A HANDFUL OF STARS. Set in a local dilapidated snooker hall, A HANDFUL OF STARS tells the story of Jimmy Brady, a young Wexford tearaway who refuses to abide by the rules and regulations that are applied in this so-called man's world, and his innocent sidekick, Tony, who yearns to belong; a world that is inhabited by a worn-out boxer, a contrary caretaker, an obnoxious loudmouth and a wily detective. Jimmy bucks the system every chance he gets, and everything is hunky dory until his girlfriend, Linda, ditches him, which drives him over the edge. Jimmy goes on the rampage with a shotgun, robbing a little corner shop and hitting a young cop with the butt of the gun. In the final scene he is holed up like a fugitive in the pool hall as he waits for the detective to come and get him. (6 men, 1 woman.) POOR BEAST IN THE RAIN is set in an old-fashioned betting shop on the weekend leading up to The All Ireland Hurling Final, which coincides with the return of Danger Doyle to town, a man who ran away to London with another man's wife ten years ago. The play examines the lives of all those who were left behind—Joe, Danger's old sidekick, who has managed to reinvent the past; Molly, Danger's old girlfriend, who has become embittered by time; Steven, the cuckolded husband, who owns the betting shop; and Eileen, the daughter of the woman who ran away. Also in the story is Georgie, a boy who has learned to adore Eileen from a distance. Danger has come back not to set them all free, as we first suspect, but to debunk the myth and to entice Eileen to come back with him to London to visit her mother who is unwell. (4 men, 2 women.) BELFRY. Artie is a lonely middle-aged sacristan in a local church who falls in love with a married woman who comes to change flowers on the altar. Also in his life are a bedridden mother, whom we never see, a simple-minded altar boy called Dominic and a troubled young priest. Artie's life brightens up when he kisses Angela in the belfry after Dominic's birthday party, and the affair begins. His whole world comes tumbling down around him though when her husband finds out about it and puts an end to the affair. (4 men, 1 women.)
"Theatre with bite and style and truth." —Daily Telegraph (London). "How many contemporary writers give us the feeling that O'Casey has been exhumed in order to set a Chekhov short story to dialogue?" —Times (London). "The writing is both rugged and melancholy, severe but generous: a poetry of passing joys and lost paradises." —Sunday Times (London).