The Golden Thread

BookThe Golden Thread

The Golden Thread

Irish Women Playwrights, Volume 2 (1992-2016)


July 1st, 2021



Other Formats



This two-volume edited collection illuminates the valuable counter-canon of Irish women’s playwriting with forty-two essays written by leading and emerging Irish theatre scholars and practitioners. Covering three hundred years of Irish theatre history from 1716 to 2016, it is the most comprehensive study of plays written by Irish women to date. These short essays provide both a valuable introduction and innovative analysis of key playtexts, bringing renewed attention to scripts and writers that continue to be under-represented in theatre criticism and performance.

Volume Two contains chapters focused on plays by sixteen Irish women playwrights produced between 1992 and 2016, highlighting the explosion of new work by contemporary writers. The plays in this volume explore women’s experiences at the intersections of class, sexuality, disability, and ethnicity, pushing at the boundaries of how we define not only Irish theatre, but Irish identity more broadly.

CONTRIBUTORS: Nelson Barre, Mary Burke, David Clare, Shonagh Hill, Mária Kurdi, José Lanters, Fiona McDonagh, Dorothy Morrissey, Justine Nakase, Brian Ó Conchubhair, Brenda O'Connell, Shane O'Neill, Graham Price, Siobhán Purcell, Carole Quigley, Sarah Jane Scaife, Melissa Sihra, Clare Wallace

Author Information

David Clare is Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. Fiona McDonagh is Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. Justine Nakase is Adjunct Lecturer at Portland State University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Marie Jones’s Don’t Look Down (1992): Representations of Disability for Young Audiences19
Lesbianism and Legibility in Emma Donoghue’s I Know My Own Heart (1993)33
Learning to Play Poker: The Re-vision of Irish Women’s Agency in Gina Moxley’s Danti-Dan (1995)45
Directing Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats… (1998) in China57
Ursula Rani Sarma’s Blue (2000) and Social Transformation in Ireland71
Challenging “Good Taste”: Roslaeen McDonagh’s The Baby Doll Project (2003) and the Creation of a “Traveller Canon”83
Disordered States and Affective Economies in Stella Feehily’s O Go My Man (2006)93
Living in a Rape Culture: Gang Rape and “Toxic Masculinity” in Abbie Spallen’s Pumpgirl (2006)105
Marina Carr’s Woman and Scarecrow (2006) and the Ars Moriendi115
Lizzie Nunnery’s Intemperance (2007) and Mental Health Difficulties among the Irish in Britain127
Memory, History, and Forgetting in Anne Devlin’s The Forgotten (2009)141
“We are here, we were here all along”: Queer Invisibility and Performing Age in Amy Conroy’s I (Heart) Alice (Heart) I (2010)153
Motherhood and the Search for Recognition in Deirdre Kinahan’s Moment (2011)163
“Unrealing the Real”: Disability and Darwinism in Lynda Radley’s Futureproof (2011)175
Family Dysfunction and Character Dynamics: Nancy Harris’s Our New Girl (2012) in Conversation with Marina Carr’s Portia Coughlin (1996) and Martin Crimp’s The Country (2000)187
Unconscious Casting: Stacey Gregg’s Shibboleth (2015), Walls, and the (En)Gendering of Violence201
Nevertheless, She Persisted: Celia de Fréine’s Luíse (2016)215
Coda – Spinning Gold: Threads of Augusta Gregory and Marina Carr227
Notes on Contributors247