Stephen D and the tree of life

In this month of Bloomsday celebrations, we recall Stephen D by Hugh Leonard which was adapted from Joyce’s A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. The play is set in Ireland at the end of the 19th century. It traces Stephen’s development from childhood through to his inevitable exile from his homeland. It reflects a world where family loyalties, patriotism and religion are bonds which must be broken to allow the artist to stand alone.

Look at Bronwen Casson’s set for this 1978 production. The set is dominated by a tree which represents the tree of life. It sets the tone for the entire play. Barry Mc Govern played Stephen D who is really Joyce given its autobiographical nature. Emmet Bergin is pictured in this scene with Barry Mc Govern.

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