The Weir depicts an evening at a small bar located on a farm in rural Ireland where the proprietor, three other local men, and a woman new to the area meet, drink, and tell stories. The banter consists of friendly local talk and gossip that is uneventful in itself, but overall reveals the characters’ isolation and the figurative ghosts that haunt them.
The play opens as Jack, a customer clearly familiar with the bar, comes in and, in the absence of the proprietor, helps himself to a drink. Brendan then enters carrying peat for the fire to warm them on the windy and chilly night, and they chat about their day. The talk is familiar and friendly, about drinking, the weather, whether Brendan will give in to his sisters’ pressure to sell some of the farmland, Jack’s luck at betting on the horses, and to gossip about Finbar. Jack has heard that Finbar sold the Nealon house, which had sat empty for several years, to a young woman from Dublin, and that he would bring her by the bar that night to meet everyone. Jack especially expresses disapproval of Finbar’s showing the woman around. He feels Finbar will make them, two single men, look desperate by comparison. Though their language is full of profanity, it is not aggressive, and even suggests a certain decorum: A married man should not be going around with another woman. Rather, they are two single men to whom the mention of a young woman new to town is particularly interesting.
Jim enters and talks of driving his elderly mother to visit her sister, and he and Jack talk about work they will do the next day. The talk again turns to Finbar and the woman, identified by Jim as nice looking. They speculate about the nature of that relationship, whether Brendan would sell or rent the land for tourists’ caravans, and the beginning of the...
(The entire section is 743 words.)