The Shadow of a Gunman



  • Sean O'Casey's first play, which opened in 1923 at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, and later in London (1927) and New York (1932).

    The tragicomic story is set in 1920, at the height of the Anglo-Irishconflict. Two feckless young men, the poet Donal Davoren and the pedlar Seamus Shields, share a tenement in the Dublin slums. Believing that Davoren is an IRAman on the run, the landlord treats him royally and Minnie Powell, another tenant, falls in love with him. Reality intrudes on this fantasy when Shields's pedlar friend Maguire leaves his case of 'samples' with the boys and is later shot by the British. Davoren and Shields discover that the case contains guns, and when the Black and Tans raid the house Minnie hides it in her room. She is arrested and taken away in an army lorry that is then ambushed by the IRA. Minnie yells "Up the Republic!" but is killed by her own side as she tries to escape.