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Roly Poly

A Comedy in twelve scenes adapted from Guy de Maupassant's story "Boule de Suif".


  • Playwright

    Lennox Robinson 

  • Adapted / Translated From

    Guy de Maupassant 

  • Setting

    A hotel yard in Rouen. Inside a bus.

  • Notes

    Protests were made about the production to the Department of External Affairs by both the German and Fench legations. The Gate Theatre was told by the Department of Justice that it had violated the Emergency legislation. Roly Poly was withdrawn after three nights.

  • Synopsis

    During the Franco-Prussian war, a French prostitute is travelling on a bus, which comes to a Prussian checkpoint. An officer there won't let the bus proceed until she sleeps with him, which she refuses to do, but eventually relents under pressure from the other passengers, who then treat her with disgust after the deed is done.

  • Play Type


    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female



Original Cast  
John Loiseau Christopher Casson
Mr. Cornudet Hilton Edwards
Mrs. Katherine Loiseau Coralie Carmichael
Count de Bréville Liam Gaffney
James James Devoy
Kitty Carré-Lamadon Meriel Moore
Peter Cecil Monson
Sister Beatrice Dorothy Day
Dick Carré-Lamadon Robert Hennessy (1)
Elizabeth Rousett Shelah Richards
George Roy Irving
A German Lieutenant T. St. John Barry
The host of the hotel at Tours Tyrell Pine
Bob Seumas MacDonnell
Sister Margaret Romilly Seymour
A German Soldier James Lawler
Countess de Bréville Micheline Patton
Jack Michael Walsh (2)
A Peasant Michael Walsh (2)
Production Team  
Director Hilton Edwards
Set Designer Micheál Mac Liammóir
Lighting Designer Hilton Edwards
Costume Designer Micheál Mac Liammóir
Set Painter Molly McEwen
Costume Construction Christina Keely
Hats by Dodie Higgins


  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    The Abbey Theatre Archive

  • Address

    Abbey and Peacock Theatres
    26 Lower Abbey Street
    Dublin 1
    Republic of Ireland

  • Phone

    00 353 1 887 2200

  • Email

  • Website


The information for this entry was taken from the original production programme and from press cuttings.