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The Mai


Marina Carr

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Set in the Irish midlands whose landscape becomes the arena in which Marina Carr’s Gothic epics expand, The Mai revolves around Millie’s harrowing narrative of the desperate loves of her mother, a woman faithful to a man incapable of loyalty. For years she has spent hours contemplating Owl Lake and waiting for his return. In a house of ‘proud, mad women’, she and her daughter, her sisters, her aunts and her grandmother, a Spanish beauty and sixty-year widow of a nine-fingered fisherman, weigh their second chances as the legend of the lake unfolds in Marina Carr’s exquisite and fearless tragedy.

Persuasive and provocative . . . discloses a rich poetic landscape, fused with gentle humour, lyrical romanticism and harboured rage.


. . . beautiful, poetic, melancholy, cruel and humane…The play is about absences: of men, of love, of care. It is also about recurrences: of need, of loss, of hope… full of grief, courage, humour and pain.
The Sunday Times

. . . a triumph . . . deeply affecting, wonderfully provocative and profoundly rewarding.

The Sunday Tribune

The events of two summers, the conversations and stories of seven women, the history of a family and their broken and cruel love is remembered, recounted and re-lived by The Mai’s eldest daughter who fuses past and present, history and lore, into a story as intimate, unique, disturbing, affectionate and recognisable as all family stories.

Jocelyn Clarke

Winner of the Dublin Theatre Festival Best New Irish Play Award in 1994, The Mai also enjoyed US success at the McCarter Theatre, Princeton.

Year Published: 1995
Details: 80pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 161 8

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