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Description - Our Lady of Sligo by Sebastian Barry

"Cerebral and lyrical, he is the new crown prince of Ireland's majestic theatrical tradition" (Newsweek) Mai O'Hara lies in a Dublin hospital in 1953 attended by a young nursing Sister and visited by the uneasy figures of her husband Jack, daughter Joanie and her dead father. Fuelled by alcohol, passion and despair it is the story of her flamboyant but destructive relationship with Jack, the lost country of her childhood and unfulfilled expectations in the wake of Irish independence and self-rule. Our Lady of Sligo was produced at the Royal National Theatre in co-production with Out of Joint, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, in April 1998.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780413721402
ISBN-10: 041372140X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 6mm)
Pages: 96
Imprint: Methuen Drama
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 2-Apr-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Our Lady of Sligo by Sebastian Barry

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Book Review: Our Lady of Sligo by Sebastian Barry - Reviewed by (10 Dec 2012)

Our Lady of Sligo is a play by Irish novelist and playwright, Sebastian Barry. As Mai O’Hara lies dying of liver cancer in a Dublin Hospital, she is attended to by the nursing Sister, and visited by her husband Jack, her daughter Joanie, and, in her recollections, her Dada and her friend Maria Sheridan. Mai is fifty-three, and was once a handsome middle-class Galway woman. Through Mai’s conversations and reminiscences the audience learns of the ruin of a promising young life, a career in commerce or teaching that never was, because, against her father’s better judgement, she and handsome young Sligoman Jack O’Hara of the dancehalls became spellbound by each other. Mai’s memories touch on the warm recollections of her father’s loving care, the tragic loss of her sister to childhood illness, her status as the belle of Galway University, marriage to Jack, his absences during the war, his drinking and gambling, the loss of her home and then the loss of her baby son, the love and support of her good friend Maria, through to the extreme of sexual assault and her own alcoholism. Admissions by Jack and accusations by Joanie reveal yet more about the ruin of their lives. Barry manages to convey much emotion in this short play: tenderness, love, optimism, anger, despair, hate and sadness. His imagery is vivid and effective, and his lyrical prose in describing the fonder moments is a foil for some of Mai’s more brutal memories. I wanted to read this play to know more of the families portrayed in Barry’s other excellent novels, The Secret Scripture and The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty. Excellent drama.


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