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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Irish theatre in the 1950s, when the Abbey was in exile at the Queen’s, is often thought of a period in the doldrums, but in fact there were quite a number of exciting and adventurous little theatres working at this time. The best-known is the Pike, with its landmark productions of The Quare Fellow and Waiting for Godot, but there was also the Lyric in Belfast with its commitment to Yeats’s plays, the Gas Company Theatre Company, and the Lantern bringing new and different forms of drama to Ireland. This chapter explores the impact of such ventures and the extent to which they helped renovate the Irish theatrical culture, serving as sites of critique of the dominant culture of the time. Of particular importance here is the 1957 production of Tennessee Williams’s The Rose Tattoo at the Pike Theatre, which was the subject of court prosecution .

Keywords: Lyric Theatre, Pike Theatre, Brendan Behan, Samuel Beckett, little theatres

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