The Methuen Drama Anthology of Irish Plays: Hostage; Bailegangaire; Belle of the Belfast City; Steward of Christendom; Cripple of Inishmaan

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Patrick Lonergan
Bloomsbury Academic, 2008 - Drama - 421 pages

Introduced by Patrick Lonergan, The Methuen Drama Anthology of Irish Plays brings together five major works from the Irish dramatic canon of the last sixty years in one outstanding collection.

Behan's The Hostage, depicting the capture and death
of a British soldier by the IRA, was first produced by Joan
Littlewood's Theatre Workshop in 1958 and was declared 'a masterpiece' by The Times. Murphy's Bailegangaire (1985)
portrays a senile old woman's recitation of an epic tale to her two
granddaughters who struggle to free themselves from her and exorcise
the past. Reid's The Belle of the Belfast City, winner of the George Devine Award in 1986,
examines the tensions present in three generations of women in a
Belfast-Protestant family during the week of an anti-Anglo-Irish rally.
Sebastian Barry's The Steward of Christendom won the London Critics' Circle Award for Best Play 1995 and was heralded by the Guardian as 'an authentic masterpiece'. McDonagh's 1996 play The Cripple of Inishmaan is a strange comic tale in the great tradition of Irish storytelling. McDonagh was awarded the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright.

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About the author (2008)

Brendan Behan (1923-64) found fame and notoriety with his work and
Republican sympathies. Christina Reid, from Belfast, came to prominence
in the 1980s. Tom Murphy's many plays are collected into 5 volumes by
Methuen Drama; his most recent play opened in Dublin in 2006. Martin
McDonagh's first play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, was the 1996 winner of the George Devine Award and the Evening Standard
Award for Most Promising Newcomer. Sebastian Barry is a poet, dramatist
and novelist. Patrick Lonergan is professor of English at the National
University of Ireland.

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