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The Shaughraun

by Dion Boucicault

Set in County Sligo, Ireland, the play has healthy doses of comedy mixed in with the melodrama. There’s also action — fights! a jailbreak! — plenty of romance, a bit of singing and dancing, a dog, plots and counterplots, and characters pulled from the trunk of dramatic types: a dastardly villain, a strapping hero.

The story revolves around a wrongly accused convict, Robert Folliott, who has escaped from Australia and sneaked back into Ireland. While searching for Robert, the courtly English officer Molineux falls for his sister, Claire, who is about to be evicted from Robert’s estate, along with Robert’s lady love, Arte.  The agent of everyone’s distress is Kinchela, who holds the lease to the estate and, of course, has designs on Arte.