In Marina Carr’s second play at the Abbey Theatre, Olwen Fouere played The Mai, a 40 year old woman struggling to save her marriage. The play features four generations of women from the one family. Joan O’Hara played Grandmother Fraochlan, an opium-smoking woman who carts around a ten-foot oar at all times as a reminder of her dear husband.
Christopher Fitz-Simon noted “most of Marina Carr’s productions were at the Abbey. The sequence of The Mai (1994, directed by Brian Brady), Portia Coughlan (1996, directed by Garry Hynes) and By the Bog of Cats (1998, directed by Patrick Mason) is characterized by recklessly unhappy personal relationships in a newly evolved provincial society that is only one generation removed from peasant or itinerant culture; the language is scabrous, intensely local in idiom and syntax.”