The Harvest Festival: Seed-Bed for Future Innovations

Main Article Content

Dr. Sandhya Tripathi


Sean O'Casey came in the limelight with his Dublin Trilogy of which the first play, named, The shadow of a gunman, was premiered at the Abbey in 1923.  But he had earlier written three plays- The Frost in the Flower (1917), The Harvest Festival (1918) and The Crimson in the Tricolor (1920)- which were rejected by the Abbey directorate. Of these the first and the last named above are still untraceable and it is "unlikely that either will ever be recovered now."1 However, Luckily the manuscript of The Harvest Festival was acquired by the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library in 1969 and was not available to scholars until 1978. Robert Patrick Murphy has said, "I have not been able to examine. The Harvest Festival. Lola L. Szladits, Curator of the Berg collection of the New York Public Library, considers the holograph a 'museum piece' and maintains an official policy of discouraging access by students."2 it was first published in America in 1978 and in Ireland and Britain in 19809.  It is logical, therefore, that no study on the play could be made until this time, though references to it do occur in a number of book- length studies on O'Casey's plays. But even these stray remarks on the play are made on the basis of what O'Casey himself has to say about it in his Innisfallen Fare thee Well,3 and not on that on any close reading of the text. It is pertinent to notice that even seventeen years after its publication the play is yet to be performed. During his life time O'Casey himself showed no interest in the play in his writings and correspondence; his venture to revise the play remained incomplete; only the first Act is partly revised John O'Riordan has regretted: "The dramatist himself in his meridian years never strove to promote it."4 Even the O'Casey Annual and Sean O'Casey's Review, two major journals aiming at promoting fresh studies and researches on the unexplored areas of O'Casey's writings, have shown singular neglect of this play. Perhaps, drawing a clue from the dramatist himself, some of the major O'Casey scholars in their studies have disparaged the play.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

How to Cite
Dr. Sandhya Tripathi. “The Harvest Festival: Seed-Bed for Future Innovations”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 4, no. 2, June 2019, pp. 55-63, doi:10.53032/tcl.2019.4.2.09.


Ronald Ayling, "Introduction," The Complete Plays of Sean O'Casey, vol. 5 (Macmillan, London, 1984). p ix.

Stubborn Vision: The Dramaturgy of Sean O'Casey, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Virginia, 1971, p. 49.

Autobiographies, vol. 2 (Pan Books Ltd. London, 1980), p. 96 DOI:

A Guide to O'Casey's Plays (Macmillan, London, 1984), p. 3

Irish University Review, x (Spring 1980), pp. 25-40

O'Casey. The Dramatics (Colin Smythe, Buckinghumshire, 1985), p. 7


The Experiments of Sean O'Casey (Macmillan, London, 1960), p. 9

See Sean O'Casey, The Green Crow (W.H. Allen, London, 1957), p. 83

"Propaganda and Art in O'Casey's Earliest Play." Insh Literary Review, x (1980), p. 26

The Complete Plays of Sean O'Casey, vol. 5 (Macmillan, London, 1984), p. 420

Ibid, pp. 424-25.

O'Casey. The Dramatist, p. 13

The Complete Plays of O'Casey, vol. 5 p. 436

Ibid. p. 437

Ibid, pp. 445-46

Ibid, p. 449

The Seeds for Future Harvest," p. 33

Kosok, op. cit, p. 11

Seeds for Future Harvest," p. 35

The Green Crow, p. 83