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.
Home places: Irish drama since 1990
Clare Wallace and OndPej PilnM
To appraise Irishtheatre 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 Irishtheatre companies and other commercial bodies. Since 1990 critical interest in Irishtheatre 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 Irishtheatre
Foregrounding the body and performance in plays by Gina Moxley, Emma Donoghue and Marina Carr
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 Irishtheatre have highlighted the privileging, until very recently, of the verbal and literary over the physical and
Representations of Irish political leaders in the ‘Haughey’ plays of Carr, Barry and Breen
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 Irishtheatre in 2002 and 2003.
That tax-free status which was Haughey’s legacy to the writers of