Jack Boyle is out of work and determined to stay that way. He postures and drinks with his sidekick, Joxer, while his long-suffering wife, Juno, struggles to support their family and maintain their dilapidated tenement flat. Their son, Johnny, crippled from fighting in the revolution, cowers indoors to avoid the bitter new civil war while his sister, Mary, considers her options for the future. When a handsome visitor arrives with news of an inheritance, the family members begin to plan their new life, but their apparent salvation soon reveals itself to be the cause of their ruin. One of the great plays of the 20th century, Juno and the Paycock is a devastating portrait of wasted potential in a Dublin torn apart by the chaos of the Irish Civil War.
Premiering in 1924, just one year after Sean O'Casey's professional debut, Juno and the Paycock became the first play at the Abbey Theatre to run for more than one week. Its success allowed O'Casey to quit his road repair job and became a full-time writer at age 44. It has since become one of his most frequently performed plays and has been adapted several times, including into a 1930 film by Alfred Hitchcock and a 1959 Broadway musical titled Juno.