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Lady Spider


  • Playwright

    Donagh MacDonagh 

  • Synopsis

    Based on the tale of Deirdre from the Ulster Cycle without the lyricism of Synge or Yeats Deirdre plays. In this version Deirdre has now become the Lady Spider, the creature that consumes her mates, a Deirdre who, when Naoise is treacherously slain, is prepared to live so that she can suck the marrow from Conor's brittle bones. The action takes place in a forest in Ulster, near Armagh on an early spring morning, near the Court of King Conor MacNessa, among sandhills on the coast of Scotland on an Autumn afternoon and at Conor MacNessa's hunting lodge, near Dundalk.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female



  • Date of First Production

    15 September 1959

  • Producer

    Produced by Orion Productions In association with Dublin Theatre Festival

  • Original Venue

  • Venue Notes

    First presented at The Gas Company Theatre, Dunlaoghaire, Co. Dublin

Original Cast  
Fergus Martin Dempsey
Art Brendan Cauldwell
Deirdre Maureen Toal
Leabharcham Marie Conmee
Conor Ronnie Walsh
Ainnle Gerry Sullivan
Ardan Derek Young
Courtiers & Warriors Michael O'Rourke
Courtiers & Warriors Ruth O'Mara
Naoise Maurice Good
A Crier Patrick Gardiner
Courtiers & Warriors Gerry Kiernan
Trendorn Lorcan Gogan
Courtiers & Warriors Sheila O'Hagan
Courtiers & Warriors Maurice Lacey
Courtiers & Warriors Patrick Bradley
Courtiers & Warriors Tom Rafferty
Production Team  
Director Jim Fitzgerald
Settings by Robert Heade
Producer Phyllis Ryan
Stage Director Denis Hoey
Stage Manager Ruth O'Mara
Assistant Stage Manager Gerry Kiernan
Set Construction Sean Bolger
PR Dahna Davis



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