The Country Boy – Spring 2005

A Drama in Two Acts
By John Murphy     Directed By Larry Coughlin

The Play

Set in the kitchen of the Maher house in Co. Mayo in the mid fifties “The Country Boy” takes a penetrating look at the mores, the hopes and the dreams of the rural population regarding emigration and marriage in that era. For those of you who remember Ireland in the 1950s, welcome back to your youth. For those of you who are fascinated with what it would be like to emigrate and find a new life on foreign shores, forget the fascination.

As the plot unfolds we meet Eddie and his American wife Julia back from New York for a months vacation only to find that this fascination has grasped his younger brother Curley who sees no future for himself in Ireland and who can’t wait to get to the US. As it turns out, Eddie did not find the land of his dreams in New York. Some hard times, a bout with the bottle, a troubled marriage and a devastating homesickness for the land and the girl he left behind made him rue the day he ever left Ireland and he was determined Curley would not make the same mistake. The play is unusual in that it treats emigration as unnecessary and suggests that the dream can be fulfilled by staying at home in Ireland. Real problems, personal and social are examined and discussed, revealing the innermost thoughts and feelings of the people involved including: The banter between Eddie and Curley; Eddie reminiscent about his boyhood; Julia’s heart wrenching monologue designed to get Eddie off the bottle and save her marriage. Rounding out the cast are: The crusty, stubborn, Tom Maher with a “heart of gold” and his better half the ever-thoughtful and delightful Mary Kate, and last but not least the fair and lovely red-haired Eileen with the twinkling eyes and melodious tones of a sweet cailín.

John Murphy, using his keen wit and creative skills has gathered this cast together in an extraordinary play that makes for an enchanting evening at the theatre.

The Cast

Barney Farrely as Tom Maher
Kate McNally as Mary Kate Maher
David O’Carroll as Curly
Martin Murphy as Eddie
Katie Flynn-McKirdie as Julia
Síle Cotter as Eileen
Liam Briick, Assistant Director