Tackling a live subject: the Hinterland controversy
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Lonergan, Patrick. (2002). Tackling a live subject: the Hinterland controversy. Irish Theatre Magazine, Spring 3(11).
The ramifications of the controversy over Sebastian Barry’s latest play echo well beyond the "Hinterland", argues Patrick Lonergan. What, exactly, is so bad about Hinterland? Using aspects of the career of Charles Haughey, the play explores Sebastian Barry’s well-known preoccupations with fatherhood, power, memory, and dislocation. Early press responses focussed only on the play’s treatment of Haughey, however, and reports that his solicitors were examining Barry’s script created the public belief that Hinterland was "about" the former Taoiseach in a biographical sense. That perception proved difficult to dispel.