Nicholas Grene

Hibernicizing the Russians

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Ireland, Russia, theatre, Brian Friel, John McGahern, Tom Murphy

A perceived affinity between Ireland and Russia led to a proliferation of Irish plays derived from Russian sources in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, no less than fourteen between 1981 and 2011. This essay focuses on three of these: Brian Friel’s version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters (1981), John McGahern’s treatment of Tolstoy’s The Power of Darkness (1991), and Tom Murphy’s adaptation of Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin’s novel The Golovyovs as The Last Days of a Reluctant Tyrant (2009). The object of the analysis is to show the nature of the Irish-Russian association and how the playwrights refitted their Russian materials for a contemporary Irish context

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