Act 2 is set two days after the first. It is once again in the apartment but it is now full of furniture, huge vases with artificial flowers, paper chains and even pictures.
Boyle is smoking a pipe whilst sitting on the sofa , upon hearing Joxer, he jumps up and grabs some papers.
Joxer enters and with the money from Mrs. Madigan (the money coming from selling a table and a couple of blankets).
They mention Father Farrell (the priest who had arranged a job for Boyle in Act I and resulted in Boyle moaning about the clergy).
Boyle defends him and changes his mind on what he said before. The duo complain about Bentham (as he’s becoming a lawyer instead of a teacher). Jerry,Joxer and Mary’s two suitors exit.
Johnny enters with Juno and Mary arriving with a gramophone. Juno is worried that they are accumulating high levels of debt.
She questions Johnny if he has looked at the gramophone, but he hasn’t. He has been sleeping at multiple houses each night and is unable to get any rest.
Bentham enters and Juno makes him comfortable. He is engaged to Mary. Boyle states that Consols (a type of government security) are down by a half percent, which explains the negative state of chaos Ireland is in.
Juno asks for an explanation, only for Boyle to responds that it’s no use explaining such a thing to women.
Upon Mary’s entry, Bentham gives her a compliment, and the conversation shifts to religion. Juno moans that religion isn’t followed in the world.
Bentham tells all his own belief system, (Theosophism) which is based on the eastern Vedas.
Boyle attempts to join in , however he doesn’t know anything about what Bentham is talking about.
They discuss the supernatural and ghosts, where Bentham attempts to justify a scientific explanation for their existence. Johnny suddenly appears upset and runs off into the room on the left; moments later a scream is heard.
Johnny returns, trembling. He says he’s seen the ghost of Robbie Tancred (the young man who had been shot) kneeling in front of the statue.
Juno calms him down and Johnny asks her to check if the candle is still burning in front of the statue. Boyle, Mary and Juno are all cautious of entering the room, but Bentham goes in and reassures him that it is still burning.
There’s a knock at the door with Joxer and their neighbour Mrs. Madigan entering. IMrs. Madigan drinks whiskey, whilst Boyle calls for karaoke. Mary and Juno oblige, followed by Mrs. Madigan and Joxer, who keep forgetting the words.
Johnny and Boyle ask for the gramophone instead. With Mrs Tancred then passing by, accompanied by several neighbours. They mourn the passing of her son.
Juno tells the story to Bentham, noting that he and Johnny used to be best friends ; Johnny denies being his friend.
Juno feels bad for disturbing the funeral procession with song. Boyle claims that its’s the government’s business, not theirs, but Juno disagrees.
She claims that Mrs. Tancred deserved her fate for allowing the Die-hards into the tenement however. With Johnny irritably asking them to stop talking of such things, which results in Mary and Bentham going for a walk.
Boyle recites a humorous poem he wrote, then puts on the gramophone. The door opens and Needle Nugent (a tailor) enters. He complains that the family are blasting music whilst the funeral is in procession.
Mrs. Madigan disagrees and states that he doesn’t look particularly grief-striken himself and accuses him of supporting both the Republicans and the Free Staters.
Noises outside distract all apart from Johnny who refuses to look. Part of the crowd is singing, and the observers comment on the funeral procession.
All go downstairs for a better look apart from Johnny once again.
Johnny now alone, with the ‘Mobiliser’ (an officer charged with calling soldiers to action) .
He enters and tells Johnny he has to attend a Battalion Staff meeting in two nights time. The staff question if he may know something about how Robbie Tancred was found. Johnny denies this and he refuses to go.
Juno and The Paycock
Juno and the Paycock tells the story of the Boyle family in the grim slums of Dublin in the early 1920s. Juno, the mother of the family (and the only member who works), desperately tries to hold her family together in the face of adversity and misfortune. However her husband, Jack Boyle, would rather spend his time drinking with his persuasive pal, Joxer, than try to look for work and help the family.
He learns about potential inheritance only for it to get taken away, without his family knowing.