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The Plough and the Stars

From 54 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Great writing, Intense

About the show

O’Casey's 1926 drama centers a young woman who fights to keep her family afloat, as Ireland stands on the brink of revolution. Get prime orchestra seats for only $55 (regularly $70) when you buy a Show-Score Select!  More…

Nora Clitheroe tries to keep her husband Jack from the revolutionary fervor sweeping through Dublin. But Jack becomes a Commandant in the Irish Citizen Army, and when the Easter Rising of 1916 begins, he leaves a pregnant Nora to help lead the fight. The disparate, quarrelsome tenement residents are forced to shelter together as urban warfare makes their home nearly as treacherous as the streets. Passions and ideals rise and converge, but in the end, loss and devastation triumph over the promise of a new Ireland.

"The Plough and the Stars" is being presented in repertory along with the other two plays of Sean O’Casey’s "Dublin Trilogy" ("Juno and the Paycock" and "The Shadow of a Gunman") as Irish Rep’s "O’Casey Cycle."


Member Reviews (54)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Great writing, Intense
81
Avg Score

95
Thought-provoking, Tragic, Resonant, Masterful, Epic

See it if Joys & sorrows of working class tenement life. Colorful characters. 1916 uprising ruins the lives of innocent people. Was it worth it?

Don't see it if You are uninterested in the relevance of this historical play to today's world. Syria is one parallel. You would prefer lighter fare.

91
Profound, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if Spectacular set. Most of the cast of 14 appear in all 3 productions at Irish Rep. (Amazing) Nice exhibit on the upper level ALSO

Don't see it if some dialogue lost in the rear rows

Also The theater space is used so well. The show is especially meaningful t... Read more Read less

85
Intense, Resonant, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if Outstanding culmination of IRT's O'Casey Trilogy! Same evocative set holds cast of 14 in it's brutal depiction of 1916 Easter Rebellion

Don't see it if Outside of occasional garbled, overlapping dialogue (often due to high passions) not much to fault Clancy & Plunkett lead impassioned cast

50
Incomprehensible, Slow, Confusing, Great staging

See it if you have a hard time understanding thick accents, but enjoy a challenge.

Don't see it if you have a hard time understanding thick accents, and don't enjoy a challenge. I understood about 10%; the rest was accents.

84
Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing, Intense

See it if The innocents of Irish tenement drink & gab first half, then in the second, the Civil Wartime toll calculated for those innocents. Maryann!

Don't see it if Varied accessible brogues of large talented cast. Uprisings are messy. Maryann Plunkett leaves the stage.

Also The final and best entry in The O'Casey Trilogy.

65
Confusing, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if You like O'Casey's work and want to see talented (but tired) actors get through this play.

Don't see it if You want an easy to understand play- both linguistically and plot wise. There was a LOT of screaming for no reason.

Also I was in the front row and couldn't see for the entire first half beca... Read more Read less

92
Very moving, Riveting, Great writing, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if historical play with a variety of Irish characters in 1915/16 Dublin tenement, very moving (especially 2nd half) but with humorous moments

Don't see it if don't want violence - Easter Rising in second half so a couple of scenes with bloodshed; don't want Irish accents; want something happy

87
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see the Irish Rep at its best. Outstanding, heartfelt, and sad play exploring the Easter Rising in 1916.

Don't see it if You have trouble with Irish accents or don’t enjoy historical dramas.

Also Worth it just to see Maryann Plunkett, although all the cast is superb... Read more Read less

93
Riveting, Masterful, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a terrific staging of an O'Casey gem.. The large ensemble acting is terrific and C. Moore's direction is again masterful.

Don't see it if you don't want to lose yourself in 1915-16 Dublin and bear witness to the lives of the inhabitants of one tenement.

Also I found this play the most moving of the O'Casey Trilogy, and the acti... Read more Read less

78
Part 1 of dublin trilogy, Absorbing, Historical, Great acting, Intense

See it if You are a fan of O'Casey, Irish history, and/or fine ensemble acting. A terrific beginning to the Dublin Trilogy.

Don't see it if You don't like historically-based theatre or are bothered by voracious arguing and threats of violence.

60
Disappointing, Slow, Overrated, Poor direction, Some bad acting

See it if You have to see any production of this Sean O’Casey play that is available, no matter how well done.

Don't see it if If, like me, you saw and loved “Juno and The Paycock” at Irish Rep recently and expect this to be a production of similar quality- it’s not.

