On the night that a young couple, Sean and Anna, move into a small terraced house built seventy years before, they are visited by a well-wisher bearing a bottle of wine who is Rosie Bright, one of two sisters who grew up in that house decades before. The story that she tells them (and which also unfolds around them through a second ghostly set of characters whom they cannot see and who cannot see them) is one of tragedy as Rosie recounts how her beloved elder sister died of TB. But it is also a story of hope in that it feels as if the child which Anna is carrying will finally fill the void left in the house and will be the child whom Rosie and April once dreamed about holding when they were girls, unaware of what the future holds. It is a play about the past letting go of a house and the future taking possession of it.April Bright was published in a single volume with another Bolger play, Blinded by the Light by Nick Hern Books in the UK and New Island in Ireland. It is now hard to find, however requests from professional or amateur companies for a reading copy of the script may be made to this website. It was translated into French by Emile Jean Dumay and published by L’Harmattan as Ombre et lumiere d’Avril. Applications for any performance, whether by amateur or professional companies, must be made before rehearsals begin. Absolutely no performance may be given unless a license has been obtained.
"Less a haunting than an evocation, Bolger's play explores the ordinary lives of both families - one marked by tragedy and the other by joy - as they struggle to find love and hope in sickness and in health, in birth and in death... April Bright is haunted by sorrow. Sometimes love and tenderness and sometimes fear and anxiety gleam beneath, but the memories are always cathartic. In this exploration of sorrow - both imprisoning and liberating - Bolger infuses the pain-wracked lives of two families living in the same house fifty years apart with a deeply effective lyricism, and offers a striking vision of personal reconciliation with the past and the present." - Sunday Tribune
"A shining example of threatre, April Bright is a thought-provoking and exciting play which should entertain and leave a lasting impression. The interchanging of times and personalities is always imaginative and at times stunning." - Sunday Express
"Bolger graphically depicts and condemns the ignorant socio-medical hierarchy of the 1940s, when children as well as adults coughed their way to bloody and painful death in a world that sanctimoniously ignored advances in medicine and perscribed instead incantations to a deaf and merciless god, while handing a leper's bell to every stricken family." - Sunday Independent
"A very rewarding, heart-wrenching and heart-warming tale of life in Dublin city. Recommended." - Irish Independent
"An engrossing work... Bolger's skillful execution of both stories is an impressive feat." - Evening Herald
"A stunning evocation of family life in Dublin just after the war... this is a poignant play with much sadness and grief. But it is also full of hope and love. An excellent night's viewing - don't miss it." - The Cork Examiner
ISBN NO: 1874597596
CURRENT PUB DETAILS: The text was published in a book of two plays called April Bright & Blinded by the Light by Nick Hern Books in association with New Island. Companies with problems obtaining a copy of the text may request a reading copy by e-mail. Applications for any performance, whether by amateur or professional companies, must be made before rehearsals begin. Absolutely no performance may be given unless a license has been obtained.