The Play

O’Casey’s War Drama
  • Brooks Atkinson


Somewhere amid the loose and flapping ends of The Silver Tassie, which was put on at the former Greenwich Village Theater last evening,1 lie the materials of a stirring play. Most of Sean O’Casey’s bitter comment on the war trickles away in his elliptical play construction, and the actors of The Irish Theatre, who are playing it, speak wretchedly. Much of the first act is lost in the speaking; all of the second act is verbally unintelligible, and only an occasional actor lifts the rich dialogue into the fluent beauty of Irish speech. On the whole, it is a sodden evening in Sheridan Square. But when O’Casey breaks through his own drama and the actors’ performance, he emerges with that healthy, stalwart quality that is Elizabethan, fresh and strong; and you feel that muddled and disorderly as the play may be, it was composed in the fires of imagination. Especially in the last act, the brutal joining of tragedy to comedy, the natural exaltation of certain passages in the dialogue and the snatches of song persuade you that Mr O’Casey is no idle threat. He is a dramatist to be reckoned with.


Football Club Irish Company Irish Theatre Irish Playing Sewing Machine 
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Copyright information

© Brooks Atkinson and Robert G. Lowery 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brooks Atkinson

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