The W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre
Directed by Nicola Murphy
Music Director: Stephen Kennedy Murphy
Saturday, February 9 at 8pm
Sunday, February 10 at 3pm
Set in a busy London park in the early 1930s, this allegorical play is divided into four parts representing each season. There, O’Casey introduces a wide cast of characters representing the city’s diverse population, including a poet, a Bishop, an atheist, and many more. We meet a young woman, Jannice, who is out of work and has become an unenthusiastic prostitute. Her father, The Atheist, has abandoned her; in desperation, she appeals to The Bishop to no avail. Finally, Jannice befriends The Dreamer, an impoverished poet and visionary. But Jannice is dying. Desperately, she returns to The Bishop, fearing for her afterlife. The Bishop claims her for the church, but it is the Dreamer who speaks her funeral oration.
Originally written as a screenplay, O’Casey envisioned Within the Gates as a highly stylized film, and met with Alfred Hitchcock for a potential collaboration that never materialized. The work premiered as a play in 1934 at the Royalty Theatre in London, and in the fall of that year, O’Casey traveled to the USA for an American production. The play proved controversial and received mixed reviews in its time.
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.