The W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre
Written by Sean O’Casey
Directed by Nicola Murphy
Music Director: Stephen Kennedy Murphy
Saturday, March 16 at 8pm
Sunday, March 17 at 3pm
Regarded by O’Casey as his best play, Cock-a-Doodle Dandy is a darkly comic fantasy in which an enchanted cockerel appears in the Irish village of Nyadnanave (Gaelic for “Nest of Saints”). The Cock is a Dionysian figure who entrances villagers with joy and merriment, and he quickly gains a following of young townspeople, particularly beautiful young women. Scandalized, the town’s upper class men and religious leaders declare the Cock an incarnation of the devil. Hostility from the town’s religious leaders rises and turns violent until finally, the Cock and his followers are banished – off to spread love, joy, and freedom to other lands while the oppressive Father Domineer continues to reign over Nyadnanave.
Written in 1949 when Sean O’Casey was 70 years old, this parable of mid-century Irish rural life symbolizes the struggle between repression and liberty, and it embodies O’Casey’s criticism of mid-century Ireland as a Catholic theocracy. After its world premiere at the People’s Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Oock-a-Doodle Dandy was banned in the UK and suppressed in Ireland and the USA for its anti-Catholic themes. Now, in addition to being O’Casey’s favorite of his own plays, it is well-renowned among critics, though it is rarely staged today.
All readings are free to attend. Invitations were sent via email. To request an invitation, call the Irish Rep box office at 212-727-2737.