“Authentic Reproductions”: Staging the “Wild West” in Modern Irish Drama
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This article examines two metatheatrical plays written by playwrights from the north of Ireland that bookend the twentieth century. The first is Ulster Literary Theatre (ULT) playwright Gerald MacNamara’s parodic, “proto-Pirandellian”4 The Mist That Does Be on the Bog (1909), which satirizes the peasant aesthetic of the “Abbey play” of the Irish Revival.5 The second is Marie Jones’s international hit, Stones in His Pockets (1999), a “play-full,” postmodern deconstruction of the commodification of Irish culture in the era of the Celtic Tiger. Although separated by exactly ninety years, the two plays can be connected through their critiques of the cultural politics of nationalism and globalization during the periods of the Irish Revival and the Celtic Tiger, respectively. Moreover, both plays are distinguished by their dramaturgical form, as the political critique of each is corporeally embodied in metatheatrical performance.