Enter the revenant

Geraldine Cousin

in Playing For Time

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780719061974
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700976 | DOI:
Enter the revenant

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  • Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)


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This chapter discusses ghost characters in six Irish plays: Conor McPherson's award-winning The Weir, Shining City, Stewart Parker's Pentecost and three plays by Marina Carr: The Mai, Portia Coughlan and By the Bog of Cats. The return of a figure from the past is a frequent occurrence in Irish plays. These plays were chosen out of the explosion of Irish dramatic talent on the London stage in the 1990s and the opening years of the twenty-first century, because of the nature of their representation of time. McPherson's, and, even more obviously, Carr's, investment in the past lives of their characters creates static, liminal, worlds where ghosts multiply. The chapter ends with Carnesky's Ghost Train, which emulated a ride on a fairground ghost train, encapsulated the idea of stasis.

Keywords: ghost characters; Irish plays; Conor McPherson; The Weir; Pentecost; Carnesky's Ghost Train; Marina Carr

Chapter.  12873 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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