THE STORY: Set in rural Ireland in 1962, LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY takes us into the burlesque world of the boxing booth of Delaney's Travelling Roadshow, affectionately known as "The Academy". We dip down the shadowy, ropey avenues to the sound of the churning calliope, where we encounter the play's cast of dangerous characters: Theo, the charismatic, jealous, and violent ringmaster; his Carmen-esque lover, Lily; Peadas, Theo’s old, tired and not-so-trusted sidekick; the vain and boastful prize-fighter Dean; and the limping, Adonis-like Junior. Into this world comes Emer, a wounded waif of a girl who has come in search of her long-lost father. Her presence and the arrival of a professional boxer threaten to upset the already shaky equilibrium.
"Wry, humane, questing, elegiac—unmissable …" —Times (London). "Of epic significance…" —The Irish Times (Ireland). "A knockout piece of writing…reeking of sweat and canvas…" —Mail on Sunday (London). "Creates character studies as if for a group portrait in oils, or a sepia-tinted canvas…" —Guardian (London).