This week my entire Wall Street Journal drama column is devoted to DruidSynge:
In Ireland John Millington Synge is considered a great playwright. In America, however, he has vanished into the pantheon of half-remembered masters–none of his plays has been seen on Broadway since 1971–and even the Irish long preferred respecting him to performing him. It wasn’t until the Druid Theatre Company of Galway City started reviving his work in the ’70s that the author of “The Playboy of the Western World,” who died in 1909, once again became a hot ticket in the land of his birth.
Now Americans are getting a fresh chance to grapple with Synge. “DruidSynge,” a marathon presentation of his six major plays, just opened at the Lincoln Center Festival after a week-long run at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater. The plays, which run for a total of eight and a half hours (including a 90-minute dinner break), are staged by Garry Hynes, founder of the Druid Theatre Company and the first woman director to win a Tony Award. All six are performed on a powerfully evocative set designed by Francis O’Connor, a fog-filled, dirt-floored hut whose dead gray walls stretch upward to infinity. The results are a mixed bag, but the best parts are so good that you’ll forget the rest well before the long day closes….
No link. You know what to do: be cheap and buy today’s Journal, or be smart and subscribe to the online edition by going here.