'Clearing the Ground': The Field Day Theatre Company and the Construction of Irish Identities
Author: Carmen Szabo
Date Of Publication: May 2007
“Clearing the Ground”–The Field Day Theatre Company and the Construction of Irish Identities studies the Field Day Theatre Company, with special focus on the plays that they put on stage between 1980 and 1995; it attempts to dissect their policy and observe the way in which this policy influences the discourse of the theatrical productions. Was Field Day simply the “cultural wing” of Sinn Fein and the IRA, or did they try to give voice to a new critical discourse, challenging the traditional frames of representation? This book focuses on a thorough analysis of the way in which Field Day applied the concepts of postcolonial discourse to their own needs of creating a foundation for the ideological manifesto of the company. This study is a critique of the successes and failures of a theatre company that, in a period of political and cultural crisis, engaged in innovative ways of discussing the sensitive issues of identity, memory and history in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Carmen Szabó completed her PhD in Theatre Studies at University College Dublin in 2005 with a thesis focusing on a critique of issues of postcolonialism and identity in contemporary Irish theatre. Her present research interests concentrate on experimental and community theatre in Northern Ireland and their role in reconciliation and establishing a lasting environment of multiculturality. She has published articles on Irish theatre and was involved in a project funded by the European Council for Culture, translating Irish plays into Romanian. She is currently working on a book entitled “Artscapes of Meaning” – Performing Identities in Northern Ireland.
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From Border States in the Work of Tom Mac Intyre: A Paleo-Postmodern Perspective
''Catriona Ryan has more than achieved what she set out to do.She has emphatically presented Tom Mac Intyre as a writer with a distinctive voice who not only provides a crucial link in the chain that goes back through Kavanagh to Yeats, but as a bridging figure, a transgressive author whose reflections on the Irish literary scene, and on writing more generally, have much to tell us about the ways in which constrictive critical currents can cut off living literary streams. It is clear from Catriona Ryan's painstaking excavation that Mac Intyre has been wrongly neglected. Her thoughtful and perceptive critical intervention will remedy that wrong.''
- Willy Maley, Litteraria Pragensia, 22:44 (2013), 131-134, p. 134.
“This is a critically independent piece of work that very much constructs and defines its own project, and maps an intellectual terrain of its own. It is an impressively original and also critically self-assured piece. It is marked by a sense of intellectual brio and also by the excitement of discovery.”
– Dr Steven Vine, Swansea University
“Since Tom Mac Intyre is a writer and dramatist who has received very little critical attention, this work intervenes in an under-researched area and offers an innovative and valuable extension of the frontier of knowledge in the field of Irish literary and dramatic studies.”
– Dr Aidan Arrowsmith, Manchester Metropolitan University