Synge and Edwardian Theatre

Adrian Frazier

in Synge and Edwardian Ireland

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199609888
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731778 | DOI:
Synge and Edwardian Theatre

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While the plays of J. M. Synge are normally seen in the context of the ‘Irish dramatic revival,’ or the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, this chapter relates them to a wider spectrum of theatrical entertainments in Paris and particularly London. It follows a recent trend in theatre history to consider plays in their original performance contexts, rather than as dramas on the page, or primarily in relation to other writings by the same author. ‘Thick descriptions’ are provided of the activities of the writers and founders of the Irish dramatic revival in London in April 1897 and in February 1900, and their efforts to create an alternative ‘business model’ for a literary theatre to the large London entertainment factories. Attention is also given to how Synge’s plays were subsequently received as items in a menu of entertainments by London audiences and critics.

Keywords: John Masefield; Abbey Theatre; Yeats; the New Drama; modern drama; Independent Theatre Society; Irish Literary Theatre; Musical Comedy; Actor Manager; Irish National Theatre Society

Chapter.  5441 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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