Shows D

The wedding service is over and everything is running smoothly, with a grand reception in the parlour of the Danaher house. Old Man Toomey sings a toast to the bride, and Will Danaher magnanimously hands over Ellen Roe's dowry—her family heir-looms and three hundred pounds sterling. He then proudly announces his own engagement to Kathy Carey but, to his astonishment and anger, discovers that the widow has no intention of marrying him; in fact, she is repelled by the thought! Grabbing the trembling Mikeen Flynn, Danaher realises that he has been tricked into giving his consent to Ellen Roe, and furiously takes back her dowry. He turns on Enright and knocks him out with a single punch and, at this moment, a dramatic flashback reveals how, in his eighty-seventh fight, the American prizefighter killed an opponent in the ring— the real reason for his refusal to fight again. Shamed before the gathering, Enright and his bride leave the wedding reception with Danaher's jeering laughter ringing in their ears. As the second Act opens, we find Mikeen Flynn and four friends looking for a solution to a grave problem: knowing the fierce pride and tradition by which Ellen Roe lives, they realise that she will not share her husband's home and bed unless she can cement the marriage-bond with her dowry. To save the marriage, the boys decide to steal Ellen Roe's heirlooms from the Danaher house and, to bolster their courage, help themselves to some alcoholic fortification. At White O'Morn, Enright and his bride are spending an unhappy wedding night. Ellen Roe has been shamed, and she cannot understand why her husband refuses to fight Danaher. Mikeen and his cohorts tiptoe deafeningly through the night, bringing Ellen Roe's dowry furniture. Thanks to their kindness, a part of the dowry is paid, but there remains the three hundred pounds, and Ellen Roe still regards herself as a servant rather than a wife in her husband's house. Alone in her bedroom, she cries herself to sleep, while Enright angrily complains. The scene now moves to the bar of Kathy Carey's pub, where further trouble is brewing. The widow has set her heart on marrying the elusive Mikeen Flynn and, with the help of her friends Sadie and Birdy, decides to make him jealous enough to propose to her by flirting with Will Danaher. Together, the three women plot Mikeen's fate. The scheme works perfectly: Kathy's maneouvers, assisted by some pointed 'asides' by her cronies, are too much for the unsuspecting Mikeen who, before he knows it, has asked Kathy to marry him, admitting his love for her. Things go from bad to worse for Enright and Ellen Roe. The colleen is persuaded that the marriage-bed is more important than a dowry, and she and her husband are reconciled. However, her stubborn pride is still unbending and, having fulfilled her duties as a wife, she tries to run away to Dublin. This decides the American, who drags the colleen to the Danaher farm for a final showdown. Throwing the girl at Danaher's feet, Enright announces that, unless the dowry is paid, the marriage is finished. Will contemptuously hands Enright three hundred pounds, which the American hands to Ellen Roe. She, in turn, throws the money into a threshing machine. This is too much for the fierce Danaher, who knocks Enright down, and the 'fight of the century' is on. Across fields and farmlands, both men hammer blows at each other until, exhausted to the, point of collapse, Enright lands the winning punch, toppling his, adversary into a water-trough. Although beaten, Danaher is delighted: the American has proved himself worthy of his sister, and the two men stagger happily home to White O'Morn, where a proud Ellen Roe awaits them. CAST (in order of appearance): Willie O'Bantie Matthew Gilbane Gavin Collins Old Man Toomey Tim O'Connell Will Danaher Ellen Roe Danaher Esme Gillie Sadie Mclnty Birdy Monyhan Mikeen Flynn John Enright Father Finucane An Irish Boy Jamie, a Bartender Kathy Carey Singing Ensemble: Dancing Ensemble: