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Cuishla Machree (a Hiberno-Irish term of endearment meaning “Pulse of my Heart”) is one of Dion Boucicault’s “minor” Irish plays. It is a reworking of his previous failed play, The Spae Wife, which is itself an adaptation of Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Guy Mannering. It was first staged in 1888, but failed in both Chicago and Boston. Boucicault acted the part of Andy Dolan, a rakish Irishman who supplied the play’s comic relief. The failure of Cuishla Machree left Boucicault destitute and at his lowest ebb creatively.
The prompt book available here contains extensive notes and alterations in Boucicault’s hand, and provides a unique look at the playwright’s constant willingness to change his artistic vision based on the response—or lack thereof—of the audience.
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