‘The short play – very traditional to Irish theatre – is a little jewel of a structure, a lightning flash on a different world, the illumination made all the more acute by brevity’ Deirdre Kinahan
Deirdre Kinahan is an award-winning playwright and member of Aosdána, Ireland’s elected organisation of outstanding artists. This volume brings together five of her short plays, taken from the full span of her writing career, each of them shining a light into a forgotten corner of our humanity, giving voice to irrepressible characters that the world has done its best to overlook.
In Bé Carna (Tall Tales, 1999), five women reflect on their lives as prostitutes on the streets of Dublin, a dark tale inspired by true-life stories, reverberating with humanity, warmth and comic humour.
In Hue & Cry (Tall Tales/Bewley’s Café Theatre, 2007), two Dublin cousins, Damian and Kevin, are reunited for a family funeral in a highly charged encounter full of disillusion, denial and dark laughter.
In Bogboy (Tall Tales/Solstice Arts Centre, 2010), originally written as a radio play for RTÉ, two lost souls – a young heroin addict and a reclusive middle-aged farmer – discover a budding friendship in the bogs of Meath, until a terrible secret comes to light.
Wild Notes (Solas Nua, Washington D.C., 2018) explores the impact of colonialism through a meeting between Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave and abolitionist who visited Ireland in the 1840s, and a young Irishwoman hoping to emigrate to the country he’s running from.
An Old Song, Half Forgotten (Abbey Theatre, 2023) opens a window into the life and soul of an older actor who is living in care with Alzheimer’s disease, rebuilding a man just as he begins to crack and fade.