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Studies on the contemporary Irish theatre

Jacqueline Genet
Elizabeth Hellegouarc’h

Let’s go to Graceland: the drama of Stewart Parker (1941 - 1988)

Terence Brown

Texte intégral

  • 1 Louis MacNeice, The Strings Are False: An Unfinished Autobiography, London, Faber and Faber, 1965, (...)
  • 2 Edna Longley, “The Writer And Belfast”, The Irish Writer and the City, Gerrards Cross and Totowa, (...)

1Belfast as a city has had a rough literary history. As the blackest heart of the black north literary portrayal of the city has often been casually stereotypical and the city itself has almost equally often seemed to oblige the literary imagination by running true to type. “A city built upon mud / A culture built upon profit” was MacNeice’s disdainful estimate in Autumn Journal and plenty of successors have been all too inclined to take him at his word. They forget or perhaps don’t know that two decades later in 1957 he was to record how as it took him years to see through the “Soft charm” of Dublin to “its prickly kernal” so it had taken just as long to penetrate Belfast’s “outer ugliness and dourness1.” But he did manage it coming to love his visits to the city. Edna Longley in 1982 collected the adjectives with which literary tradition had honoured the city: “Hard, cold melancholy, lurid, desolate, stern, dour, despoiled, shabby, grimy, provincial, grey, black, ugly, dull, dead2.” And all these by courtesy of only four writers, MacNeice himself, Michael McLaverty, John Montague and Brian Moore. Few it seems have really bothered to follow the MacNeice who allowed himself a change of mind and a rejection of cliches in response to the life of the city.

  • 3 Appropriately Dawe is now at work on a biography of Van Morrison.

2There are of course many Belfasts, just as Joyce’s Dublin is not Beckett’s, as Frank O’Connor’s Cork is not quite Sean O’Faolain’s. There’s the genteel world of petit bourgeois Presbyterian rectitude and quiet desperation so exactly explored in the novels of Janet McNeill. More classy and yet strangely insubstantial, there’s Forrest Reid’s Dundonald all Edwardian garden, magical boyhood and the love that dare not speak its name. There is the west Belfast of Padraic Fiacc’s scarifying poems of violence and atrocity, Ciaran Carson’s equally violent narratives of the same territory made wonderfully inventive through the comic accents of demotic speech. And there’s Stewart Parker’s east and central Belfast, a territory of the imagination that has only recently had its cultural energies identified in any way. It’s the world of Van Morrison’s primary inspirations, of James Galway’s earliest musical experiences. It is the world sensitively explored in the poet Gerald Dawe’s forthcoming volume Sunday School3.

  • 4 The Titanic disaster was the subject of Stewart Parker's radio play “The Iceberg” first broadcast (...)

3For most of these writers and artists east and central Belfast in the post-war years when they spent their childhoods in the city is an imaginative given with which their subsequent work has had to make some kind of peace. And in those years it was certainly a place with distinctive, unforgettable characteristics. On any working morning up to fourteen thousand men poured over the bridge that spanned the Lagan and out of the narrow streets of red brick kitchen houses into the shipyard that still saw itself with the Clyde as a world power in that heroic industry. The rope works were the largest in the world and you could believe it watching the shawlies teeming around its gates as the hooter sounded summoning them to work through the foggy murk of a part of the city that seemed always in semi-darkness. And there was the aircraft factory and aerodrome too, from which heavy bombers seemed to set off on mysterious missions, and flying boats on the lough, engaged in manœuvres comprehensible only to themselves like some strange species of sea bird. There was a sense of houses huddled together in the wake of some catastrophe, enduring the rain and wind that swept in from the Holywood hills, which in summer were as green as the promised land in the Bible, so resolutely thumped in Church, Mission Hall and evangelistic crusade as if to provide an interpretive myth for the weight of history and high explosive that had so recently overwhelmed the town. Bombsites, vacant ghostly spaces among so much crowded habitation, reminded of eschatological things, of doom and damnation, of the hubris that had once built an unsinkable ship and sent it down the lough named, god help them all, Titanic4. East Belfast was a real place alright and you had better believe it or take the Bangor boat (“The Bangor boat’s away / It had no time to stay”) from beside the Albert Bridge and cruise down the lough with its merchant princes’ villas all the way from Marino to Craigavad, Helen’s Bay and Carnilea (magical names), until in Bangor you found everyone from home had had the same idea in the Twelfth week of July, even though it was raining again, and had crowded into Belfast’s nearest seaside resort, with its hand-me-down promenade, swimming pool, amusement arcades and feeble summer razzamatazz. What there was however was music, lots of it when I really start to remember. Orange bands taught many a youngster the rudiments (though only one became James Galway), in piping, drumming, brass playing, the melodeon or squeezebox. Every mission hall seemed to have its gospel trio or quartet which would often perform on the streeets in open-air meetings to much scorn and occasional admiration. Evangelistic crusades seemed to mass choirs of thousands to anticipate the collective joys of heaven in robust songs of praise. Hymn singing was a Sunday night entertainment in many a pious home where the evils of Sunday newspapers and wireless-listening were eschewed. Moody and Sankey’s sprightly kingdom ditties competed with the subtle richness of Welsh hymn tunes, the solemn lugubriousness of the Presbyterian psalter. The Salvation army ran meetings where the music was more music hall than anything the city’s few theatres offered and there were the dance halls, which throbbed not only to the sounds of tin pan alley, but to jazz.

