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Staged Folklore: The National Folk Theatre of Ireland 1968-1998
Staged Folklore:  The National Folk Theatre of Ireland 1968-1998

Our Price:39.00
Authors: Susan Motherway and John O’Connell
Publication Year: Hardback October 2022
Pages: 318
Size: 234 x 156 mm

ISBN: 9781782055310


This book concerns the foundation and development of the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, which has recently celebrated fifty years of performances. Also called ‘Siamsa Tíre’, it examines the ways in which the Theatre provides a locus for promoting and transmitting customary knowledge that had become lost due to modernisation and urbanisation. It also interrogates critically the role of the Theatre in presenting and representing local traditions to non-local audiences, tourism being a key component in the sustainable continuation of expressive culture.

The book addresses three issues. First, it considers performance practice at the Theatre with reference to embodiment and identity. Second, it looks at cultural transmission at the Theatre from the perspectives of preservation and perpetuation. Here, it highlights the innovative aspiration (at the time) towards sustainable development where the traditional (as performing arts) was framed within the non-traditional (as staged folklore) to offer a radical model for cultural curatorship and economic regeneration. Third, it observes the Theatre from the vantages of power and politics. That is, the book evaluates the ideological issues and philosophical problems that arise when viewing ‘Siamsa Tíre’ as staged folklore, a dramatic medium that has often been employed at a global level to promote either international accord or intranational dissent. The work was developed in close collaboration with the founder and artistic director, Pat Ahern, and the performing company. Many contributors to this volume have studied and worked with the work of the company for many years. The volume also benefits from the insights of performers and management personnel.

John M. O’Connell is an ethnomusicologist from County Kerry with a specialist interest in cultural history. Currently a Professor of Music, he founded the programme in ethnomusicology at Cardiff University. Susan H. Motherway is an ethnomusicologist from County Kerry with a specialist interest in traditional music practice. Susan is currently a Lecturer in Music at the Munster Technological University

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