Sunday, December 19, 2010

Poets do say it better

Colm Keegan features nicely in the end of an article in this week's Sunday Times Culture magazine (no url, I'm afraid, they've gone subscription). The commentary, written by Harry Browne, offers a broad survey of how Irish culture has responded to the economic times we live in.

Theatre, says Browne, a more immediate medium, seems to have turned to re-interpretations of old classics to try and help re-define ourselves, with plays such as Phaedra, or Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman. Cultural commentators, in the form of writers, haven't had the same impact - perhaps not having the economic nous to deliver pronouncements - I love the line about 'Irish intellectuals mak[ing] a good case for being the world's leading blatherers'!

So, Browne turns to the spoken word piece by Clondalkin poet Colm (and his cohorts of the Unruly Trinity) for some lovely quotes: 'Ireland is a Glock pointed at someone's son. Or a Christian Brother. Or it's own mother because she won't move into a nursing home.'


Dave King said...

Not sure about the world's leading blatherers, but the Irish do do a good line in poets - I'll stick out my neck and say the best line.


Will check out the article B. Though I have to say UK theatre is right on the money (as it were) when it comes to responding to the current fiscal whirlwind we find ourselves in. Lucy Prebble's ENRON, William Nicholson's CRASH (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and David Hare's piece at the National - the name escapes me. I think many theatre companies in Ireland are a little nervous about writers making direct or any kind of outraged commentary - so they go for works that make more oblique reference etc. Having said that my new commission (staged at the Arcola next year) is directly about the Irish banking crisis and imagines/reenacts what happened the night Brian Lenehan knocked on David McWilliams door in 2008 asking for advice. Remember the garlic? I'd say there will be an explosion of responses in Ireland very soon. I hope so anyway. Speak soon and have a swell Christmas.

Unruly said...

Thanks for the mention, Barbara! It's a really interesting article. We'll scan it in full to our Facebook page tomorrow, if anyone would like to read it:

Rachel Fenton said...

I wrote a novel about the economic crisis - any chance the recession'll still be on when I get a taker for it?

BarbaraS said...

Unruly, you're welcome - I was delighted to see the mention in the Culture section.

Jaki, all sounds good.

Rachel, I'd have thought they'd have snapped it by now!

Dave, you say the bestest things about us ;)