A Concise Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Drama by Mary Luckhurst, Nadine Holdsworth

By Mary Luckhurst, Nadine Holdsworth

Focusing on significant and rising playwrights, associations, and diverse theatre practices this Concise spouse examines the foremost concerns in British and Irish theatre when you consider that 1979. Written via top overseas students within the box, this assortment bargains new methods of brooding about the social, political, and cultural contexts during which particular elements of British and Irish theatre have emerged and explores the connection among those contexts and the works produced. It investigates why specific matters and practices have emerged as major within the theatre of this period.

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As Hugh recounts the misadventure, he and Jimmy Jack left jauntily, imagining themselves as ‘heroic’ (67). But after marching for 23 miles, they felt themselves growing ‘homesick for Athens, just like Ulysses’, and returned home, heeding the call of what Hugh describes as ‘the need for our own’ (67). In a manner reminiscent of the drama of Sean O’Casey, Friel pits abstract ‘heroics’ against the home and hearth, the infant lying in wait in the cradle, or what Hugh calls ‘older, quieter things’ (67).

Is it just the stage’s love of trials, the chance to play forensic formality against the massacres described? Or is the stage’s self-denial an attempt to honour the legal fiction that only in court can the truth be established? (1996: 11) While it is possible to feel a certain degree of sympathy for Lubbock’s position, it is important to be aware that what is lost through the work’s lack of explicit theatricality is compensated for by the play’s wider remit with regard to Kent’s desire to put actual witness testimonies on stage.

1965), was written just four years before Murphy wrote A Crucial Week in the Life of a Grocer’s Assistant; both plays concern a young man’s struggle to decide whether to leave an economically and emotionally stultifying, but still captivating, Ireland. Yet, although they have intersected thematically more than once, the two playwrights are generally contrasted rather than compared, with Friel commonly deemed the lyrical mourner of a vanishing pastoralism and Murphy described as the angrier voice of mid-century Ireland, the ‘dramatist-as-Irish-thug’ (as Fintan O’Toole describes Murphy’s alleged persona) – whom Kenneth Tynan once said he ‘would hate to meet in a dark theatre’ (O’Toole 1987: 9).

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