86
Absorbing, Great staging, Riveting, Great acting

See it if You are ready to see one of Sean O'Casey's plays performed by real pros & especially if Irish history intrigues you!

Don't see it if You are not interested in history, especially Irish history

92
Intelligent, Riveting, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you love O'Casey and Irish writers in general and you would enjoy seeing an outstanding cast bring their work to life.

Don't see it if you don't like serious plays or Irish accents.

81
Great writing, Resonant, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if it works well with the other 2 plays but each stands on its own. Beautiful, deeply sad explorations of everyday humans affected by violence.

Don't see it if you can't handle violence or grief onstage or want something light. the plays are v funny but v serious. The actors tend to SHOUT a bit.

84
Excellent ensemble effort, Wonderful writing, Great characters

See it if Great classic Irish drama, large cast, small stage, intimate feeling with lots of humor and tragedy.

Don't see it if Old-fashioned theater, in a good way but still melodramatic and heavy brogues hard to understand at times.Also a lot of politics circa 1916.

Also Very enjoyable, though as I remarked, at times hard to understand beca... Read more Read less

74
Dated, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Intense, Great acting

See it if first of all you like Irish plays. This is the best of the trilogy. Characters are less unidimensional and more complex in their motivation

Don't see it if you are put off by Irish brogue or the "dated" but relevant material. As always an interesting dynamic between "active" men and their women

77
Intense, Hilarious, Great staging, Great acting, Dated

See it if like war themes, comedy, cheeky and playful characters, revolutionary themes, history, nice sets, great acting

Don't see it if slow second act, loud noises, darkness

90
Intense, Great staging, Great acting

See it if ... you’re interested in what happens to ordinary people in the wings of history while a big historical event is being played out onstage.

Don't see it if ... you have a romantic view of Irish history in general and the Easter Rising in particular, and don’t want to be disabused of that view.

84
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you adore great Irish theatre that is well done

Don't see it if you dislike older Irish plays and/or depressing theatre

83
Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Funny, Delightful

See it if It is a classic and very human with a pertinent look at the Ireland of those days and its problems. Fine characterizations and direction

Don't see it if If Ireland of that era does not interest you or if you are not a Sean O'Casey fan.

90
Hilarious, Masterful, Profound, Riveting, Great acting

See it if You enjoy brilliant storytelling.

Don't see it if You can’t handle very tragic drama.

80
Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Another fine production by the Irish rep. Although it started a bit slow it picked up steam as the play went on. Wonderful acting and set

Don't see it if You're not into serious or Irish plays

Also I just love the Irish Repertory Theater. All the Productions are alway... Read more Read less

79
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Humorous, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if Completes a most enjoyable O'Casey festival. Like the other two a timeless piece that is simply well done.

Don't see it if Have trouble with dialects? Of the three O'Casey plays at the Irish Rep this was the toughest to decipher. Great show, but I missed a lot.

86
Profound, Absorbing

See it if Good production of this important play. Still relevant

Don't see it if The play is very depressing

Also As others have mentioned, the accents may be an issue.

85
Great writing, Intelligent, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if If you are an O’Casey fan, enjoy well acted, verbally dense, emotionally charged, politically insightful, and classic drama.

Don't see it if You are looking for something light and breezy, have no interest in war themes and politics, and have difficulty understanding Irish brogues


May 15th, 2019
“Starts off in such a jolly manner that you may think you’re in for a comedy....Moore’s naturalistic production makes us care for everybody, no matter how vituperative, pigheaded or cartoonishly comical, and the cast is largely excellent...Each character is lovingly rendered, honoring the play’s ...
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May 2nd, 2019
"Staged with unmannered directness by Charlotte Moore and acted by an ensemble cast whose members sound as though they’d just stepped off the morning plane from Dublin, it will leave you wondering why O’Casey’s plays aren’t done by every top-tier theater company in America...The abject desperatio...
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April 30th, 2019
“Director Charlotte Moore has done an outstanding job eliciting the humor of the first two acts before immersing us in the tragic events of the play's second half. The cast is exceptional, with hilarious performances...One of the theater's foremost antiwar playwrights, O'Casey is unsparing in his...
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May 15th, 2019
“The Irish Rep's Sean O'Casey trilogy ends on a note of triumph with Moore's staging of this little-seen report from the embattled streets of Dublin...’The Plough and the Stars’ is a polyphonic display of voices -- comic, tragic, wounded, furious -- bearing witness to a city at war with itself......
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Cast & Creatives (3)