Staging the new Irish : interculturalism and the future of the post-Celtic Tiger Irish theatre
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Charlotte McIvor (2011) 'Staging the new Irish : interculturalism and the future of the post-Celtic Tiger Irish theatre'. Modern Drama, .
In this article, I argue that the work of minority-ethnic artists reframes the parameters of Irish national belonging and tests the limits of “interculturalism” as official discourse in the post–Celtic Tiger nation. I engage with the search for new critical paradigms to illuminate how emergent discourses of Irish interculturalism assist in understanding and locating the work of minority-ethnic theatre artists in a critical discourse that has had difficulty accommodating their presence. To this end, I examine two recent new productions of J.M. Synge's Playboy of the Western World (by Pan Pan Theatre and by Bisi Adigun and Roddy Doyle at the Abbey Theatre) that directly engage the Irish theatre canon as a site of entry into Irish national belonging for minority-ethnic communities. I then juxtapose these Playboys with new works by Romanian and Irish-Indian playwrights Gianina Cărbunariu and Ursula Rani Sarma that stretch the limits of what can be understood as “Irish” drama. The contingent and overlapping networks of these artists’ influences, journeys, and obstacles map the multiple possibilities of Irish theatrical interculturalisms that are already in motion as well as gesturing towards the challenges faced by the post–Celtic Tiger Irish theatre to come.