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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

By the 1970s, arts funding for theatre in Ireland had become concentrated in three organizations: the Abbey and the Gate in the Republic, the Lyric Theatre in Northern Ireland. Changes in arts policy, North and South, beginning in the late 1970s, radically transformed the Irish theatre landscape over the following decades. Many of the most exciting and challenging developments in Irish theatre in the 1980s and 1990s thus came from the margins, whether on the social margins of society (such as work done at the the Axis Theatre in Ballymun) or from the geographical periphery of what had been a theatre culture centred in Dublin, in the work of companies such as Red Kettle in Waterford and in the construction of performance spaces around the island. This chapter provides an overview of this transformation of the Irish theatre world, focusing on the policy decisions that lay behind it.

Keywords: arts policy, Ireland, regional theatre, social change, Axis Theatre, Red Kettle

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