The Complete Plays: The Hostage, The Quare Fellow, Richard'S Cork Leg, Moving Out, A Garden Party, The Big House
Publish Date: 1994-01-12
Author: Brendan Behan
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This volume contains everything Behan wrote in dramatic form in English. First come the three famous full-length plays: The Quare Fellow, set in an Irish prison, is "something very like a masterpiece" (John Russell Taylor); The Hostage, set in a Dublin lodging-house of doubtful repute, "shouts, sings, thunders and stamps with life . . . a masterpiece" (Harold Hobson); and Richard's Cork Leg, set largely in a graveyard, is nevertheless "a joyous celebration of life" (Michael Billington). There follow three little-known one-act plays originally written for radio and all intensely autobiographical: Moving Out, A Garden Party and The Big House. The Introduction, by Alan Simpson, who knew Behan well and first directed his work on stage, provides the essential biographical details as well as candid insights into Behan's working methods and his political allegiances. Also included in the volume is a wide-ranging bibliography. "It seems to be Ireland's function, every twenty years or so, to provide a playwright who will kick English drama from the past into the present. Brendan Behan may well fill the place vacated by Sean O'Casey."-Kenneth Tynan