Exiles is James Joyce's only extant play and draws on the story of "The Dead", the final short story in Joyce's story collection Dubliners. The play was rejected by W. B. Yeats for production by the Abbey Theatre. Its first major London performance was in 1970, when Harold Pinter directed it at the Mermaid Theatre.
In terms of both its critical and popular reception, Exiles has proven the least successful of all of Joyce's published works. In making his case for the defence of the play, Padraic Colum conceded: "...critics have recorded their feeling that [Exiles] has not the enchantment of Portrait of the Artist nor the richness of [Ulysses]... They have noted that Exiles has the shape of an Ibsen play and have discounted it as being the derivative work of a young admirer of the great Scandinavian dramatist."
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