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The Arts Council Playography Na Gaeilge


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  • Playwright

    Billy Roche 

  • Synopsis

    Old superstitions survive throughout the world, but nowhere as strongly as among the men who work the fishing boats in the Irish town of Wexford. The shoals of herring have long since left the local waters and the fisherman are now reduced to working in a local mussel-packing factory. Eagle, however, remains a true independent, a lone individual clinging to the sea, struggling to keep the old traditions alive in a fast-changing world. Now in his forties, many of the local customs have died out with his generation and the younger men who have followed have become disaffected, having nothing of the spirit which once meant `belonging'. The last of a dying breed, Eagle proudly holds on to his past despite knowing that he will soon be forced to leave the freedom of the sea for the factory floor. Before he does, however, he decides to revive an old local rite of passage ritual for his own son, Issac: a night spent alone on an uninhabited offshore island. It proves to be a gesture which awakens both envy and scorn from the local community, opening up past secrets which have helped to shape the present.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female


Original Production

  • Date of First Production

    03 September 1992

  • Producer

    Produced by Royal Shakespeare Company

  • Original Venue

  • Venue Notes

    First presented at The Pit in the Barbican, London.

  • Irish Premiere Notes

    A revised version of the script was presented by Tin Drum Theatre Company at the YMCA, Wexford on June 1st, 1998.

Original Cast  
Eagle Ian McElhinney
Humpy Lalor Roddy
Zac Barry Lynch
Mosey Liam O'Callaghan
Broaders Sean Murray
Isaac Kevin Burke
Bridie Hilary Cromie
Dribbler Albie Woodington
Brian Richard Bonneville
Sonia Lesley Maguire
Veronica Jane Gurnett
Production Team  
Director Michael Attenborough
Designer Michael Taylor

Published Scripts

Rights Information

  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    The Agency

  • Address

    24 Pottery Lane, Holland Park
    London W11 4LZ

  • Phone

    + 44 (0)20 7727 1346

  • Email


  • Website


Source Of Information

The information for this entry was taken from the published script.