4Jazz was big in Belfast in the fifties and early sixties. The war years when many American soldiers, some of them indeed jazz band musicians, had been stationed in the province preparing for D-Day had popularised jazz music and many local groups sprang into life. They played the Whitla Hall in Queen’s University, drawing from the poet Philip Larkin (then librarian at the university) the lines in that Belfast volume The Less Deceived:

  • 5 Quoted by Solly Lipsitz, “Jazz”, Causeway: The Arts In Ulster, ed. Michael Longley, Belfast, the A (...)

The trumpet’s voice, loud and authoritive,
Draws me a moment to the lighted glass
To watch the dancers
What calls me is that lifted, rough-tongued bell
(Art, if you like)5.

5Ottlie Patterson, the local girl from Newtownards (almost a suburb of East Belfast) was making it internationally with the Chris Barber band and the great jazz names of the age made the city part of their touring itineraries. Then came skiffle, Lonnie Donegan at the Opera House, rock, rhythm and blues.

  • 6 He was Henry, I a mere walk-on part as Owen Glendower in the school play of 1958.

6Popular music was one of Stewart Parker’s obsessions. At school in Holywood (a few miles from his east Belfast home) he seemed to know more than anyone else from that part of the world about the scene, jazz and rock and pop. My earliest memory of him is during a break in rehearsals for Shakespeare’s Henry the Fourth, Part One6 picking up his guitar and launching into a jazz version of Cliff Richard’s “Living Doll”. Even as a sixth-former he had a sense of style, carried himself with the genial authority of the man who knew his own mind. Stewart was a performer, who brought personal panache, a sense of music’s freedom from the immediate tediums of life in a rather grim place, along with a ready wit and a warm disposition. It seemed therefore especially cruel that it should be he who a year or so later was afflicted with bone cancer, necessitating the amputation of a leg, the experience which he explored in that demanding long poem “The Casualty’s Meditation” (1966). But he survived to give us those four or five plays by which he will be remembered, before cancer once again struck, this time without mercy.

7Unsurprisingly, music plays a significant part in almost all of Parker’s plays. It was hardly likely that the writer who spent years as The Irish Times very erudite popular music correspondent when he turned to the theatre, should neglect his other love. Spokesong with which Parker made his stage name in 1976 made wonderful play with bicycles and songs by Jimmy Kennedy, Derry man, Trinity graduate (our most quoted?) and author of “We’ll Hang Out The Washing On the Siegfried Line”, “Red Sails in The Sunset” and “South of The Border, Down Mexico Way”. The play set a gentle enthusiasm for spokesongs against the violence and bigotry of a city that ought to have concerned itself with less dangerous activities, singing and cycling. The work was a whimsical, charming piece of wishful thinking that seemed to hope against hope that a kinder gentler Belfast could exist beneath the hard exterior. Catchpenny Twist, which came next, set the record straight, or perhaps showed the needle stuck in a groove of intercommunal hatred. Two young pop song composers make a living in the Belfast of the paramilitaries by writing suitable ballads for the opposed factions. It is, as you can imagine, the death of them; but not before they have tried to win the European Song Contest, using music as an escape route from the city which will destroy them. The wit in this play is less genial than that in Spokesong, more urban knowing, more sardonic and savage Belfast.

  • 7 Stewart Parker, “Introduction” in Three Plays for Ireland, Birmingham, England, Oberon Books, 1989 (...)

