The Mai (1996)

‘The Mai’ by Marina Carr (March)

The Mai is one of those rare things – a play which is driven by poetry and atmosphere rather than plot and suspense. As such, it is reminiscent of Synge’s experiments with the poetry of the English spoken by the Irish and has the thrust and drive of Eugene O’Neill at his best. This play is no mere rendition of anecdotes: it is perhaps the closest examination of Irish parenthood and of our capacity for heroic love which has emerged from the Irish theatre in over twenty years. The Mai, like Maud Gonne in Yeat’s No Second Troy, discovers that there is no one strong enough, courageous enough, human enough, to accept the full force of her passion: ‘What could she do, being what she is?’. She finds her answer elsewhere, in the realm of Owl Lake, pool of the Midnight Hag, a thousand realities removed from Ireland of the 1990s.

Cast included Jo Doyle, Marguerite Rowan, Bob Flavin, Mary Doyle, Monica Dempsey, Brid Leddy, Maire O’ Neill & Trish Tynan. Diected by Peter Hussey.