Richards Shaun

From the Stage of the Abbey to the Streets of the Monto: The Development of "Immersive" Theatre in Ireland

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: naturalism/realism, modernization, immersive theatre

In a letter to Seamus Deane in 1974 Brian Friel said that he was “sick of the naturalistic styleµ and his Philadalphia, Here I Come! (1964) and Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) went some way to breaking down the naturalist/ realist set while still, however, maintaining the distinct spatial division between on-stage action and audience. This article proposes to examine the progressive interrogations and fragmentations of the naturalist/realist ranging from Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996) to Mark O’Holloran’s Trade (2011). It closes with an account of the work of Louise Lowe and ANU, particularly The Boys of Foley Street (2012) which was part of their “Monto Cycle,µ and also references Vardo (2014) and the more recent The Lost O’Casey (2018). The production of this “immersiveµ theatre company will be read through a lens informed by the Situationist-influenced work of Jacques Rancière and the study of performance art by Erika Fischer- Lichte.

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