Juno and the Paycock

Definition

Theater

  • A tragicomedy by Sean O'Casey. It was first performedin 1924 at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, opening in London thefollowing year and in New York in 1926.

    Set in Dublin's slums during the 'Troubles' of 1921, the plotconcerns the disintegration of the Boyle family. The drunken hypochondriac'Captain' Jack Boyle and his son Johnny, who has been wounded fighting for the IRA, leave all the work to the Captain's wife, Juno, and their daughterMary. Life in the two-room tenement is bleak indeed until the day thatCharles Bentham, an English solicitor who is in love with Mary, announces that he has helped to draft a will that leaves the Captain a large amountof money. The family buy new furniture on credit before Bentham discoversthat he has made an error and the family will receive nothing. Benthamdeparts for London leaving Mary pregnant and the furniture is repossessed.Worse, Johnny is executed for betraying the IRA cause. Finally, Junoand Mary leave the Captain in search of a less miserable life.

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