8Parker’s vision of his native city had darkened as the violence became endemic and any solution seemed indefinitely postponed. His dramatic canvas widened too, to include not just Belfast and the contemporary troubles, but the fraught history of the province and of Ireland as a whole. Northern Star (1984) dramatised the life of Henry Joy McCracken, the Belfast presbyterian and United Irishman who was hanged for his part in the 1798 Rebellion and his fate involves the dramatist in reckoning the events of that year in Belfast as part of the ongoing disaster of Irish history. Heavenly Bodies (1986) recounted in dramatic form the life and times of the nineteenth century playwright and melodramatist Dion Boucicault and here the imaginative backdrop to Boucicault’s opportunistic, stage-Irish progression in the theatrical worlds of London and New York is supplied by the catastrophe of the Great Hunger, the Famine of the 1840’s. And Pentecost (1987) although it has us back in Belfast at the time of the Workers’ Strike in l974 sets those events in the context of British politics through the dramatic expedient of beginning Act 2 with the voice of British Prime Minister Harold Wilson delivering a notoriously ineffectual speech. What is striking about each of these plays which Parker himself reckoned to constitute if not a trilogy, then a tryptych7, is that they share a sense of Irish history in its local, regional and national manifestations as fated, doomed. Each is a ghost-haunted play as if the energies of the past cannot let go of the present and that present is in thrall to the ancestral demands of tribal ancestors. In Parker’s words:

  • 8 Ibid.

Plays and ghosts have a lot in common. The energy which flows from some intense moment of conflict in a particular time and place seems to activate them both. Plays intend to achieve resolution, however while, ghosts appear to be stuck fast in the quest for vengeance8.

9Both Northern Star and Heavenly Bodies are set after the terrible events which supply the historical backdrop to their dramatic actions, the Rebellion and the Famine. Northern Star recounts the history of McCracken’s activities in the United Irishmen from the point of view of the Rebellion’s failure as he awaits arrest and execution. Boucicault’s life is also played in retrospect as its events flash before his dying mind. Pentecost takes place in medias res, as the Workers’ Strike against the Power Sharing Executive imposed on the Province by British legislation, brings the city to a terrifying halt. All of the plays are dominated by a sense of history as an overwhelming force, as an almost Calvinistic predestination. Here McCracken as he turns towards death invokes his native city:

  • 9 Ibid., p. 75.

Why should one place break your heart more than another? A place the like of that? Brain damaged and dangerous, continuously violating itself, a place of perpetual breakdown, incompatible voices, screeching obscenely away through the smoky dark wet. Burnt and still burning. Nerve-damaged, pitiable, frightening9.

10And here a character in Heavenly Bodies considers a Liverpool audience victims all of the famine and the Irish diaspora

  • 10 Ibid., p. 113.

The praties, the taties, the spuds... the potatoes, that was what failed, Boosy, every garden a family grave, sicksweet and stinking. Little children like effigies. Mumbling on the shrivelled dugs of mothers scarcely adult, already senile. Famine... not a man, woman or youngster in that audience whose destiny wasn’t ordained by it, who hadn’t lost a mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, sweet-heart, country, Why? Why? Why10?

11And in Pentecost the very set suggests the frozen stasis of a society held in the vicelike grip of a tradition that is now finding decadent expression in the totalitarian antics of Paisleyite bully boys in the streets. The mise-en-scene is the downstairs back part of a working class parlour-house in Ballyhackamore in East Belfast. Everything is narrow and constricted:

  • 11 Ibid., p. 147.

The rooms are narrow, but the walls climb up and disappear into the shadows above the stage. The kitchen in particular is cluttered, almost suffocated, with the furnishings and bric-à-brac of the first half of the century, all the original fixtures and fittings still being in place. But in spite of now being shabby, musty, threadbare, it has clearly been the object of a desperate, lifelong struggle for cleanliness, tidiness, orderliness – godliness11.

  • 12 Ibid., p. 9.

12Parker refers to these three plays as involved with “three self contai-ned groups of figures, from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries respectively, hinged together in a continuing comedy of terrors12.” Those terrors don’t allow the dramatist much opportunity to indulge his love of music and song. What they do however is to pose the question of song’s and art’s efficacy in a situation as comprehensively predestined by malign forces as the Irish one. The result is that where music in Spokesong and Catchpenny Twist seemed only to gesture to a rather unconvincing social harmony or to a period of self-regarding escapism (versions of cheap grace) the later tryptych confronts the theme of art and song more searchingly.

