The Lament for Arthur Cleary
Published in volume The Crack in the Emerald
First Staged:
Project Arts Centre, Dublin, 1989

The Lament for Arthur Cleary

By Dermot Bolger
Published in volume The Crack in the Emerald

Bestselling novelist Dermot Bolger transposes an old story of love and death to modern-day Dublin.

When Arthur Cleary returns to Dublin, the city of his youth, he feels lost in the same streets he grew up in. The new Dublin, the Dublin of the 1980s, is damaged by unemployment and heroin. It is unrecognisable to him.

Dermot Bolger's play is inspired by the Gaelic poem 'Caoineadh Airt Ui Laoire', a lament for a man who dies because he cannot bend his pride to the demands of oppressive English rule.

The Lament for Arthur Cleary was first performed in 1989 at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin, as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival.

Press Quotes

'A love-poem to the City of Dublin, to its people, its streets, its housing estates, but above all to the indomitable Dublin spirit that is as unique as it is indefinable'

Sunday Tribune
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