County Galway was the homeplace of two distinguished Irish playwrights in the twentieth century: M.J. Molloy (1914 -1994) and Tom Murphy (born 1935). Many of their plays draw on the lives and historical experiences of those living in the north-east of the county, between Tuam, Milltown and the Mayo border. Their work was produced for the wider Irish public by the Abbey Theatre and Druid Theatre Company, but also by the Amateur Drama movement, which was active in every corner of the country through the agency of local theatre groups. This lecture will address the important contribution each of these writers made, through consideration of some of their influential plays, including Molloy's The Wood of the Whispering (1953) and Murphy's Famine (1968).

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