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The Selkie Wife

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An ancient Celtic myth explodes in the centre of a modern family in this strikingly original and beautifully written drama by Kelley Jo Burke. When Mary Hew gets a surprise visit from her old friend Gen, we learn that Mary has a secret that could threaten her life with her husband Cal and teenage daughter Brigit. And this is no ordinary secret – Mary is a ‘selkie’, a seal who sheds her skin to mate with a human male, then returns to the water with her offspring. But Mary, happy with Cal, made the decision to stay on land. And now, twenty years on, Gen has come to take her back into the water. Accompanying Gen is Dylan, her vital young seal lover in human form, whose animal attraction to Mary’s daughter Brigit is immediately evident. In a very short time, the ordinary world Mary has built is turned upside-down. There are moments of comedy throughout the play; but Burke’s themes are serious, and the questions her characters face go to the very essence of their lives. The Selkie Wife is a dramatic mediation about love and sex, freedom and oppression, about making choices and making concessions.

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