The Playboy of the Western World and Two Other Irish Plays
The Countess Cathleen; The Playboy of the Western World; Cock-a-Doodle Dandy
Riots greeted the first performance of The Playboy of the Western World at Dublin's Abbey Theatre on 26 January 1907. Eggs, potatoes and even a slice of fruit cake were hurled at the actors during subsequent performances, and it seems unlikely that much of the actual play could have been heard in the uproar. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, with the two other plays in this volume, Yeats's The Countess Cathleen (1892) and O'Casey's Cock-a-doodle Dandy (1949), mark vital stages in the rich explosion of Irish drama that first made itself heard at the turn of the century and gathered momentum during the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Civil War.
‘We have a popular imagination that is fiery, and magnificent, and tender; so that those of us who wish to write start with a chance that is not given to writers in places where the springtime of the local life has been forgotton, and the harvest is a memory only, and the straw has been turned to brick’ J. M. Synge