“I need to know what I amount to. Debit or credit, that much I am owed.”
It’s reckoning time for Desmond Drumm, a scathingly witty and high-principled civil servant, living in small-town Ireland.
With six months to live, Drumm looks back on the triumphs and his tragedies of his life as he desperately tries to put his emotional accounts in order. The past and the present meet as Drumm, his simple and loving wife, and the one true love of his life, who rejected him for a lovable ne'er do well trace the evolution of his life. Isolated from the world by his "high principles," Drumm comes to realise that perhaps he has never given his life or the people in it, a chance...
The character of Desmond Drumm first appeared as a small part in Hugh Leonard's best known play Da which won the Tony Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award and the New York Critics' Circle Award and played for 697 performances on Broadway, and was later filmed, starring Martin Sheen and Barnard Hughes.
A Life won the Harvey Award for Best Play in Ireland and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. It premiered at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in 1979, starring Cyril Cusack, and was seen on Broadway and for a limited season at The Old Vic. It has been extensively revived in Ireland and the USA including recently in Chicago with John Mahoney as Drumm.
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