Shows M

if she knows what "the love that dare not speak its name" is, but she does not. Adele says goodbye and Alfie heads home, but is approached again by Breton Beret. Alfie is torn with indecision and fear by the young man's apparent invitation. Oscar Wilde appears again, telling Alfie: "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it." ACT II A band of merrymakers gather to make music in a pub. In contrast Mrs. Patrick, a devout member of the St. Imelda's sodality, sings a hymn. As the revellers dance off, Mrs. Patrick kneels in prayer, and we see Alfie Byrne on his knees in confession. As he tries to tell Father Kenny what's really on his mind, Alfie imagines Robbie Faye. After church, Alfie meets Baldy who is laying flowers on his wife's grave. Baldy confides to Alfie that he misses his wife and suggests that Alfie also needs good woman to make him happy. Every actor in the troupe also performs a backstage job, and in their various capacities as prop master, wardrobe mistress, set designer, publicist and choreographer they present their ideas for the production to Alfie, in their grand pursuit of art. During the rehearsal of her big scene, Adele breaks down and runs from the room. Alfie discovers that she is pregnant. At the same moment, Father Kenny arrives to escort Alfie to a meeting of the sodality, where Mr. Carney demands that this salacious play must be closed down. The St. Imelda's Players are barred from further use of the hall. A distraught Alfie stumbles into the darkened bus garage where he interrupts Robbie Faye making love with Mrs. Patrick. Robbie shouts at Alfie not to judge them until he loves someone himself. Having lost both his play and Robbie, Alfie is driven to action at last. Looking at his image in the mirror once again, Alfie dresses up as Oscar Wilde, and is joined by Oscar Wilde himself. Dressed alike, the two of them stroll through the streets and Wilde gives Alfie the courage to enter the pub alone. Alfie seeks out Breton Beret in the noisy, crowded pub. All noise ceases as Alfie approaches Breton Beret and asks him for a "cuddle." They leave the pub together. Out in the alley, Breton Beret caresses Alfie, but then, with sudden violence, strikes him to the ground and steals his wallet. A policeman runs to Alfie's aid, but not before he has been viciously beaten by Breton Beret's thugs. Lily and Carney happen to be passing by, and Lily is told to take her brother home. Now, everyone knows that Alfie is a homosexual. Carney is dumbstruck and the St. Imelda's players are scandalised and crushed. The next day Lily demands to know why Alfie has lied to her for so many years. Alfie returns to his job on the bus, but Robbie Faye is gone and there is a new driver in his place. The poetry in Alfie's life has been replaced by scorn. Miss Rice gets on the bus one last time to return the advice he once gave her - that no matter how harsh people may be, you just have to love who you love. As the play in his mind concludes, Alfie's actors deposit him back where he started, alone in the church hall, with a prop in his hand. They depart. Alfie realises that he can do nothing more than try to live his life honestly. He can now say "welcome to the world" with irony but also with hope. As Alfie prepares to leave, the real Robbie Faye enters the hall. Robbie has a wig on his head, and "has come to be in the play." In fact, he has come to tell Alfie that no matter what Alfie has got up to, it makes no difference. They can still be friends. The St. Imelda's Players return as well, although it is difficult for them to do so. They are there to support Mr. Byrne for the good man they know him to be, and for the joy his art has brought to their lives. The players form their intimate circle, perhaps for the last time, and their newest member, Robbie Faye is asked to read a verse by Oscar Wilde. As the lights dim and the poem is read, we see Alfie Byrne, a man of some importance after all, at the centre of his small circle of friends.