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Blind Man's Buff


  • Playwright

    Denis Johnston  Ernst Toller 

  • Author Notes

    An adaptation of Ernst Toller's expressionist play Die blinde Göttin

  • Setting

    The Hall of Dr. Chavasse's house in a small Irish country town.
    The ante-chamber to the Law Library, Four Courts, Dublin.
    The Central Criminal Court. The State Solicitor's Office.

  • Synopsis

    The German expressionist playwright Ernst Toller commissioned Johnston to adapt one of his plays, The Blind Goddess (Die Blinde Göttin, 1932), about a miscarriage of justice. Johnston took as his plot the true story of an Irish murder trial that he later used in Strange Occurrence on Ireland's Eye. Justice is presented as a blind system that persecutes individuals whose behaviour is not deemed morally acceptable and that disturbs the public. A man is sentenced to life imprisonment for having killed his wife although there is little further evidence than the facts that he was committing adultery and that his mistress had to procure an abortion. As Johnston’s title suggests, however, justice might be more of a game that initiated people may turn to their own advantage at the cost of others. Some of his characters open their eyes and stand up against such misuse.

  • Play Type


    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female


  • Cast Notes

    In addition to the named actors, seven men play Solicitors, Barristers, Clerks and Civiv Guards.


Original Cast  
Court Registrar Cecil Barror
Theobold Thin Michael J. Dolan
Mary Quirke May Craig
John Roche Eric Gorman
Dr. Anice Hollingshead Eileen Crowe
Liam Poer Fred Johnson
Dominick Mapother F J McCormick
Seamus Ua Caoilte Denis O'Dea
Henry Harrican Austin Meldon
Mr. Justice Drooley Frank Carney
Dr. Chavasse Arthur Shields
Sergeant Carey P.J. Carolan
Juryman Brian Carey
Laura Patsy Fitzpatrick
Production Team  
Settings by F J McCormick
Musical Director F.M. May
Produced by Hugh Hunt



  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    Micheal Johnston

  • Address

    20 Burdett Avenue, Sandycove
    Co. Dublin
    Republic of Ireland


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