105 Greatest Living Authors Present the World's Best Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry

By Whit Burnett | Go to book overview
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SEAN O'CASEY

Judged by most critics as the greatest living Irish playwright, "Shaw
aside," as George Jean Nathan says, Sean O'Casey has chosen the
second act, the famous pub scene, from one of his finest plays,
The
Plough And The Stars
, the play which caused a riot at the opening
night in 1926 (and which was quelled by the poet Yeats). The

Plough and The Starsis a tragedy of the Easter Rebellion of 1916 in
Dublin, and the pub scene. involves a few of the lesser characters
while an orator outside is addressing a crowd. Mr. O'Casey's com-
ment on this act from his play is reticent in the extreme. "He says
that all his work is representative of work done and work in progress
and he is very busy. He therefore cannot give any further reasons."


The Plough and the Stars

ACT II: THE PUB

THE TIME: November 1915.

SCENE.--A Dublin Public-house at the corner of the street in which the meeting is being addressed from Platform No. 1. One end of the house is visible to the audience. On the counter are glasses, beer-pulls, and a carafe filled with water. Behind the counter, on the back wall, are shelves containing bottles of wine, whisky and beer. At back center is a wide, high, plateglass window. Under the window is a seat to hold three or four persons seated. Left are the wide swing-doors. At wall, right, is a seat to hold two persons. A few gaudy-colored show-cards on the walls.

A band is heard outside playing "The Soldiers' Song," before the CURTAIN rises, and for a few moments afterwards, accompanied by the sounds of marching men.

The BARMAN is seen wiping the part of the counter which is in view. ROSIE REDMOND is standing at the counter toying with what remains of a half of whisky in a wine-glass. She is a sturdy, well-

-599-

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