Printer Friendly

The Turn of the Road

A Play in Two Scenes and an Epilogue


  • Playwright

    Rutherford Mayne 

  • Setting

    The kitchen of William John Granahan's house in County Down in the present day [1906].

  • Notes

    This play was produced for the first time on December 4, 1906 at the Examination Hall of Queen's University Belfast by the Ulster Literary Theatre. This was under the auspices and in aid of of the Queen's College Literary and Scientific Society, with the performance being reviewed by the local press. It was then subsequently played in general performance for the first time from December 17-19, 1906. The play was first published by Maunsel, Dublin, 1907.

  • Synopsis

    William John Grahan's son, Robbie John, is obsessed with music and determined to play the violin rather than take up the family's business of farming. Worrying for his future, his father asks him to burn his fiddle and focus on his forthcoming marriage to Jane Graeme, and on making a sensible living. Robbie John tries to do so, especially as part of the marriage settlement is a request that he give up music entirely. Temptation arises when he is left an old violin by a tramp to whom he has been kind, however, while he is also secretly encouraged by Jane herself to follow his dream. Finally forced to choose, Robbie refuses to renounce his gift, and is thrown out by his family. But as a violent storm breaks that night, his father relents at his action, and leaves the door on the latch.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts

    One Act

  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female



Original Cast  
Samuel James Rutherford Mayne
William John Granahan W.R. Gordon
Mrs Granahan Brigid O'Farrell
Robbie John S. Bullock
Ellen Lily Coates
Thomas Granahan Arthur Gilmore
John Graeme Gerald Macnamara
Jane Edith Lilburn
Mr Taylor John Field Magee
A Tramp Fiddler James Story
Production Team  
Director Fred Morrow



  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    Colin Smythe Ltd.

  • Address

    P. O. Box 6, Gerrards Cross
    SL9 8XA

  • Phone

    +44 (0) 1753 886000

  • Email


Information for this entry was taken from Sam Hanna Bell's 'The Theatre in Ulster'; from Wolfgang Zach (ed.), 'Selected Plays: Rutherford Mayne'; from the published script as indicated, and from contemporary press reviews.