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Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme
Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme was revived by the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in 1994 as part of an acknowledgement of the peace process. The production was subsequently taken to the Edinburgh Festival in 1995 and opened at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Barbican Theatre, London, in March 1996.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by Faber & Faber
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McGuinness does an excellent job of re-visioning a WWI drama: instead of a focus on the battles, etc. the audience is left with only eight young men who are fighting for Ulster; who understand that they will die for Ulster. Done in four parts, McGuinness hooks the audience immediately with Kenneth Pyper seemingly alone on stage yet soon revealing he is haunted by the seven men he fought alongside; Pyper was the only survivor. The most beautiful part in my opinion is Part 3 where the men are pair ...more
Eight young Protestant men in their twenties and early thirties enlist to fight for their country. In the beginning they joke around and tease each other about their differences and their backgrounds, but as death creeps closer, they begin to question their motives and realize that it's too late to go back. At the beginning, and old embittered Pyper greets the ghosts of his comrades and....yikes!
Frank McGuinness is Professor of Creative Writing in University College Dublin. A world-renowned playwright, his first great stage hit was the highly acclaimed ‘Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme’. He is also a highly skilled adapter of plays by writers such as Ibsen, Sophocles, Brecht, and writer of several film scripts, including Dancing at Lughnasa, and he has published sever ...moreMore about Frank McGuinness...