  • 13 Ibid., p. 39.
  • 14 Tom Moore made fairly unscrupulous use of Bunting's published collections to compose his even more (...)
  • 15 Ibid., p. 41.
  • 16 The play as a whole contains a bravura display of Irish dramatic styles, questioning there by the (...)
  • 17 Ibid., p. 42.

13In Northern Star the issue presents itself as Parker imagines his hero at the great Harp Festival in Belfast in 1792. As McCracken himself puts it “The Belfast Harp Festival, famous in myth and legend. Forging a national consciousness, we’d got very keen on that by then. A new culture from the old... renaissance13!” It was at the Harp Festival that Edward Bunting first heard the ancient Irish airs which were to become his lifelong obsession14. Wolfe Tone the revolutionary was not so impressed by the harpist. He looked in for half an hour or so and delivered himself of the opinion “Strum, strum and be damned”. Parker has the three of them (McCracken, Bunting, Tone) discuss the role of music in politics through a scene accompanied on the instrument Tone found so little to his taste. They cannot agree. Bunting is of the opinion as McCraken reports to Tone “That the revival of music will alone suffice to save Ireland15.” Tone will have none of such apolitical delusions. The scene is a witty one, couched in the epigrammatic style of Wildean drama16 but it leaves McCracken as he considers the civilising potential of music, bemused by the notes of the harp and the troubling question “As to whether the loyalist peasantry is amenable to cultivation17.” The play’s symbolism seems to suggest the unlikelihood of such cultivation, for onstage throughout is an Orangeman’s lambeg drum, set in permanent opposition to a bodhran, also on stage to represent the Gaelic musical tradition which Bunting rescued from near-oblivion. Song and music in this grim play are only good for factional alarums or for the sustaining of a sense of martyrdom and victimage. So McCracken’s sweetheart sings a lament for her lover as a phantom bride (Cathleen Ni Houlihan? Mother Ireland?) takes him to her arms:

  • 18 Ibid., p. 50.

He says, “My love be hopeful,
Our land shall rise again,”
He kissed me very fondly,
He kissed me three times o’er,
Saying death shall never part us
My love for evermore.
And is it true? I asked her,
Yes it is true, she said,
For to this heart that loved him
I pressed his gory head,
And each night, pale and trembling
His ghost comes to my side,
My Harry, my dear Harry
Comes back to his waiting bride18.

14Northern Star is essentially preoccupied by the problem of political action in a society so polarised and predetermined as that of the Ulster of 1798 and 1984. The relationship of musical culture and of art in general to the political and social dilemmas of Ireland is treated only marginally in the play. In Heavenly Bodies that theme is centre stage. Boucicault is treated as an ambitious theatrical vulgarian who has given a voracious public just what it wanted. Now at the moment of death he is judged and found unworthy of a place in posterity, whatever about heaven:

  • 19 Ibid., p. 85.

You were a born chancer and you sold your gombeen soul to the highest bidder, now – your three score years and ten are up, your three or four entire fortunes duly made and squandered, your three or four hundred young girls come and gone... and the account’s being called in19.

  • 20 Ibid., p. 88.
  • 21 Ibid., p. 104.
  • 22 Ibid.
  • 23 Ibid., p. 10.

15In the play we learn that Dion is the illegitimate son of his mother’s lodger, the Reverend Dionysius Lardner (“a fellow-me-lad of Trinity College Dublin20”), and not of her husband, Samuel Boursiquot. But throughout the play he is haunted by a phantom fiddler whom he takes to be his father but whose face he does not see. He is present like a death’s head at the feast of Dion’s successes as he exploits stage Irishry and melodrama on the English and American stages under the shadow of the Famine. His father seems to represent a tradition he has prostituted, an art that has honorable roots in its own society that his son has betrayed. The other main character in the work is a man named Johnny Patterson, Paddy the Clown, who acts as Dion’s prosecutor in his final trial. He has lived as a singing clown in a travelling circus and he claims that as such he has “kept faith with my own people, as a true clown should21” and he sneers at Dion’s claims to be a “True artist”: “So tell us, Mr. Boucicault, how did you react during the Great Irish Famine? – Oh, I kept London well supplied with my comedies of manners22.” Johnny’s only claim to fame is that he is a writer of popular songs, his best known being “The Garden Where the Praties Grow’” and also “The Hat my Father Wore”, which as Parker points out “suitably altered was to be taken over as the favourite anthem of Orangism23.” His mission in life was to persuade the Orange and the Green to sink their differences. His obituary indeed states for he judges Dion in this play as an emissary from the next world:

  • 24 Ibid., p. 81.

