Already closed | 1h 30m | Chelsea

Rebel in the Soul

From 7 member  reviews
Members say: Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Slow, Intelligent

About the show

Irish Rep presents the world premiere of this new history-based drama about the political maneuvering of three passionate men in '50s Ireland regarding postnatal and children's health care. More…

In 1948, 33-year-old Dr. Noel Browne was elected to the Irish Parliament. Handsome, intense, arrogant, and unpredictable, he possessed little political skill but a burning ambition to rid Ireland of the scourge of tuberculosis, which had wiped out most of his family. Upon the introduction of his “Mother & Child Scheme”—a plan to provide free postnatal care to women and children under the age of 16—he quickly found himself at odds with the “Man of Destiny,” party leader and ex-Irish Republican Army chief, Sean McBride, and the ruthless, obsessive tactician, Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. John Charles McQuaid.

Member Reviews (7)


Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Slow, Intelligent
Avg Score

Disappointing, Slow, Good acting, Intelligent

See it if Kirwin's docu-drama about post Irish social politics it too cluncky to have the potent impact it should. Monologue style kills dramatic pace

Don't see it if Moore's leaden direction slows already wordy nature of piece. Keating's Archbishop ignites whenever he's on stage which alas is not enough

Ambitious, Relevant, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you have an interest in Irish history and/or are particularly intrigued by health care issues.

Don't see it if you are looking for dramatic conflict. The differing opinions are diluted by the use of monologues, rather than by conflicting dialogue.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a historical drama, relevant to today's discussions, in an intimate theatre.

Don't see it if you seek escapist comedy or dance numbers.

Intelligent, Slow, Relevant, Absorbing, Disappointing

See it if Will learn about an unfamiliar character in recent Irish history. Still relevant political discussion

Don't see it if Feel monologue laden, talky and undramatic

Informative, Thought-provoking

See it if you like to learn about history through plays

Don't see it if you don't care about Irish history

Also The acting is very good, but the play is flawed: dialogues alternate w... Read more Read less

Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant

See it if You like to see a play about a serious issue facing our country. It about the politics of health care and how things haven't changed.

Don't see it if You don't like serious historical drama.

During previews
Earnest, Well acted, Intimate, Historically accurate, Thought-provoking

See it if A small, elegant production of a page of Irish history that twines politics and church. Partly overly didactic, especially when the main...

Don't see it if ...character addresses the audience, but also inspired & revelatory of a system that substitutes piety for good works.

April 18th, 2017
"'Rebel' is a tale chock-full of relevance, so why does this world premiere fail to stir the soul? Some of it has to do with the way Kirwan introduces us to the story: A series of extended monologues...exhaustively establish the exposition before any characters are actually put in dialogue...Fitz...
read more
April 19th, 2017
"If the playwright had really let his characters engage in the cut and thrust of ideas and personalities, struggling over a piece of legislation that is really a proxy war for a nation's soul, how much more gripping 'Rebel in the Soul' would be. The business of giving each character great big dol...
read more
April 23rd, 2017
“If this all sounds a bit over-intellectual, well, so is the play. Though the intelligent script may be based on real people, they are forever describing themselves--and each other--in ways that real people never do. Think about practically any play by George Bernard Shaw, and you begin to get th...
read more
April 20th, 2017
“Kirwan employs the monologue as his chief dramatic device which allows his trinity of principals to exercise their verbal prowess and argue their specific political views…However, a string of monologues can also result in a loss of emotional power. While Kirwan does punctuate his script with mor...
read more

Related content