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Molly Sweeney

Written by Brian Friel

Directed by Cathy MW Kurz

"Seeing and understanding are different experiences."


". . . Molly Sweeney, blind since the age of 10 months, has acquired an intimate, vivid understanding of the world around her through childhood walks around a walled garden with her father, a judge hemmed in by alcohol and a neurotic wife.

Independent and happy, at the age of 37, Molly is confronted with an operation that might restore her sight. But is this perilous venture intended for her benefit or to satisfy the vicarious longings of her ebullient, 'self-educated,' initiator-of-many-mad-business-ventures husband, Frank, and those of Paddy Rice--a hard-drinking ophthalmologist, cheated husband, and failed surgeon, seizing the chance to rescue a tarnished reputation?  After all, they say, what does she have to lose? 


Within this richly layered play, the playwright explores concepts of self-exile and life on a borderline between fantasy and reality. Far removed from the brilliant, dense gravitas of Faith Healer, with which it is often compared, three interlocking monologues are given space to sing, as individual stories are progressed then seamlessly continued.


Seeing and understanding are, indeed, different experiences. With tenderness and humanity, Brian Friel argues that, if faced with a choice between the two, you should be careful what you wish for" (Irish Times).



". . .  an astonishing work, one that acutely examines its characters and asks us to make similar observations of ourselves. Not least important, it’s a highly entertaining play, often delivering laughs while posing its questions.  . . .Those questions stay with you." (New York Times)

"So good it actually made me shiver." (Wall Street Journal )


"Emotional, comical, scientific, and philosophical . . . moving performance." (The New Yorker)

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