A PERFORMANCE ON SCREEN
By Brian Friel
Directed by Charlotte Moore
Starring Geraldine Hughes, Paul O’Brien, and Ciarán O’Reilly
Molly has lived in happy, capable, and independent darkness since she was ten months old. When Frank, her restless, unemployed, and enthusiastic husband, makes her blindness his latest cause, he recruits Dr. Rice, a once-famous surgeon who, despite being half-drowned in Irish whiskey, agrees to attempt to restore Molly’s sight.
When the bandages come off, Molly, Frank, and Mr. Rice discover the differences between seeing and understanding as they face the terrible consequences of a medical miracle.
Molly Sweeney, Brian Friel’s brilliant study of psychological isolation, exquisitely resonates today – a new theatre experience for the COVID-19 hiatus. Geraldine Hughes and Ciarán O’Reilly are reprising their roles from the acclaimed 2011 Irish Rep production, joined by Irish Rep regular, Paul O’Brien, who played Mr. Rice in the Keen Company’s production last fall. Irish Rep’s inaugural Performance on Screen, Molly Sweeney, premiered on May 12, 2020.
Brian Friel (1929-2015) is widely recognized as one of Ireland’s greatest dramatists. A prolific writer, his best-known works include Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Translations, Faith Healer, and Dancing at Lughnasa. Molly Sweeney premiered at the Gate Theatre, Dublin in 1994 and received its Off-Broadway debut at Roundabout Theatre in 1996. It was first performed at Irish Repertory Theatre in 2011.
“a performance of utter purity, theater stripped to its essence…almost shocking in its confessional intensity” – Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal
“Ideal for such a virtual production…the three actors all give superb performances”– Nancy Bishop, Third Coast Review
Press from our 2011 production of Molly Sweeney:
“so good that it actually made me shiver” – Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal
“emotional, comical, scientific, and philosophical… Charlotte Moore coaxes three wonderful, moving performances” – The New Yorker
“A deeply moving meditation on hope, change and despair…astonishing” – The New York Times
Irish Repertory Theatre would like to thank Geraldine Hughes, Paul O’Brien, the family of Brian Friel, Leah Schmidt of The Agency UK, The Keen Company, The Howard Gilman Foundation, Ciarán Madden, Consul General Of Ireland, and the Irish Abroad Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs for their support of this special event.
Molly Sweeney is produced under the SAG -AFTRA New Media Agreement.