The Playboy of the Western World

The Playboy of the Western World ( Original Title (English: The Playboy of the Western World) is a play by John Millington Synge It was premiered on January 26, 1907 in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin..


The play takes place in the early 19th century in the tavern of James Flaherty on the coast of Mayo, a county in Connacht in the North West of Ireland. And where a Christy Mahon, a young man who claims to have killed his father. Out of desperation, Christy had beaten his tyrannical father and fled in panic when the old Mahon lay lifeless. Night after night he wandered about. His story, which he reluctantly gives in the tavern of the best Flaherty, excites the imagination of the villagers. Such a " brave " man was never passed.


The based on a true story Comedy drama premiered on January 26, 1907 in Dublin Abbey Theatre. She untied the audience that saw hurt in his honor to a theater scandal. Witnesses told pounding, buhrufenden viewers of drunken Trinity students that " God Save the Queen", and nationalists on the other hand, the "God save Ireland" and "A nation once again" bawled .. The battles played their first in the theater, and later from the surrounding streets and had to be stopped by the police. Irish nationalists felt that the play was not political enough and by his immoral language dignity of Ireland, especially the Irish women hurt. The alleged stereotyping of rural Catholic irirschen underclass milieu was felt by Irish nationalists as the Sinn Féin leader Arthur Griffith as mockery. The patron of the theater, William Butler Yeats, was prompted in sequence to hold a speech in defense of freedom of the theater. Although the press opinion was soon against the critics and the protests (which became known as the Playboy Riots ) subsided, the Abbey Theatre was shocked and Synge's next ( and last completed ) play, The Tinker's Wedding ( 1908) was not performed for fear of new disorders. Today the piece to the classics of the theater counts.

German translations

  • A first translation of Charles H. Fisher and Sil - Vara ( Geza Silberer ) appeared in 1912 under the title " Hero of Westerland ."
  • Anna Elisabeth restart and Peter Hacks ( The Playboy of the Western World )
  • Annemarie Böll and Heinrich Boll ( a real hero )
  • The translation with the German title " The Juggler of Mayo " by Katrin Janecke and Günter Blöcker.


Hanns Eisler set to music ballads from the following piece: Song of the heroes of Ireland, ballad, folk ballad, chant and Caitrin and John.

Adaptations ( movie, musical, opera )

  • Movie: " The Playboy of the Western World" has been widely adapted for film and television. The Sender Freies Berlin produced 1961 A true hero under the direction of Hans Lietzau with Horst Frank as Christy Mahon.
  • Musical: " The Playboy of the Western World" by Kate Hancock and Richard B. Evans was premiered at the 2005 STAGES festival at the Theatre Building Chicago.
  • Opera: opera in three acts Gislher Klebes A true hero was premiered on January 18, 1975 at the Zurich Opera. Jan Müller -Wieland's comic opera in three acts, " The Hero of the Western World " ( text after translation by Anne Marie and Heinrich Boll ) was commissioned by the Cologne Opera, where it was premiered on 7 April 2006. The title role of Christy Mahon sang the soprano Claudia Rohrbach.
  • Rock: The album " Vagabonds of the Western World" (1973 ) for the rock band Thin Lizzy creates the reference to the Irish legends. The so-called " western world ", also called " Tir na N'Ogh ", represents the mythological Beyond the Celts dar. The title track contains the explicit text line " [ ... ] he was a vagabond, a playboy of the western world [ ... ] "