Special Collections & Archives



Dion Boucicault Collections

The Shaughraun

Accession code: UKC/CALB/SHAUG

Considered the best of the playwright's Irish dramas, the play concerns a Fenian under the sentence of death who is saved from the British and a rival by the title character, originally played by Boucicault himself. First performed at Wallack's Theatre, New York, November 14, 1874.

Characters in the play

Shaughraun music cover
  • Claire Ffolliott
  • Mrs. O'Kelly
  • Captain Molineux
  • Arte O'Neill
  • Corry Kinchela
  • Father Dolan
  • Harvey Duff
  • Robert Ffolliott
  • Moya Dolan
  • Conn "The Shaughraun"
  • Sergeant Jones
  • Biddy Madigan
  • Nancy Malone
  • Sullivan
  • Reilly
  • Managan
  • Doyle
  • Donovan
  • Tatters (the dog)


Brother and sister Robert and Claire Ffolliott are the last remnants of their once-rich family in 1867 Suil-a-beg in County Sligo. At the death of their parents, the local cleric Father Dolan and local squire Corry Kinchela are entrusted with the futures of the Ffolliotts and their estates. Kinchela, however, has designs of the estate and on Robert's fiancée Arte O'Neal and sets up Robert to be arrested as a Fenian.

His scheme is successful in that he gets Robert exiled to Australia, but he still must oust Claire and Arte from the estate and obtain Arte's hand in marriage. But, Robert's boyhood friend Conn the Shaughraun has a plan of his own. He wants to bring Robert back from exile and this is something that Kinchela and his cronies will battle to prevent. Into this mess walks Captain Molineux, an English officer. Despite his inbred bafflement at the ways and words of the Irish, Molineux finds himself enamoured of Claire.

Robert, a political prisoner, escapes from jail, and is re-captured by Molineaux. Conn (the Shaughraun) succeeds in breaking Robert out of prison. He has to pretend to be dead when Kinchela and his henchmen think they have shot him, and he must keep up the charade during the big Irish wake his mother has prepared for him. Robert is found to be a free man even though he has escaped from prison. The girls are kidnapped by Kinchela and through roundabout circumstances the Shaughraun saves them at the last minute.

Productions of The Shaughraun

Production 1
Wallack's Theatre , Broadway and Thirteenth Street, New York, New York, United States

Production 2
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Catherine Street, Westminster, London, England
4.9.1875 - 18.12.1875

Production 3
Adelphi Theatre, Strand, Westminster, London, England
27.12.1875 - 3.1876

Production 4
Theatre Royal , George Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Production 5
University Theatre, Devas Street, Manchester, Lancashire, England

Production 6
Abbey Theatre, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin, Leinster, Eire

Production 7
Aldwych Theatre, Aldwych, Westminster, London, England
20.5.1968 - 1.6.1968

Production 8
Playhouse Theatre, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
9.7.1968 - 27.7.1968

Production 9
Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft South, Bolton, Greater Manchester, England
12.8.1969 - 6.9.1969

Production 10
Little Theatre, University of Cape Town, Orange Street, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Production 11
Olivier Theatre, South Bank, London, England

Production 12
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindley Street, Edinburgh, West Lothian, Scotland
10.3.2000 - 1.4.2000

Production 13
Abbey Theatre, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin, Leinster, Eire

Production 14
Albery Theatre, St. Martin's Lane, Strand, Westminster, London, England
8.6.2005 - 30.7.2005

Related Material

Printed edition
0597094, 0590560
Samuel French's edition, Pettingell Collection

Printed edition
0590365, 0590174, 0590561
Dick's edition, Pettingell Collection

version used by Melville family, Melville Collection

B and W photograph
UKC/MEL/PUBMA/77 : 0600278
Melville Collection

B and W photograph
UKC/MEL/PHO/A II : 576006
Melville Collection

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Last Updated: 08/03/2018