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The Weir and Other Plays [Paperback]

Conor McPherson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group (April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559361670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559361675
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,361,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding 9 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I saw The Weir performed in London. This is a fantastic play. It deserves all the praise it has been given recently. Emotional and moving!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Run don't walk to see the Weir. 27 Mar 1999
By A Customer
If you are in New York do pick up a ticket for The Weir, playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre on 48th Street. There has been,I know, an Irish invasion of Broadway lately,but this one is the brightest star.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great play 26 Nov 1999
By "lexo-2" - Published on
Annoyed though I am, as a young Irish playwright, to admit it, Conor McPherson's The Weir is the best Irish play of the Nineties. It's sharply observed (I love the jostling for position that the men do in the presence of the young woman), beautifully written - McPherson can make even ordering a drink into a loaded moment - and it's a gift to actors. His other work, generally in monologue form, is in my opinion less successful, but that's more due to the contradictory and frustrating nature of the form than the line-to-line quality of the writing, which is never less than excellent. Question is, how in the world does he make it look so easy?
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting 25 Oct 2000
By A Customer - Published on
I found this play hauntingly original. The quality of writing by McPherson is breathtaking. Every time I read the climactic monologue by the female character I can't help but well up inside. Read this play from one of the most talented young playwrights in years.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five lively dramatic pieces +commentary 23 Jan 2006
By John L Murphy - Published on
I haven't seen any of Conor McPherson's plays, but the five dramatic texts here--this a term more associated with Beckett, but I think applies here--work well enough on the page. Others have remarked here how "Weir" does or does not come alive in such a format; relying solely on the text, I think that it greatly depends on the non-verbal cues entirely absent from any of McPherson's work, that under direction (his?) would expand the potential locked into the words themselves. "Weir" takes its time starting and finishing, and the narrative arc that the various spooky stories create comes down well before the play's curtain. It'd take a nimble set of actors for this play to work, with so many set-speeches, but I've heard it's been done!

The other plays here, of which little has been said, are all monologues. In the prefatory notes to "St Nicholas," the playwright directly confronts the problem of and the childlike fun with sitting down in a theatre and being told a long tale by one actor, not two, and so lacking the creation of make-believe action that could ensue. With only one figure up there, it's totally up to that person's conjuring power to bring the words into a shared reality with the listeners. A scary story about a theatre critic who leaves his family and serves as a procurer for vampires sounds as outrageous as the story sounds, yet in the hands of McPherson, it's plausible and even, after a time, mundane. We start to believe the teller, and keep going no matter where his convoluted but orderly narrative takes us.

Similarly, "The Lime Tree Bower" tells an even longer story but with three narrators, who only once engage in a very brief dialogue. The rest of the performance, they are only "aware" of the other two--I wonder what looks they keep on their faces as number three tells his installment? This story of a "perfect crime" attempted mingles (as McPhersons's former English Lit professor at University College Dublin, Anthony Roche, explains in an essay on the playwright in a recent collection "The UCD Aesthetic," that McPherson also took a BA + MA in Philosophy) the figure of Ray with many references to utilitarianism and more current theories, by the way. If this does not sound like dramatic fodder, it's mixed with lots of chases and romances...

The next play--for one actor--also looks at a criminal action and its aftermath in a violent and poignant manner. "The Good Thief" provides thrills, chills, and thoughtful consideration added to an exciting storyline. The last one, "Rum + Vodka," details the downward spiral of a man about town--also solo on stage. I have to admit I enjoyed all five plays, but the last three the best, for these focus more on urban Dublin life where McPherson lives, and capture the 1990s restlessness with sustained jitters of growing up, or not, that his characters must confront after evading punishment and retribution for so long. Lots of hangovers and lots of vows to do better next time.

The notes added to this volume comment on each play from McPherson's rather scattered commentary on the making and staging of the five plays. You can hear the author in his prose voice, and I find that it differs little from his dramatic tone. After this, I'll seek out the film "I Went Down," for which he wrote the screenplay. While Martin McDonagh's more Synge-meets-Beckett--meets Pinter plays have grabbed more attention, the more circumspect McPherson may well have the stamina to go on creating even better work; that one of these five was written when he was twenty or so astonished me.

Four stars only because I hold that the best work of McPherson is yet to come. Meanwhile, this volume's a bargain. It's a valuable collection that entertains but also has you stop and ponder, while never falling into preachiness or the easy pose of moral indignation or holier-than-thou self-righteousness--no mean feat.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in response to the 2 star raters 5 Dec 2004
By "francinejack" - Published on
i feel that your comments on the master that is conor mcpherson
are very unjustified. one of you talked of the lack of dialogue and over use of monologue; in response to that i would just like to say that you dont have to have dialogue to be powerful and obviously you haven't seen it performed on stage to see its power and humour. as for its constant referencing to alcohol and puke well what else do you expect from a recovering alcholic and im sorry but again if you were to see this performed you would see that this referencing brings humour to his plays but also makes you think afterwards and feel sorry for the characters. it also touchs a nerve as near enough everyone knows someone with a drink problem. im sorry if i seen harsh by defending him but your comments are unjustified and im sorry if the world isnt the perfect place you see it to be but playwrights dont want to write about buttercups and how everything is fine and dandy in the world because it isnt and if it was the world would be a pretty boring place. you know what drink happens, puke happens and its interesting so why not write about it? this man is a master he uses the ordinary and gives you insight into peoples lives and this is what makes him a great playwright not his use of dialogue!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conor McPherson masterwork 9 May 2013
By Sulema Ebrahim - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Quietly disconcerting ghostly encounters. The Weir is a brilliant play to see and reads equally as well! A must read.
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