Three Hand Reel - The Frying Pan & Eternal Triangle & The Bridal Night


Paul Avila Mayer from Frank O'Connor

Published by Dramatists Play Service

6 Male 3 Female

The Frying Pan ~ Had Bill Whitten stuck to his original plan he would have become a priest, but love intervened and he dropped out of the seminary to marry

Now he and his wife Una have several children, but for Bill the call of the priestly life has never waned, and the sense of guilt which dogs him has made him a cold and prudish man

He pours his energies into various committees and good works, often in concert with his good friend Father Fogarty, a young priest whose status and calling Bill can only admire and even envy

Father Fogarty, as it happens, is as warm and lively as Bill is cold and frustrated, and without either of them meaning for it to happen Una and the young priest soon find themselves in love. Yet for all the depth of the feeling they discover for each other, both know that nothing can or will come of it - except for a kiss, which both will cherish forever but never speak of again

Their parting is bittersweet, but softened by the knowledge that they will keep in their hearts the memory of one glorious instant when the truth was spoken, and both of them came truly alive for one precious, fleeting, moment (2M, 1W)

Eternal Triangle ~ Amid the crash of rifle fire, a Dublin doxie of indeterminate years takes refuge in a stalled tram car, and is befriended by the conductor, who is watching over his company's property

Trapped by the increasing violence outside, the two share his lunch and the dubious comfort of the tram floor, and as they huddle together for protection the years seem to roll away

He puts behind him the dreary marriage and dull routine which have become his life, and she recaptures the glow and freshness which were hers when she still an unspoiled and innocent girl. Together they discover the ardor and passion of young love - but with the dawn comes the harsh realization of what they truly are and cannot escape for long

Tenderness vanishes when she rebuffs his suggestion of future trysts and tells him the sordid truth about herself. Hurt and saddened he resolves to leave, going out of the tram car and into the lethal hail of bullets outside, while she laments the waste of war - and youth - and turns once again to the drab and demeaning business of her workday life (4M, 1W)

The Bridal Night ~ Life on the rocky coast of Ireland is often harsh and unrewarding, and for a poor lad like Denis, whose mind is less strong than his body, there is little to hope for in the year ahead

His chance meeting with Miss Regan, the young schoolteacher, is a rare and wonderful event, therefore, as she takes an interest in him and becomes his friend. Gradually his feeling for her deepens into love, but his passion is not returned, and when she resolves that it is better not for them to see each other anymore Denis' slim hold on reason snaps, and he descends into madness and violence

The neighbors come to help subdue him, and it is decided that he must be sent away. But the turmoil in Denis can only be calmed if Miss Regan will come to see him once more, and she finds the compassion to do this - sitting with him through the night, and giving him the peace of mind to face their parting in the morning

No one will ever know what transpired between them at last, but whatever happened was touched with human kindness and beauty, and brought a glimpse of happiness to a poor, benighted boy whose life will have little enough of the good things that others take for granted (4M, 2W)

"Laughter is heard during the evening" ~ NY Times

" honest, unembroidered and straightforward" ~ NY World Journal Tribune

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