Theatre – Derek Mahon


Six Plays


These versions of Sophocles, Euripides, Molière, Racine and Rostand, commissioned at various times between 1985 and 2004, and now revised, are re-issued here in historical order. Three tragedies, two comedies and one ‘heroic comedy’ (Rostand), done in parallel with the author’s work as a poet and critic, they can be read as extensions of his own original verse. Readers will find here, in a theatrical context, the range and depth, the fluency and wit that distinguish his poems and prose. Remade in his distinctive style, the plays aspire, in the words of Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac:

‘at the very least to strike out with panache,
amaze a gaping audience, cut a dash . . .’

Mahon’s Theatre collects his original reworking of six classic plays in historical order: Sophocles’ Oedipus, Euripedes’ The Bacchae, Moliere’s The School for Husbands and The School for Wives, Racine’ s Phedre, and Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. The diverse selection of plays allows for the reve­lation of the depths and shades of Mahon’s poetic diction, drawing on his talent for polished verse and biting wit.

. . . Overall Mahon’s collection is a well-gauged fusion of tragedy and comedy that showcases the nuances of his poetic voice. It also demonstrates his experience as a theatre critic in its analytical approach to the works.

Irish Literary Supplement


Year Published: 2013
Details: 328pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 549 4
ISBN HBK: 978 1 85235 555 0

The Gallery Press