A Thief of a Christmas

DOI: 10.5040/9781408182857.00000013
Acts: 2. Roles: Male (9) , Female (3) , Neutral (0)

It will be a lean Christmas now that the villagers have failed to sell their wares at the market in the town. Glum, if not devastated, they gather in John Mahony's shop-cum-pub to sing songs, drink a little and worry for the season ahead. Among them is Costello, a gregarious man, full of laughter, who has seen the world perhaps a little more than the others and knows how to hold their attention.

When a stranger and his wife, grounded by the bad weather from getting back to their homes, enter the inn, a peculiar challenge emerges: that he, the stranger, is a better laugher than Costello. Betting begins on this uncanny contest, with stakes so high it becomes a matter of life or death for Costello, for the stranger, and for Mahony in whose house they convive.

A Thief of a Christmas was first produced at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in December 1985.

From Murphy Plays: 2


Bloomsbury Publishing

Tom Murphy

ISBN: 9780413675606

Series: Contemporary Dramatists

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