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The Moon in the Yellow River

A Play in Three Acts, by E.W. Tocher


  • Playwright

    Denis Johnston 

  • Author Notes

    Credited as E.W. Tocher

  • Setting

    The action of the play takes place in an old Fort, now used as a dwelling-house, near the mouth of a river in Ireland.

  • Synopsis

    The play is set in 1927 during an attempt by the IRA to destroy a Free State government power plant. The attack fails; nevertheless the plant is then blown up by accident. Along the way the play deals with nation-building, terrorism, war crimes, the rape of the environment, industrialism and globalization, while at the same time it is a deeply personal story of loss, denial and reconciliation. The title is from Ezra Pound, about a poet grasping at illusory ideals. As the play closes the action turns back from the political to the personal, as the central character discovers a resolution to his nihilism, and the idea that in man’s unhappiness could lie his greatness.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female



Original Cast  
Willie Udolphus Wright
Capt. Potts Michael J. Dolan
Aunt Columba Eileen Crowe
Tausch Fred Johnson
Agnes Maureen Delaney
Dobelle F J McCormick
Darrell Blake Denis O'Dea
George Arthur Shields
Blanaid Shelah Richards
Commandant Lanagan P.J. Carolan
Production Team  
Musical Director Dr. J.F. Larchet
Produced by Lennox Robinson
Assistant Producer Arthur Shields



  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    Micheal Johnston

  • Address

    20 Burdett Avenue, Sandycove
    Co. Dublin
    Republic of Ireland


The information for this entry was taken from the original production programme and from press cuttings of the time.