Molly Sweeney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Molly Sweeney is a two-act play by Brian Friel. It tells the story of its title character, Molly, a woman blind since infancy, who undergoes an operation to try to restore her sight. Like Friel's Faith Healer, the play tells Molly's story through monologues by three characters: Molly, her husband Frank, and her surgeon, Mr. Rice.

Production history[edit]

Molly Sweeney received its first performance on August 9, 1994 at the Gate Theatre, Dublin. It was directed by Friel and featured Catherine Byrne as Molly, Mark Lambert as Frank Sweeney, and T. P. McKenna as Mr. Rice.

It received its American premiere in 1996 in an Off Broadway production at the Roundabout Theatre. Catherine Byrne again starred as Molly, Alfred Molina played her husband Frank, and Jason Robards played Mr. Rice. It won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play of the 1996 season.[1]

The play was revived at the Print Room theatre in west London in 2013, with Dorothy Duffy in the titular role.

The play was in large part inspired by the essay by neurologist Oliver Sacks, "To See and Not See," published in An Anthropologist on Mars.


  1. ^ Canby, Vincent (1996-01-08). "Molly Sweeney review — Seeing, in Brian Friel's Ballybeg". (New York Times). Retrieved 14 May 2010. [dead link]