He was a devout patriot of his native Ireland, who nevertheless believed that the one hope for that troubled isle lay in a commingling of the Orange and the Green, an accommodation between the Unionist and Nationalist factions... To this end he wrote a song “Do Your Best For One Another24.

  • 25 Ibid.
  • 26 Ibid., p. 112.
  • 27 Ibid., p. 134.

16Which draws from the bold Dion “You have to be a real clown to believe that25.” And events seem to prove Boucicault right for the obituary goes on to tell how at a performance of this worthy opus in the circus a riot ensued at which Johnny met his untimely end. But Johnny is the decisive presence in the play and is identified as such at the end of Act One which includes a rousing rendition of his most famous song about the Praties. Just before this, we have seen and heard the phantom fiddler who “whips off the hat and skull mask to reveal himself as Johnny Patterson26.” This of course links Johnny with the heritage of traditional music which Dion’s fiddle-playing father represents and marks Dion as artistically illegitimate, adding force to Johnny’s final terrible judgement: “You flattered the daylights out of them, with your silver-tongued charming peasant rascals, and all their winning, wheedling, conniving ways... your colonial soul discovered its strength in fraudulence and deceit27.”

17Parker’s contention in this play is that even the simple art form of popular song can have its own authenticity if written from a genuine heart as Johnny’s songs were. They were a true response, however naive, to his own cultural experience. Pentecost, the final panel in Parker’s dramatic tryptych, allows us to learn what such a response would be like in the east Belfast of the mid-seventies.

18The play is set between the months of February and June in 1974, a period of great tension in the province which climaxed with the Workers’ Strike. The mise-en-scène is the parlour house of a Protestant lady, Lily Matthews, (who has recently died) in Ballyhacka-more in the heart of industrial east Belfast, adjacent to the shipyard. In 1974 Ballyhackamore was still a mixed district, being home to some Catholics as well as the large numbers of Protestant families who depended on the shipyard for a living. By now conflict and redevelopment have made it almost a Protestant fortress. Even in 1974 that process had begun and the house in which the play is set is the last inhabited dwelling in a terrace of houses that was owned by a Catholic landlady whose nephew, Lenny, has now inherited the place. His estranged wife Marian has taken up residence in Lily Matthews home for her furnishings and private possessions are still in place making the home a kind of museum-display of her life and times. Marion is much taken with this and proposes to keep it all intact as a record of a way of life that has begun to vanish. So she hopes to buy the place from Lenny who has arrived as the play opens to inspect his inheritance. In the course of the play the house becomes a kind of refuge for a group of hurt and damaged people, friends and acquaintances from university and school days whose lives have not worked out. Ruth is married to a violent, abusive RUC man who beats her regularly. She takes shelter with Marian. Peter, the disillusioned cynical liberal, home from Birmingham, where he now lives and works as an architect, takes sanctuary during the strike and embarks on a relationship with Ruth. The swift talk and banter of the lot of them, witty and bitter in the Belfast way, dramatises the tensions between Catholics and Protestants, Nationalists and Unionists as their society seems set to tear itself to pieces, in the grip of ancestral loyalties and antagonisms. But as the play proceeds we learn how much each of the characters has suffered, for all the pawky humour of his or her talk. Lenny and Marian lost a child in his infancy, and this is the source of their estrangement. Ruth has been systematically brutalised by a man who is himself in constant danger of death, and by the play’s final act her policeman husband has been placed in a mental institution. Peter has experienced all the homelessness of the man alienated from his own roots. Personal life and the public crisis are intertwined in a way which would make it impossible to untangle them. And the past we learn, as the play develops, was no different. Lily Matthews whose home bespeaks order and godliness had her share of weaknesses and sorrows too. This emerges in painful conversations between Lily’s ghost and Marian who learns about her predecessor’s life from her private effects and mementoes. Her husband had come home impotent from the Great War and she had fallen briefly for an English airman from Sydenham aerodrome, by whom, after a day trip to Groomsport, down the lough past Bangor, she had a child, which she abandoned in the porch of a Baptist church. Her life of rectitude and order had been therefore a form of self-imposed penance for her terrible fall from grace. And through this grim account of personal catastrophes the audience is never allowed to forget the impersonal processes of history, which took Lily’s husband away to a terrible war, which had Lily sitting alone in her front parlour through the blitz as Alfie, her husband, served as a fire warden, and which has Marion roughed up at a barricade, Peter beaten up by a gang of marauding thugs as he comes back from a visit to his parents in the affluent suburbs.

