The Late Arrival of the Incoming Aircraft (also The Quick)

A one act play by Hugh Leonard.

The action takes place in a lounge at Dublin Airport.  Josie Collins is desperate to flee her husband and the life he has made for her. “… I walked around the house.  I said: ‘This isn’t good enough.  I do things I don’t want to, I go to places I wouldn’t be found dead in, and I live the life of a dummy.  And he can’t stand me.’ ”   She’s booked on a plane to London but the late arrival of the incoming aircraft gives her husband the chance to catch up with her at the airport.  Can he – or student priest Father Campion – persuade her to return home?  “How cowardly it is to put one’s soul into the custody of others”.

Originally written as a television play for the BBC, it was first produced in 1965 with a cast that included Kevin McHugh, Joe Lynch, Nigel Lambert and Maureen Toal – the only member of the cast to appear in the stage version two years later…

The Late Arrival of the Incoming Aircraft was staged The Quick as part of a double bill of one act plays, The Quick and The Dead, at the Dublin Theatre Festival of 1967 – part of the programme is reproduced below.  It has subsequently been performed, and is published, as a one act play.

THE QUICK late arrival programme 67