Modernism, Drama, and the Audience for Irish Spectacle

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Cambridge University Press, 2007 - Drama - 257 pages
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Employing previously unexamined archival material, Paige Reynolds reconstructs five large-scale public events in early twentieth-century Irish culture: the riotous premiere of J. M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World in 1907; the events of Dublin Suffrage Week, including the Irish premiere of Ibsen's Rosmersholm, in 1913; the funeral processions of the playwright and Lord Mayor of Cork Terence MacSwiney in 1920; the sporting and arts competitions of the Tailteann Games in 1924; and the organized protests accompanying the premiere of Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars in 1926. The book provides attentive readings of the literature and theatre famously produced in tandem with these events, as well as introducing surprising texts that made valuable contributions to Irish national theatre. This detailed study revises pessimistic explanations of twentieth-century mass politics and crowd dynamics by introducing a more sympathetic account of national communities and national sentiment.

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1 The audiences for Irish modernism
2 Audience allegory the premiere of Synges The Playboy of the Western World
3 Subnational sentiment Dublin Suffrage Week and the uses of Ibsen
4 Modernist martyrdom scripting the death of Terence MacSwiney
5 Fictions in the Free State the 1924 Tailteann Games
Coda The irreducible audience Irish modernism and The Plough and the Stars riots

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Modern Irish Theatre
Mary Trotter
Limited preview - 2008
Modern Irish Theatre
Mary Trotter
Limited preview - 2008

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