The Field by John B. Keane, Olympia Theatre
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Lonergan, Patrick (2011) The Field by John B. Keane, Olympia Theatre. Irish Theatre Magazine Online
Irish attitudes towards John B. Keane have changed a lot during the last ten years – due largely to Garry Hynes’ production of four of his plays during that period. Keane has always been popular, but he was also seen by many as populist: as someone who chose sentimentality over pathos, the grotesque over the tragic, and cheap laughs over careful characterisation. Hynes’ productions gave us a darker and more dignified Keane: his plays might be flawed, she showed – but they certainly shouldn’t be dismissed. Nine years after his death, Keane is still seen as a popular playwright – but he’s also regarded as someone who needs to be taken more seriously now.