Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Happy birthday, John M. Synge

It is the birthday of Irish dramatist and writer John M. Synge (1871), whose best-known play, The Playboy of the Western World (1907), caused riots when it was first performed in Dublin. The play concerned a young man who runs away from his father’s farm. In a tavern, he claims to have killed his father, and attracts the attention of the barmaid and the townspeople, becoming something of a local hero. Audiences considered the work immoral and staged protests. Synge was a co-founder of the famous Abbey Theatre, where the show was performed, and was a leading figure in the Irish literary revival in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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