Christ Deliver Us, inspired by Spring Awakening (published in 1891 and first performed in 1906) transposes Frank Wedekind’s notorious ‘children’s tragedy’ from fin-de-siècle Germany to the equally repressive atmosphere of Ireland immediately after World War II.
In and around a Catholic Diocesan College and an Industrial School for ‘difficult’ boys Thomas Kilroy explores and exposes the uncertainties and frustrations of sexual blossoming, the pressures exerted by parents and teachers – in particular ordained teachers – who forfeit authority for power with its legacy of systematic bullying. As its characters respond to ‘whispers of hope and desires’ and an unquenchable wish to be free, this scathing drama, while hinting at the redeeming possibilities of love, asserts the extortionate price put on childhood by both Church and State.
Like his friend Brian Friel, Thomas Kilroy has been a keystone of Irish theatre for more than half-a-century. He is also one of its most inventive, influential and valued artists.