Shining City

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DOI: 10.5040/9781784600334.00000004
Scenes: 5. Roles: Male (3) , Female (1) , Neutral (0)

Conor McPherson's Shining City is a play about two men haunted in quite different ways. It was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre, London, on 4 June 2004.

Ian has left the priesthood and is starting a new career as a therapist in Dublin. John is one of his first clients. John’s wife, Mari, has been killed in a horrible car accident, and he keeps receiving visits from her ghost. John, with Ian’s help, starts to recover. Meanwhile Ian is struggling with a dilemma of his own: his estranged fiancée, Neasa, with whom he has a baby, wants him to come home; but Ian isn't yet ready – or able – to commit to married life.

The Royal Court premiere was directed by Conor McPherson and designed by Rae Smith, with Michael McElhatton as Ian, Stanley Townsend as John, Kathy Kiera Clarke as Neasa and Tom Jordan Murphy as Laurence.

The play received its American premiere at the Biltmore Theater, New York, in a production by the Manhattan Theater Club, in May 2006. It was directed by Robert Falls with Brían F. O'Byrne as Ian, Oliver Platt as John, Martha Plimpton as Neasa and Peter Scanavino as Laurence. It was nominated for two Tony Awards, including Best Play, and the influential New York Times critic Ben Brantley described it as a 'quiet, haunting and absolutely glorious new play... Shining City is as close to perfection as contemporary playwriting gets'.

From Shining City

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Nick Hern Books

Conor McPherson

ISBN: 9781854598196

Series: NHB Modern Plays

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