Conor McPherson's This Lime Tree Bower is a play for three male performers, told in interlocking monologues. It was first performed as an Íomhá Ildánach/Fly by Night co-production at the Crypt Arts Centre, Dublin, on 26 September 1995.
The play is an account of coming of age in small-town Ireland, told by three young men. The central characters are Joe, the youngest, who is bored with school and looking for adventure. His brother Frank is working full-time in the family chip shop when he hatches a plan to solve all the family’s troubles: he will rob local councillor and bookies owner, Simon McCurdie, to whom his father is heavily indebted. Lastly, their friend Ray, the debauched university lecturer who is dating their sister Carmel.
The printed edition of the play includes an epigraph from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, 'This Lime Tree Bower My Prison', from which the play's title derives.
The premiere at the Crypt Arts Centre was directed by Conor McPherson, with Ian Cregg as Joe, Conor Mullen as Ray and Niall Shanahan as Frank.
The play was subsequently performed at the Bush Theatre, London, from 3 July 1996, with the same cast and director.
This Lime Tree Bower won the Meyer Whitworth Award in 1997.
McPherson adapted and directed a feature film version under the title Saltwater. Released in 2000, it starred Peter McDonald, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson and Conor Mullen.