After Easter

© By Anne Devlin

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Greta and her sister Helen move away from their Irish home and Catholic family to find a new life. In England Greta marries and has children and Helen becomes a highly paid commercial artist. Haunted and isolated after years of exile and cultural denial, Greta decides with Helen to revisit their parents and their sister Aoife in Ireland.
In addition to the three sisters there is also the mother Rose and her son Manus.

Greta: The soldiers came into the yard because I am meant to see these things because I am a tongue.
Helen: Oh now don’t start down that road Greta.
Manus: And what road is that Helen?
Helen: She thinks she’s a voice for the ancestral woes.
Aoife: And why not?
Helen: It was the Pleiades you saw not the Plough.
Great: Was it?
Helen: The whole of Ireland is not crying out to you - it’s yourself.

Extract courtesy of Anne Devlin

Anne Devlin wrote the following as a programme note for After Easter.

“After Easter is a quest play, begun by Greta, who, in leaving home and family in the north of Ireland, has turned away from everything that once could have been called her identity, including her religion. It is while traveling resolutely away from Easter 1916 and the traditional routes of that familiar dark story that Greta finds herself confronting the identity she so willfully excluded. In order to survive this crisis Greta allows the ghosts to call her home…

“Despite its title, which owes as much to Yeats Easter 1916 as George Steiner’s book After Babel, this is not a political play but a psychological play. It’s a portrait of a woman who reaches that point in her life when she will either grow or fade, when either she will live in her lesser personality or she will make that inner marriage which will allow her to enter the mainstream of her larger existence and hopefully swim.”

She says she was very much under the influence of Jung while writing this play.

Further Infomation


Stratford .The Other Place. 1993


1981 - 1994




First production RSC, Stratford, Dir; Michael Attenborough, 1993
Belfast Lyric Theatre, Dir Bill Alexander, November 1994


`The RSC picks a winner..full of laughter, pain and spiritual grace…thrilling..a beautifully acted production..` Charles Spencer Daily Telegraph
`A marvelous new, dense and poetic, beautifully written and very funny’ Observer
`A shining diamond of a piece..Devlin takes us with the most remarkable imagination to the country’s aching soul…` Daily Mail.
`The writing is sharp, subtle, brutal and funny…the acting blazes with commitment and Michael Attenborough’s direction is full of humour and high precision inner violence. Terrific’ Sunday Times
`Very strong, very funny, very impressive…well worth going to see.’ BBC Radio Kaleidoscope.