The Darkest Corner Series: Theatre Challenging the State?

Sheila McCormick

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Abstract

Documentary theatre, as a theatrical genre, has not maintained a continuous presence in Irish theatre. The Darkest Corner series, produced in 2010 by the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Ireland's National Theatre is, therefore, one of the first examples of Irish theatre using the genre to address political and social issues. Presenting three plays, Gerard Mannix Flynn's James X, Richard Johnson's The Evidence I Shall Give and Mary Raftery's No Escape, the series examines the widespread abuse of children in state institutions. Before analysing the documentary play commissioned by the Abbey, Raftery's No Escape, this article will begin with an exploration of documentary theatre in Ireland. It will then examine the material used for the play, the Ryan Report, published following the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, something of great political and social interest to contemporary Ireland and, finally, the play itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-191
JournalIrish Studies Review
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012

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Keywords

  • Ryan Report
  • documentary theatre
  • Abbey Theatre
  • The Darkest Corner series
  • No Escape
  • James X

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