Let’s Talk Waterford: Within a Marble City


Mary Tobin is in search of something more than a life behind the counter in her father’s shop. When she takes matters into her own hands and meets Christopher Murray, Mary creates an opportunity to change her fortunes. Set on a Sunday in October at the riverside and in the parlour of the Tobin home, ‘Within a Marble City’ continues Teresa Deevy’s exploration of women characters who seek out alternative futures to oppose the constraining forces of 1940s Ireland. For the first time since its 1949 broadcast on Radio Éireann, South East Technological University Theatre Studies students present a rehearsed reading of Deevy’s one-act drama to a Waterford audience.

Teresa Deevy as born on 21 January 1894 in Waterford. A proud Waterfordian and a star. This Irish dramatist and writer was deaf from the age of 19. Best known for her works for theatre, she was also a short story writer, and writer for radio.

The themes that are most common with Deevy plays are those where options for women are severely limited in society, where women are trapped by domestic life, or must choose between a loveless marriage or a life of drudgery. She wrote about the women who struggle for survival and the lust over wanting a better life, how this privilege might seem attractive, until it is revealed that the “better life” comes with its set of struggles too.  She also explores the “individual’s negotiation between self and society where the personal is political.

Main image: Teresa Deevy, photographed by Olaf Deevy, courtesy of the Deevy Family.

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