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John Hurt

TV: The Playboy of the Western World

+ intro by Sinéad Cusack

A young man scandalises and delights a close-knit rural Irish community.

Image from TV: The Playboy of the Western World

Stage 2. BBC 1974
Dir Alan Gibson
With John Hurt, Sinéad Cusack, Pauline Delaney, Joe Lynch
120min

A fascinating surviving example of Hurt’s early work for TV. Sticking closely to the original stage play by John Millington Synge, a fresh-faced Hurt turns in a lively and endearing performance as Christy Mahon, the opportunistic ‘playboy’ of the title, who scandalises and delights a close-knit rural Irish community in equal measure. Under Gibson’s unfussy direction, Synge’s brilliant dialogue and rich characterisations are allowed to flourish.


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