Riders to the Sea

Other versions


At least two motion picture versions of the play have been made:

  • One of the earliest examples of Irish film in 1935 a 40-minute black-and-white movie directed by Brian Desmond Hurst with screenplay adaptation by Patrick Kirwan with Sara Allgood and, notably, Synge's bereaved fiancee Marie O'Neill. Hurst had been mentored in Hollywood by John Ford and Ruth Barton describes scenes in the film as "remarkably Fordian".
  • A 1987 47-minute colour movie directed and adapted by Ronan O'Leary with Geraldine Page.


The composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) made an almost verbatim setting of the play as an opera, using the same title (1927).

Bruce Montgomery (1927–2008) wrote a light opera, Spindrift (1963), that was based on Riders to the Sea.

German composer Eduard Pütz (1911–2000) also set the play as an opera, using the same title (1972).

American composer Marga Richter (born 1926) also set the play as a one-act opera, using the same title (1996).


Mary Anthony's piece titled Threnody

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