An epic family drama about greed and control, telling the tragic story of the disintegration of a family, along with their estate and way of life.
Arina is an ambitious woman. As a servant girl, she marries in to the degenerative family she works for; her ruthless energy saves it from bankruptcy and she expands the family estate into a land empire. Now, as a severe and hardened matriarch, she rules with an iron hand and insatiable avarice, competently managing every inch of her empire – until she begins to question herself. Resigning her power and dividing her lands between her children, she sees the family and the estate crumbling before her eyes.
Tom Murphy’s haunting play, shot through with dark humour, is a compelling depiction of hypocrisy and degeneration. Inspired by The Golovlyov Family by Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, the play premiered at the Abbey Theatre, Ireland, on 3 June 2009.