It tells the story of the Boyle family: Jack Boyle, a self-centered man who spends his time drinking with his pal Joxer rather than looking for work; his wife Juno, responsible and hard-working, who takes care of the family; their son Johnny, who lost an arm in the Easter Rising and spends his days fearfully at home; and their daughter Mary, a young and somewhat vain idealist currently on strike. The family learns from Mary's fiance Charlie Bentham that they will inherit money from a relative of Boyle's who has died. Upon hearing the news, Boyle borrows money from anyone who will lend it to him and makes purchases on credit, including furniture, a suit, and a gramophone. The family, along with their neighbor Mrs. Madigan, celebrates with an evening of song, although their spirits are dampened by the funeral procession of their neighbor Mrs. Tancred 's murdered son.

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The action takes place in the living room of a two-room tenement apartment of the Boyle family. The apartment suggests a lot about the family before we meet any of the characters. The cramped size suggests they are not very well off and the "picture of the Virgin" shows they are Catholics. The play opens in the morning with Mary Boyle and her brother Johnny sitting in the living room. The table is set for one. He has been out drinking with his drinking "butty" Joxer Daly and has not returned home yet.

Juno and Mary discuss the newspaper story about the murder of the son of one of their neighbours - Mrs Tancred. Johnny seems very on edge and sensitive, not wanting to discuss the murder. Juno is the only one in the family who is working. Mary is on strike, Johnny is disabled due to losing an arm in the War of Independence. Jerry rushes out to find Boyle when Juno says that he is in the pub. Not long after this Jack himself enters, inviting Joxer in because he thinks Juno has already gone to work.

When Juno enters the room it is obvious that she and Joxer do not get on. The act closes after Jack finds out from a solicitor, Charles Bentham , that one of his relatives has died and left him a significant amount of money. Jack is overjoyed at this and immediately vows to change his ways, promising Juno that he will stop drinking all the time with Joxer. News of a murder Juno and Mary discuss the newspaper story about the murder of the son of one of their neighbours - Mrs Tancred.

Boyle returns home Not long after this Jack himself enters, inviting Joxer in because he thinks Juno has already gone to work.


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In this tragicomedy, the Boyle family, living to the Dublin slums, is shattered by poverty, alcoholism, illegitimate pregnancy, and the Irish Civil War. After the death of his father, in , the family sank into the poverty of the Dublin tenements. The Shadow of a Gunman was accepted for production by the Abbey Theatre in In the following year, the Abbey produced Juno and the Paycock. His next major play, The Plough and the Stars , set in the Rebellion, caused riots in Dublin, and the following play, The Silver Tassie , written in and set in World War I , was rejected by the Abbey as too experimental. He would be buried there in


Juno and the Paycock

Join StageAgent today and unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities. Research Playwrights, Librettists, Composers and Lyricists. Browse Theatre Writers. Juno, the mother of the family and the only member who works , desperately tries to hold her family together in the face of adversity and misfortune. However her husband, Jack Boyle, would rather spend his time drinking with his persuasive pal, Joxer, than try to look for work and help the family. When Jack learns that the family is to come into an inheritance, he eagerly anticipates their new found wealth and borrows money from everyone around him to flaunt their new incoming fortune.


Juno and the Paycock Summary

Highly regarded and often performed in Ireland , it was first staged at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in It is set in the working class tenements of Dublin in the early s, during the Irish Civil War period. Juno and the Paycock takes place in the tenements of Dublin in , just after the outbreak of the Irish Civil War , and revolves around the misfortunes of the dysfunctional Boyle family. The father, "Captain" Jack so called because of his propensity for telling greatly exaggerated stories of his short career as a merchant seaman , is a loafer who claims to be unable to work because of pains in his legs, which mysteriously appear whenever someone mentions work to him. Despite his family's poverty , Jack spends all his time and money at the pub with Joxer Daly, his ne'er-do-well " butty ," instead of looking for a job.


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending! June Juno is the wife of 'Captain' Boyle and the 'paycock' or peacock is her name for him, because he struts about all day, leaving her to work to put food on the table. He is called 'Captain' by his friends, but the nearest he has ever got to sailing is on the ferry to Liverpool.

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