(Un)settlement: Political Parody and the Northern Irish Peace Process

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This essay examines Tim Loane’s political comedies, Caught Red-Handed and To Be Sure, and their critique of the Northern Irish peace process. As “parodies of esteem”, both plays challenge the ultimate electoral victors of the peace process (the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin) as well as critiquing the cant, chicanery and cynicism that have characterised their political rhetoric and the peace process as a whole. This essay argues that Loane’s transformation of these comedic pantomime horses into Trojan ones loaded with a ruthless polemical critique of our ruling political elites is all the more important in the context of a self-censoring media that has stifled dissent and debate by protecting the peace process from inconvenient truths. From these close and contextual readings of Loane’s plays, wider issues relating to the political efficacy of comedy and its canonical relegation below ‘higher forms’ in Irish theatre historiography will also be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-215
Number of pages25
JournalIlha Do Desterro
Issue numbernull
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

DOI [ 10.5007/2175-8026.2010n58p191 ] not resolving


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