By Jez Butterworth
Northern Ireland, 1981. The Carney farmhouse is a hive of activity with preparations for the annual harvest. A day of hard work on the land and a traditional night of feasting and celebrations lie ahead. But this year they will be interrupted by a visitor.
The play is about Quinn Carney, a loving father whose life has been haunted by the unexplained disappearance of his brother Seamus, leaving him and his distant wife Mary to take in his brother’s vivacious wife Caitlin who always clung to the possibility Seamus would return. But a body has been found preserved in a bog, and a watchful peace made possible by uncertainty is about to end.
Each character has their moment on stage, but despite the large cast and interwoven plot lines it remains intimate, set in the kitchen of a single Armagh farmhouse. It is
a play about a mystical idea of Ireland in which fairies and banshees and magic all exist, somewhere. It is a play about youthful idealism and brutal adult pragmatism. It’s also a love story. And like most of Butterworth’s work, it is funny as it builds to a devastating climax.
"That's a powerful word. Vanishing."
"The ferryman is Charon. He may not carry them from the fearful shore on the harsh waters before their bones are at rest in the earth"