Brian Friel’s Give Me Your Answer, Do! is set on a sunny August afternoon in the old manse in Ballybeg in County Donegal, now the home of novelist, Tom Connolly, and his wife, Daisy. They are visited by an American agent who may — or may not — purchase Tom’s papers for a U.S. college library; by their novelist friend, Garret Fitzmaurice, and his wife, Grainne, whose marriage may — or may not — break up; and by Daisy’s parents who may — or may not — outlive the year.
Absent from the occasion but overshadowing it by her tragedy is Bridget, the mentally-ill daughter of Tom and Daisy, who has been institutionalized since she was a child. Towards the end of the play, Daisy raises her glass and makes a toast to ‘the Necessary Uncertainty’ and so suggests one answer to the demand of the play’s title. Only when we accept that uncertainty is at the very heart of living, she says, can we then stagger on.