  • 28 Ibid., p. 10.
  • 29 Ibid., p. 206.
  • 30 Ibid., p. 208.
  • 31 Ibid.
  • 32 Ibid.

19Parker is not content however to leave us with this impression of lives broken by history and by personal tragedy. He himself suggests that he wrote the play “in a form of heightened realism” and he sees the “phantom bride of Northern Star handing on to the Phantom Fiddler of Heavenly Bodies” and he in turn to Pentecost’s Lily Matthews – in whom the cycle of retribution is finally laid to rest, “in the only way I can see as having any possible meaning28.” That heightened realism allows him, as the play ends, to elevate the drama, allowing it to become a ritual enactment of forgiveness and personal transformation which draws on the mythologies, traditions and cultural forms of the dramatist’s own background in Protestant east Belfast. Marian invokes Lily in war-time Belfast in imagery of the Biblical Apocalypse. Ruth and Peter recite the texts from the Acts of the Apostles which record the tongues of fire which brought the grace of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples at Pentecost and Lenny tells a wonderful story of nuns bathing, bringing a note of pagan celebration to the religiosity of the play’s conclusion. But it is Lenny, a trombone player, a jazz musician, who as the play ends seems to bring all the traditions together. For a moment music seems to defeat the tyranny of history, despite Peter’s cynical remark, “You want to know what playing on that is? Farting into the wind29.” The play climaxes with Marian uttering a personal creed denying the right of the dead to rule the present: “They’re not our masters, they’re only our creditors for the life they never knew. We owe them at least that – the fullest life for which they could ever have hoped30.” Ruth quotes from the New Testament, expressing with the cultural authenticity of evangelical fervour, her own hopes for grace and renewal: “Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance31.” And Lenny plays a “slow and very soulful version32” of the gospel song “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” as dawn begins to break in Ballyhacka-more. For a moment east Belfast seems a place of light and hope; of grace in fact.


1 Louis MacNeice, The Strings Are False: An Unfinished Autobiography, London, Faber and Faber, 1965, p. 222.

2 Edna Longley, “The Writer And Belfast”, The Irish Writer and the City, Gerrards Cross and Totowa, Colin Smythe and Barnes and Noble, 1984, p. 67.

3 Appropriately Dawe is now at work on a biography of Van Morrison.

4 The Titanic disaster was the subject of Stewart Parker's radio play “The Iceberg” first broadcast on B.B.C, radio 30th January, 1974. it was published in The Honest Ulstermann, n° 50, Winter 1975, p. 4-64.

5 Quoted by Solly Lipsitz, “Jazz”, Causeway: The Arts In Ulster, ed. Michael Longley, Belfast, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, 1971, p. 136.

6 He was Henry, I a mere walk-on part as Owen Glendower in the school play of 1958.

7 Stewart Parker, “Introduction” in Three Plays for Ireland, Birmingham, England, Oberon Books, 1989, p. 9. Henceforth Plays.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid., p. 75.

10 Ibid., p. 113.

11 Ibid., p. 147.

12 Ibid., p. 9.

13 Ibid., p. 39.

14 Tom Moore made fairly unscrupulous use of Bunting's published collections to compose his even more famous and successful Irish Melodies.

15 Ibid., p. 41.

16 The play as a whole contains a bravura display of Irish dramatic styles, questioning there by the adequacy of each to the kind of trauma to which the work as a whole attends.

17 Ibid., p. 42.

18 Ibid., p. 50.

19 Ibid., p. 85.

20 Ibid., p. 88.

21 Ibid., p. 104.

22 Ibid.

23 Ibid., p. 10.

24 Ibid., p. 81.

25 Ibid.

26 Ibid., p. 112.

27 Ibid., p. 134.

28 Ibid., p. 10.

29 Ibid., p. 206.

30 Ibid., p. 208.

31 Ibid.

32 Ibid.

© Presses universitaires de Caen, 1991

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