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The Hostage

Acknowledged for its complex and controversial analytical viewpoints concerning the Anglo Irish relationship of the era and political ambitions of others, The Hostage is currently a popular addition to the GCE National Exam curriculum. Billed as a tragic comedy, the play was originally written in Irish Gaelic by author Brendan Behan before being translated into English using songs and Brecht style improvised dialogue to detract from the depth of tragedy.

Set in a Dublin house of ill repute owned by a former IRA Commandant, the story revolves round the events leading up to the hanging of a young IRA member in jail for the murder of an Ulster policeman. A British solider, Leslie Williams, is captured by the IRA by way of retaliation and held hostage at the brothel where love blossoms between him and Teresa, a young working girl in residence. The play ends with the hanging of the IRA prisoner and Williams death at the hand of the Gardai during a raid on the house.

Jeff’s role in the play which was performed at The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry during the early 1970’s was quite simply listed as The IRA Officer.