’Neill’s death in 1953). It was first performed at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm, in February 1956, and had its first American production at Helen Hayes Theater, New York, in November that year. It won the Tony Award for Best Play, and O’Neill was posthumously awarded the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
This edition includes a full introduction, biographical sketch and chronology.
‘A piercingly autobiographical vision of a family bent on self-destruction’
— Evening Standard
‘Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece’
— The Times
‘What never ceases to astonish is the dizzying emotional contradiction of O’Neill’s characters. Within a tight classical structure, they bounce around like pinballs between reality and illusion… leaves you emotionally pulverised’
‘A semi-autobiographical masterpiece… [has] an emotional truth that is utterly devastating’
‘Eugene O’Neill’s greatest play… [has a] horribly uncomfortable power. The family’s arguments suck you in, forcing you to become a fifth member whose loyalties are endlessly called on in a shifting game of ‘Who ruined whose life?”
— Time Out London
Best Play, Tony Awards
Pulitzer Prize for Drama
For a study guide from Sydney Theatre Company click here.