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Brigit (world premiere) and Bailegangaire

Tom Murphy


– I’d like it to be perfect … Beautiful … The statue … Unbeatable … I’d like it to be what I feel … And I don’t know what that is.

Seamus is an odd-job man with ‘a great pair of hands’. He is given ‘a commission’ by the church to carve a statue. His previous work for the church was none too happy. However, he reluctantly accepts the commission and as he works on the statue his obsession with it grows: it comes to involve his family which is on the breadline – his wife, Mommo, and the three grandchildren they’ve inherited.

Bailegangaire occurs thirty years later.


– The countryside produced a few sensations in the last couple of years, but my grand plan: I’ll show them what can happen at the dark of night in a field. I’ll come to grips with my life.

Mommo tells over and over again a story she never finishes. It relates how the town of Bochtán came to be known as Baileganagaire, the town without laughter. Mary, Mommo’s granddaughter, in between ministering to her, wavers between staying and leaving her. Dolly, Mommo’s other granddaughter, counts down the days before her husband, Stephen, returns from England and this time she’s determined to be ready for him.

Sisters though they might be, will Mary and Dolly even begin to understand each other? Is any sense to be made of what Mommo has to say? What will it take to release each of these women from their private hells?

First premièred by Druid in 1985, Bailegangaire is unique in Tom Murphy’s oeuvre for centering exclusively on the lives of women. It throws an unremitting but tender light on a trinity of women’s lives from a dark time.

‘A major play from a major Irish playwright, Bailegangaire is as complex and haunting as one of Yeats’ later poems.… Here is a potent allegory – of the need to exorcise the past and its myths if one is to be happy in the future.’ The Sunday Telegraph

With Bailegangaire, Tom Murphy has written one of the crowning achievements of Irish drama.



Mommo Marie Mullen
Mary Catherine Walsh
Dolly Aisling O’Sullivan


Séamus Bosco Hogan
Mommo Marie Mullen
Father Kilgariff Marty Rea
Reverend Mother Jane Brennan
A Young Nun Rachel O’Byrne
MaryLily McBride (Galway)
Sarah Conway (Dublin)
DollyAilbhe Birkett (Galway)
Susie Power (Dublin)
Tom Colm Conneely (Galway)
Joshua Lyons (Dublin)

Creative Team

Writer Tom Murphy
Director Garry Hynes
Set & Costume Francis O’Connor
Lighting Designer Rick Fisher
Sound Designer Gregory Clarke



The Olympia Theatre, Dublin

1st, 2nd, 4th, & 5th October, 2014

The Olympia Theatre, Dublin

1st, 3rd, 4th, & 5th October, 2014

Town Hall, Clifden

Tuesday 23rd – Wed 24th September, 2014

The Town Hall Theatre, Galway

Tuesday 9th – Sunday 21th September, 2014

The Town Hall Theatre, Galway

11th, 12th, 13th*, 14th*, 17th & 19th September, 2014
(*with Brigit)

The Town Hall Theatre, Galway

9th, 10th, 13th*, 14th*, 16th & 18th September, 2014
(*with Bailegangaire)

Productions archive:

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This page was archived on 28/03/2017 and is no longer updated.

The contents of this page may be out of date or incomplete. Go here to browse our current site