The Field
Overview
 
The Field is a play written by John B. Keane
John B. Keane
John Brendan Keane was an Irish playwright, novelist and essayist from Listowel, County Kerry.-Life and career:...

, first performed in 1965. It tells the story of the hardened farmer "Bull" McCabe and his love for the land he rents. The play debuted at Dublin's Olympia Theatre
Olympia Theatre, Dublin
The Olympia Theatre is a concert hall/theatre venue in Dublin, Ireland, located in Dame Street.-History:Built in 1879, it was originally called the "Star of Erin Music Hall". Two years later in 1881, it was renamed "Dan Lowrey's Music Hall" and was renamed again in 1889 to "Dan Lowrey's Palace of...

 in 1965, with Ray McAnally
Ray McAnally
Ray McAnally was an Irish actor famous for his performances in films such as The Mission, My Left Foot, and A Very British Coup.-Background:...

 as "The Bull" and Eamon Keane
Eamon Keane
Eamonn Keane was an Irish actor.Keane was born in Listowel, Co. Kerry and was a brother of the playwright, John B. Keane. He was a member of the Radio Éireann Players and appeared in many of the station's drama productions on both radio and television...

 as "The Bird" O'Donnell. The play was published in 1966 by Mercier Press. A new version with some changes was produced in 1987.

A film adaptation
The Field (film)
The Field is Jim Sheridan's 1990 film adaptation of John B. Keane's 1965 play of the same title.-Production:The Field starred Richard Harris as Bull McCabe, Sean Bean as Bull's son Tadhg, Brenda Fricker as Bull's wife Maggie, and John Hurt as Bird O'Donnell...

 was released in 1990, directed by Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan is an Irish film director. A six-time Academy Award nominee, Sheridan is perhaps best known for his films My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, Get Rich or Die Tryin and In America.-Life and career:...

 with Richard Harris
Richard Harris
Richard St John Harris was an Irish actor, singer-songwriter, theatrical producer, film director and writer....

 in the lead role.
The Field is set in a small country village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

 in southwest Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

.

Rugged individualist Bull McCabe (Harris) has spent many hard years of labour cultivating a small plot of rented land, nurturing it from barren rock into a fertile field.
Encyclopedia
The Field is a play written by John B. Keane
John B. Keane
John Brendan Keane was an Irish playwright, novelist and essayist from Listowel, County Kerry.-Life and career:...

, first performed in 1965. It tells the story of the hardened farmer "Bull" McCabe and his love for the land he rents. The play debuted at Dublin's Olympia Theatre
Olympia Theatre, Dublin
The Olympia Theatre is a concert hall/theatre venue in Dublin, Ireland, located in Dame Street.-History:Built in 1879, it was originally called the "Star of Erin Music Hall". Two years later in 1881, it was renamed "Dan Lowrey's Music Hall" and was renamed again in 1889 to "Dan Lowrey's Palace of...

 in 1965, with Ray McAnally
Ray McAnally
Ray McAnally was an Irish actor famous for his performances in films such as The Mission, My Left Foot, and A Very British Coup.-Background:...

 as "The Bull" and Eamon Keane
Eamon Keane
Eamonn Keane was an Irish actor.Keane was born in Listowel, Co. Kerry and was a brother of the playwright, John B. Keane. He was a member of the Radio Éireann Players and appeared in many of the station's drama productions on both radio and television...

 as "The Bird" O'Donnell. The play was published in 1966 by Mercier Press. A new version with some changes was produced in 1987.

A film adaptation
The Field (film)
The Field is Jim Sheridan's 1990 film adaptation of John B. Keane's 1965 play of the same title.-Production:The Field starred Richard Harris as Bull McCabe, Sean Bean as Bull's son Tadhg, Brenda Fricker as Bull's wife Maggie, and John Hurt as Bird O'Donnell...

 was released in 1990, directed by Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan is an Irish film director. A six-time Academy Award nominee, Sheridan is perhaps best known for his films My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, Get Rich or Die Tryin and In America.-Life and career:...

 with Richard Harris
Richard Harris
Richard St John Harris was an Irish actor, singer-songwriter, theatrical producer, film director and writer....

 in the lead role.

Plot

The Field is set in a small country village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

 in southwest Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

.

Rugged individualist Bull McCabe (Harris) has spent many hard years of labour cultivating a small plot of rented land, nurturing it from barren rock into a fertile field. He has always considered the land his own, and dreams of buying it; now it is being put up for auction
Auction
An auction is a process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder...

. The McCabes intimidate most of the townspeople out of bidding in the auction, to the chagrin of auctioneer Mick Flanagan, but Galwayman William Dee arrives from England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, where he has lived for many years, with his own plan for the field. An encounter between Dee and the McCabes ends in death and a cover-up.

Keane based the story on the 1959 murder of Moss Moore, a bachelor farmer living in Reamore, County Kerry
County Kerry
Kerry means the "people of Ciar" which was the name of the pre-Gaelic tribe who lived in part of the present county. The legendary founder of the tribe was Ciar, son of Fergus mac Róich. In Old Irish "Ciar" meant black or dark brown, and the word continues in use in modern Irish as an adjective...

. Dan Foley, a neighbour with whom Moore had a long-running dispute, was suspected of the murder, but the charges were denied by Foley's family.

Film version

Jim Sheridan directed a 1990 film version, also entitled The Field
The Field (film)
The Field is Jim Sheridan's 1990 film adaptation of John B. Keane's 1965 play of the same title.-Production:The Field starred Richard Harris as Bull McCabe, Sean Bean as Bull's son Tadhg, Brenda Fricker as Bull's wife Maggie, and John Hurt as Bird O'Donnell...

. Richard Harris received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the Bull.
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