Top critical review
on 22 October 2013
I love Irish writing, both novels and drama, especially Shaw, Wilde etc., and I am interested in the era of the Irish War of Independence - the Black & Tan war - and so on, so I thought it was time I read O'Casey's classic plays. I have to admit to being mildly disappointed. I was expecting more moving dialogue and a little more action. I didn't feel the squalour of 1920s Dublin from my reading of the plays. Perhaps these are plays which are not meant to be read but which depend on the skilful representation of the characters by actors, on the sets and costume etc. The only other play I have read which features Black & Tans was an advance copy I received of DJ Kelly's 3 act play 'Death of a Tan' and I found that much more moving with much sharper dialogue. Perhaps that was because it was based on a true story, however. If you enjoyed 'Shadow of a Gunman' though, keep a look out for 'Death of a Tan'.