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Is Life Worth Living? (aka Drama at Inish)

Is Life Worth Living? (aka Drama at Inish)
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Lennox Robinson
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 91
Pub. Date: 1938
ISBN-10: 0573610762
ISBN-13: 9780573610769
Cast Size: 5 women, 8 men

About the Play:

Is Life Worth Living? is a full-length comedy by Lennox Robinson. A pair of married actors heading up a troupe of travelling players in Ireland who bring their high-toned repertory of Russian and Scandinavian drama to the seaside resort town of Inish.

Is Life Worth Living? is a gloriously goofy comedy that imagines the undesirable effects a steady diet of serious drama might have on the amiable residents of the small, seaside, Irish village of Inish. Can Chekhov, Strindberg and Ibsen be bad for you? That provocative question is posed in Is Life Worth Living? (sometimes billed as Drama at Inish). Usually the Summer theatrical season at Inish has consisted of rude, low comedy, but this year the fun begins when the town elders decide to improve the tone of the place. Enter Hector de la Mare and his wife Constance Constantia of the De La Mare Repertory Company committed exclusively to "psychological and introspective drama: the great plays of Russia, an Ibsen or two, a little Strindberg; because," as Hector puts it, "they may revolutionize some person's soul." Whether or not the souls of Inish require revolution is the question this comedy poses while delightfully exaggerating and celebrating the transformative power of the theater. After a week or so of Ibsen, Chekhov, and Strindberg, the town is driven mad. The steady diet of "psychological and introspective drama" leads to an outbreak of crime, violence and irrational acts of morality. The the amiable residents start to develop neuroses, complexes and inhibitions like the characters of the plays.

Is Life Worth Living? premiered in 1933 at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin as Drama at Inish, but in London and on Broadway it was called Is Life Worth Living? It played on Broadway three times in the 1930's and was successfully revived Off-Broadway in 2009 by New York’s Mint Theatre Company. It had a successful run at the Shaw Festival in 2011.

Cast: 5 women, 8 men

About the Playwright:

Lennox Robinson (1886-1958) was an Irish dramatist, poet and theatre producer and director. A prolific playwright and one-time manager of Ireland’s renowned Abbey Theatre, he was equally adept at comedy and tragedy, a talent that shines through the poignant laughter of his popular play Is Life Worth Living? (sometimes billed as Drama at Inish).