An ominous play set in a cruel world of dark realism, an acknowledged masterpiece from one of the twentieth century’s most significant writers.
Harry Hope’s Saloon is a waterfront bar full of life’s failures. They exist barely, living on the knowledge that love is a chimera and despair is perpetual; that the desires they cultivate of an impossible future are only ever pipe dreams, because the only thing to look forward to is death. And then one day Hickey walks in with his own personal brand of hope, and his urge to make them face the truth.
Written in 1939, Eugene O’Neill’s play The Iceman Cometh was first staged at the Martin Beck Theater, New York, in October 1946. It had its UK premiere at the Arts Theatre, London, in January 1958.
‘A dramatised neurosis, with no holds barred, written in a vein of unsparing implacable honesty’ Kenneth Tynan
‘O’Neill, the great patriach of Broadway and the playwright who laid out the map on which all contemporary American drama is still written – Iceman is the first truly great epic of the modern American theatre, and its legacy is the intimate stripping of the soul which we now take for granted in drama worldwide’ Sheridan Morley
This edition of The Iceman Cometh includes a full introduction, biographical sketch and chronology.