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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The place of Samuel Beckett in Irish theatre is anomalous. On the one hand, he is the inescapable figure, the writer cited by so many subsequent Irish playwrights as a touchstone for their work. On the other hand, his work is not ‘Irish’ in any obvious way. While there are fleeting references to Irish placenames, much of the late work takes place in a purely theatrical world that is removed from any national or culturally specific setting. The Beckett Festival of 1991, in which all of Beckett’s nineteen plays were produced, was developed by Michael Colgan as a way of repatriating the playwright. Colgan’s entrepreneurial skills were put at the service of a major theatre event in which popular Irish actors such as Barry McGovern, Johnny Murphy, and Maureen Potter were matched with international directors. This Irish event then toured abroad, and led to the commemorative ‘Beckett on Film’ project.

Keywords: Beckett Festival, Michael Colgan, Barry McGovern, Johnny Murphy, Maureen Potter, ‘Beckett on Film’

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