In 2005, Druid presented the first ever staging of John Millington Synge’s entire theatrical canon.
Directed by Garry Hynes, DruidSynge was performed as a series of plays on consecutive days or as a special festival experience of all six plays on the same day.
Dan Burke, it seems, is dead, his body lying on his bed beneath a sheet. His young wife Nora has taken in a Tramp into the house, a man seeking refuge from the cruel weather of the valley in which she lives. They pass pleasantries until Nora’s intended arrives, a neighbouring shepherd named Michael Dara, with whom Nora schemes a fresh union even while her husband’s body is not yet cold.
A one-act tragedy, the play is set in the Aran Islands, Inishmaan, and like all of Synge’s plays it is noted for capturing the poetic dialogue of rural Ireland. The plot is based not on the traditional conflict of human wills but on the hopeless struggle of a people against the impersonal but relentless cruelty of the sea.
Synge’s great comic masterpiece tells the story of Christy Mahon, who stumbles into a public house in County Mayo claiming he has killed his father and so capturing the romantic attention of the daughter of the house, Pegeen Mike.