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San Miguel Playreaders: This week Playreaders proudly presents “Molly Sweeney” by Brian Friel.


By Susan Rushton

Brian Friel has been hailed as Ireland’s greatest living playwright. This reputation stems from the widespread acclaim given to works such as Dancing at Lughnasa, which was made into a wonderful movie starring Meryl Streep. Molly Sweeney is one of Friel’s less well-known plays. Nonetheless, it is just as masterfully written, lyrical, and deeply entertaining. Here is the rare opportunity to see something special!

The central theme of Molly Sweeney is seeing: a play about how we perceive and shape the visual world. The main character is a middle-aged woman, blind since infancy.

The action unfolds in an unusual way. Three characters take turns to speak in monologue.

First comes Molly herself: a cheerful, engaging, and self-confident person. Next we meet Molly’s charming, enthusiastic, and recently wed husband, Frank. And finally Mr Rice, an ophthalmologist fallen into professional and personal disgrace who sees the operation he will perform to restore Molly’s sight as a way to his own salvation.

You may well ask, what could Molly possibly stand to lose by regaining her sight?

As the play unfolds, each character tells Molly’s story from his/her own point of view in the best tradition of spellbinding Irish tale-telling. By this interweaving of monologues, with their personal and partial views, we slowly come to an understanding of Molly’s situation.

Friel prefaces Molly Sweeney with a verse from Emily Dickenson which concludes:


The truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind


Join us at Playreaders this week to enjoy the sweet humor and moving story of Molly Sweeney

Molly is played by Marthe Fraser, Frank by Mick Diener, Mr Rice by Henry Vermillion.

Lights and sound: Dic Simandl. Susan Rushton directs.



Playreaders presents:

Molly Sweeney

Wed-Thu, Apr 4-5, 7:30pm

St Paul’s Church, Cardo 6

20 pesos donation requested at the door.




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