Pirandellos consists of two plays — Six Characters in Search of an Author and Henry IV
Although his plays have included Irish subjects Thomas Kilroy is essentially a European author. More than any playwright from Ireland he is in tune and touch with the matter and manner of a wider tradition.
Following his revitalizations of Chekhov (The Seagull) and Ibsen (Ghosts) it is fitting that he takes on the theatrical art of Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) for the central themes of the Italian’s work – the anatomy of personality, the elusiveness of reality, the crush of private self when it collides with public expectation — are seams he has mined for half a century. In Pirandellos one of these groundbreaking plays sees a group of characters visit a theatre during rehearsals causing real life and illusion to mix inextricably. In the other a modern man assumes the identity of a German emperor.
Only a writer of Thomas Kilroy’s intellectual and imaginative range could so refresh the masterpieces of an author who received the Nobel Prize for his ‘bold and ingenious revival of drama and the stage’.
‘The fame of “Henry IV” can be measured in the number of translations and adaptations it has enjoyed. Off the top of my head I can think of recent versions by Tom Stoppard, Robert Brustein and Richard Nelson, to which, now add the accomplished Irish playwright Thomas Kilroy, whose “Henry” is having its world premiere at the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre.’ — Stage Review