This book focuses on the drama and poetry published since 1990. It also reflects upon related forms of creative work in this period, including film and the visual and performing arts. The book discusses some of the most topical issues which have emerged in Irish theatre since 1990. It traces the significance of the home in the poetry of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Vona Groarke. The book also focuses on the reconfigurations of identity, and the complex intersections of nationality, gender and race in contemporary Ireland. It shows how Roddy Doyle's return to the repressed gives articulation to those left behind by globalisation. The book then examines the ways in which post-Agreement Northern fiction negotiates its bitter legacies. It also examines how the activity of creating art in a time of violence brings about an anxiety regarding the artist's role, and how it calls into question the ability to re-present atrocity. The book further explores the consideration of politics and ethics in Irish drama since 1990. It talks about the swirling abundance of themes and trends in contemporary Irish fiction and autobiography. The book shows that writing in the Irish Republic and in the North has begun to accommodate an increasing diversity of voices which address themselves not only to issues preoccupying their local audiences, but also to wider geopolitical concerns.
9780719075636_4_003.qxd 16/2/09 9:24 AM Page 43 3 Home places: Irish drama since 1990 Clare Wallace and OndPej PilnM To appraise Irish theatre of the recent past is an ominous task; to attempt to predict what might be remembered in the future a treacherous one. From 1990 to mid-2006 the Irish Playography database lists 842 plays, devised pieces and adaptations produced in Ireland by Irish theatre companies and other commercial bodies. Since 1990 critical interest in Irish theatre has grown rapidly, spurred on in part by the Abbey Theatre centenary in 2004
, Kazem Shahryari (an Iranian-born, Paris-based director), and French translator Emile-Jean Dumay, who had introduced Shahryari to Bolger’s work. Taken together, these plays by writers of different generations, genders, geographical origins and aesthetic sensibilities amount to a series of interventions aimed at bringing to the consciousness of Irish and international audiences the plight of those many immigrants and refugees seeking a new life in Ireland. They bear out Jason King’s contention that ‘more than any other literary or performing art form, the Irish theatre
the body is a sign of both social positionality and cultural experience associated with the symbolic. At the same time it also reflects individual desire that remains undefined by communal discourses and retains ties with the semiotic. Subjectivity is evoked in this kind of theatre as a process rather than a fixed entity, a site of rivalling forces that ultimately defy strict categorisations of the self. Critical accounts of the Irish theatre have highlighted the privileging, until very recently, of the verbal and literary over the physical and performative
enlightenment. But in the context of the tribunals and of the general aura of corruption and sleaze now associated with him the question emerges as to what extent Haughey has bought off the artists of Ireland; to what extent and degree the playwrights who have benefited – and they all have – are mired and implicated in the same financial double standards which the former Taoiseach promoted. This troubling question may well lie behind the emergence of Haughey on the stages of Irish theatre in 2002 and 2003. That tax-free status which was Haughey’s legacy to the writers of