In Bailegangaire, an endless folk story told by a senile old woman is woven through her granddaughters’ arguments and struggles to free themselves from her.

Night after night, in lyrical and relentless detail, Mommo begins to relate the story of a laughing competition in Bailegangaire and how the town came by its name – ‘the town without laughter’.

In Mommo, Tom Murphy has created one of the greatest female characters of twentieth-century Irish literature. The play was first performed by Druid Theatre Company, Galway, in 1985 with the celebrated actor Siobhan McKenna (in what was to be her swansong) creating the role of Mommo in a towering performance that lives on in the memory of everyone fortunate enough to see it.

Masterfully poised between myth and reality, levity and sorrow, Mommo seems eternal, slipping from one world to another.

Of her two granddaughters, she only recognises Dolly, and not Mary who does most to look after her. The younger women yearn to be free of the past in order to make a new beginning, and Mary comes to believe that to do so the story of Bailegangaire has to be concluded. Mary, in between ministering to Mommo, wavers between staying and leaving her. Dolly, counts down the days before her husband, Stephen, returns from England and this time she’s determined to be ready for him.

WDS are delighted to bring this iconic play to Waterford audiences with local actors Denise Quinn (Mommo), Clodagh Power (Mary) and Vivienne Cummins (Dolly)

When: Wed 25th – Sat 28th May 2022
Price: €15/conc.€12
Where: Garter Lane Arts Centre