Shakespeare in Dublin is a series of three short radio plays which were written in 2016 and broadcast on Near FM Community Radio in 2017/18 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Based on three of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, King Lear, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the series is a re-imagining of each of the plays in contemporary Dublin. While the settings are clearly different, each play is faithful to the main characters, plot and central themes of the play on which it is based, as much as is possible in twenty minutes.
The plays were written by experienced, award-winning, local Dublin playwrights in conjunction with English teachers. Larry (based on King Lear) and McBen (based on Macbeth) are intended for TY or Leaving Cert students while The Ghosts of Priory Hall (based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream) is intended for a Junior Cycle or TY group. However, all plays are suitable for any English classroom depending on the age and stage of the learners.
he educational component includes a series of worksheets to accompany the finished radio programmes and these materials can be downloaded from near.ie/education
‘Larry’ by Henry Hudson based on the play ‘King Lear’ by William Shakespeare
Larry (Lear) is a widower with three daughters, Geraldine (Goneril), Rita (Regan) and Cecilia(Cordelia). Geraldine and Rita atter him until he signs over his affairs to them. Cecilia never atters him but shows her love by looking after his every need although he barely notices or appreciates her. One night Larry, who is in hospital, berates Cecilia who runs away in tears. In the early hours Spirit/The Fool shows Larry his dead body lying in his hospital bed. Hours later Rita and Geraldine arrive in the morgue. They discuss a funeral. Larry presumes it is his. He insists on going to the funeral. It is huge. He is ecstatic until it emerges that it is Cecilia’s funeral. He learns that while running from the hospital she was hit by a car. Larry is devastated, but worse is to come. Spirit shows him Rita and Geraldine planning to ‘dispose’ of him with a cheap, quick cremation and he discovers that his late wife instructed he was not to be buried with her. Spirit nally takes him to the Crossroads of Life. One road is warm and sunny, the other cold, dark and punishing. Larry knows he must take the latter route. Spirit places the broken body of Cecilia in Larry’s arms. He will carry her until he can nally forgive himself for his blindness and pride.
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Shakespeare in Dublin is made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the television licence fee.