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- Ireland on Stage - Beckett and After : Collection of Ten Essays on Post-1950 Irish Theatre
Certainly, it was intimate, and the close proximity of the audience to the stage, and the small size of the stage itself, would impact on The Pike. Some plays sat better with Dublin audiences than others. Hoddy performing on stage at a Pike Theatre late revue. In England, the maverick theatre director Joan Littlewood would identify the talents of Brendan Behan, but in the same way as her Theatre Workshop championed a writer some would rather keep at arms length, The Pike in Dublin was a welcoming institution for Behan.
As the momentous day drew nearer,the atmosphere became too much for Brendan, and he took solidly to the bottle, appearing at intervals accompanied by some friendly but uncomprehending soak whom he had acquired in his perambulations through the various pubs in the area.
Get e-book Ireland on Stage: Beckett and After: Collection of Ten Essays on Post Irish Theatre
To the audience of The Pike, Behan interruptions would sometimes become a feature of actual performances too. There was no such risk with the work of Samuel Beckett. Though a Dubliner, there was a feel of bringing an international work to Dublin in performing Beckett in the theatre. Godot ran, and ran, and ran, breaking all records and becoming the longest continuous run in Irish theatrical history to that point.
The story of the production of The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams has been well told elsewhere, but unfortunately it has become the primary memory of the Pike Theatre in Dublin. In less than ten years, the little theatre of Swift and Simpson had done so much. Billy on the walls is always depicted upon a white horse.
Images of white horses adorn Orange Order banners, murals, commemorative tea towels and everything one can imagine. More forgotten is the fact they were once a frequent sight in the fanlights of Dublin houses.
There is dispute over just what the white horses once fashionable in parts of Dublin meant, but many suggest they denoted a Protestant home and identity. Other accounts suggest that the primary reason to display such a symbol was to make a polite but clear point towards those carrying out Catholic church collections or other such door to door activities.
Whatever they once meant, as time went on these symbols lost their political significance of course if they ever had any to some who displayed them. Note the horse:.
Brian Friel one year on: A critical overview
Tapestry in the House of Lords, Bank of Ireland. A little Vietnamese boy, his sallow face pinched with exhaustion, led a plane-load of boat people ashore to their new life, as the first group of refugees arrived in Ireland yesterday. So wrote the Irish Independent of 10 August They arrived by aeroplane, but the images of people fleeing Vietnam in boats had made their impact on popular consciousness.
At a time when the Irish public were more accustomed to emigration than immigration, there was enormous public interest in the plight of the Vietnamese who came here against the backdrop of political violence in their own country, though the dialogue around them in the press was sometimes curious. Mark Magire, author of the the book Differently Irish: A Cultural History Exploring 25 Years of Vietnamese-Irish Identity , gives brilliant insight into the contemporary discussion that surrounded their arrival here.
Others attempted to emphasis the quality of the people coming to Ireland. The images of the Vietnamese Boat People in the s were broadcast into the homes of millions.
The idea of global responsibility to assist those in war torn regions was almost unheard of, and when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees requested the Irish Government resettle three Vietnamese families in , the request was refused on economic grounds. Under pressure to play a significant role in the worsening crisis, the Irish state accepted some Vietnamese people from August onwards, who were to be housed primarily in the James Connolly Memorial Hospital at Blanchardstown, with two spacious ward units converted to housing.
These people eat rice, pork, chicken, fish, vegetables and all sorts and, of course, they are great tea drinkers. The Vietnamese would be taught English, before being spread across the island. The real fear was ghettoisation, but as was rightly pointed out, the outcome may have been social isolation. Despite the fact the island of Ireland was experiencing its own political turmoil, frontpage news in some parts of the world, there was almost no awareness of Ireland among the Vietnamese themselves who arrived here.
One of them later recounted:.
None of us knew very much about where we were going or even exactly where it was. When we arrived in Dublin Airport we thought it was only a stopping off point. We did not believe that a national airport of a country could be so small.
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I have left everything behind. I still have four sisters working in labour camps near Saigon. Some in the community would enter the food industry, focusing on providing take away food, in particular Chinese food, across Dublin. Some friends and me got the money to put one family into the business and we tried to leam about the cooking, the grub!
There was very little Chinese food in Ireland at that time. I learned to cook from some people who worked in a Chinese restaurant and after that I showed other people how to cook. In ,1 was working on a comer near a bus stop— we were only making a living. Many of the Vietnamese families who arrived here in ultimately settled in Ireland. Carysfort Press Ltd. Eric Weitz. Futoshi Sakauchi.
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