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date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Shaw, often marginalized within Irish theatre history as the author of John Bull’s Other Island, his one play set in Ireland which was rejected by the Abbey, is a much more persistent and influential presence than has generally been acknowledged. John Bull itself, a pungent commentary on the politics of its times, was in fact often performed in Ireland, including at the Abbey, and it was followed by the one-act O’Flaherty VC and ‘The Tragedy of an Elderly Gentleman’, one of the parts of Back to Methuselah, both of them with an Irish setting. Shaw’s form of discussion play of ideas had a notable impact on later Irish writers, particularly Seán O’Casey, but also Denis Johnston and Teresa Deevy, giving him a key role in the development of modern Irish theatre.

Keywords: John Bull's Other Island, O'Flaherty VC, discussion play, Seán O'Casey

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