By Sara Brady, Fintan Walsh (eds.)
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Extra info for Crossroads: Performance Studies and Irish Culture
Eventually, the GAA’s successful dissemination of codiﬁed Gaelic rules spread rapidly throughout the country on the parish level and surpassed the popularity of British games. Alternatively, imitation of the ‘ancient’ Irish sports provided the much-needed connection between past and present. Through such simulation, the GAA could produce a sense of continuity, of sameness, of a re-membered cultural artifact that ultimately gains autonomy. Maintaining a perception of purity and authenticity in the Gaelic games requires performance.
27 This was a version of Patrick Kavanagh’s poem The Great Hunger, scripted by playwright Tom Mac Intyre, directed by Patrick Mason, and featuring Tom Hickey in the lead role as Maguire. For full details of this production, see Sweeney, 2008, 50–77. 28 Patrick Kavanagh and Tom Mac Intyre, The Great Hunger: Poem into Play (Mullingar, Co. Westmeath: Lilliput Press, 1988), 43–4. , 65. 30 This 1990 Abbey Theatre production was directed by Patrick Mason and went on to become one of the Abbey’s, and Ireland’s, most successful national and international productions.
A Pattern is a pilgrimage with a set route to and/or from a holy shrine, with particular points along the way where pilgrims kneel or stand to pray or make offerings. ’34 I mention the Pattern here because it is performative: the pilgrims embody their devotion, and it has a set structure, often demanding extreme physical discomfort as a show of devotion. 35 Such a journey has been invoked by two relatively recent Cork productions: Meridian Theatre Company’s Croon (2004) and Corcadorca Theatre Company’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (2005).