Philadelphia, Here I Come! centers on a young Irishman, Gar O’Donnell, on the eve of his departure for Philadelphia. Gar is presented to us as two individual characters, played by two different actors, representing his Public and Private selves.
Public Gar is the man who is seen and who interacts with the other characters in the play. Private Gar represents Gar’s inner thoughts and feelings and he can interact only with Public Gar.
As the evening unfolds and through a series of flashbacks, memories and present action, we learn of his conflicting feelings about leaving Ballybeg, which represents for him both that which he detests and that which he loves.
Private Gareth O’Donnell (Gar)
Jonathan Arun, Eamon Kelly, Orla Brady, Ruairi Conaghan, Aiden Dooley, George Heslin, Pauline Delany
King’s Head; Wyndam’s Theatre
Completed play. Previews at King’s Head from 26 May 1992, opened at the King’s Head on 4 June 1992, then transferred to the Wyndham, opening 28 July 1992