Reel 1. By Lady Gregory. The Abbey Theatre Players of Dublin. "Across the wide Atlantic, television takes you over to the shores of Ireland, the Aran Islands, the coast of County Clare..." Moving aerial shots of the landscape of Ireland - voiceover talks of the hard toil of the peasant farmers. Moving aerial shot of lake amongst mountains - narrator mentions trout that can be found in Irish lakes and the salmon in the rivers. Lyrical voiceover - "a land of piety and simple faith..." C/U of a statue of Christ holding a lamb - pan across to show the landscape. Various landscape shots. Narrator talks of the sea and of its yield of wrack which is ploughed into the fields in the traditional way. L/S of a man using a primitive plough. Shots of Dublin - O'Connell St, Four Courts. Buses cross the O'Connell bridge. Traffic, cyclists, pedestrians travel through the city. L/S of Abbey Theatre. Narrator says: "Now we present for the first time on television The Abbey Theatre Players in their stage version of Lady Gregory's one act play "The Workhouse Ward."
Closer view of the sign naming theatre. L/S of a landscape. L/S of the waves breaking on shore. M/S of traditional thatched cottage with donkey and cart outside. Closer view with donkey in foreground as a woman opens the door - she is a lonely widow grown weary of living alone. She wears a long skirt and large shawl. She puts belongings in the cart and takes reins. Narrator recounts how her dead husband didn't touch a drop of drink but was "very severe on the tobacco". The Widow Donohoe gets into cart and rides off. Narrator states that the Widow was a fine respectable woman but her brother was in the workhouse at Cloom (sp?). The widow rides off and along the beach to get her brother. Shots of widow riding along by the sea. Widow rides past houses until she arrives at workhouse. She lifts her bundle from the cart and looks through gates of the workhouse. Shot of her from behind then a reverse angle shot of her looking through the railings of the gates. She pushes the gate open and walks to the door. C/U of her knocking on the door. She looks around. Eerie voices on the soundtrack. We hear the widow's thoughts as her voice says that it is no credit to her that her brother is in the workhouse. Tilt up to window covered with climbing plant. Int. workhouse. Tilt from window to show 2 elderly men lying in bed reading. One smokes pipe, the other sighs and lowers his book, looking at his companion.