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‘Getting known’: Beckett, Ireland and the creative industries

McTighe, T. (2013) ‘Getting known’: Beckett, Ireland and the creative industries. In: Walsh, F. (ed.) That was us: Contemporary Irish Theatre and Performance. Oberon, London, pp. 157-172. ISBN 9781783190355

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In the context of national and global trends of producing Beckett’s work, this essay will investigate recent productions of Beckett’s drama which originate in Ireland and tour internationally, examining how these relate to the concept of national identity and its marketability, as well the conceptual and material spaces provided by large-scale festival events. In the last few months, Pan Pan has toured its production of All that Fall from Dublin to the Beckett festival in Enniskillen to New York’s BAM. The Gate Theatre, always a powerhouse of Beckett productions, continues its revival of Barry McGovern’s adaptation of Watt; after the Edinburgh festival, the show will play London’s Barbican in March 2013. While originating in Ireland, these productions – those of the Gate in particular – have an international, as well as domestic, appeal. Examining these and forthcoming Gate productions, I query to what extent a theatre company’s cultural origins and international profile may create a perceived sense of authenticity or definitiveness among critical discourses at ‘home’ and abroad, and how such markers of identity are utilized by the marketing strategies which surround these productions. This article will interrogate the potential convergence of the globalized branding of both Beckett’s work and Irish identity, drawing on the writings of Bourdieu to elucidate how identity may be converted into economic and cultural capital, as well as examining the role that the festival event plays in this process.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Samuel Beckett Research Centre
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:34761

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