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The Girls in the Big Picture: New Voices in Ulster Theatre

The Girls in the Big Picture: New Voices in Ulster Theatre (Paperback)

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Ulster theatre, in common with many other institutions in the north of Ireland, has until recently offered a cold house to women and their concerns. Ingrained patriarchal attitudes, along with a resolute separateness from the mainstream of European drama, have made it difficult for plays with a feminist focus to make it to the stage. In the last two decades of the 20th century the status quo has been challenged by a number of talented women dramatists, including Marie Jones, Christina Reid and Anne Devlin, and radical alternatives have also been suggested by the work of Frank McGuinness. Far from the old hard insularity, their plays celebrate the sort of openness and courage that the north needs more than ever as it moves towards a more inclusive society. In this study, Imelda Foley presents an analysis of the work of the all-women Charabanc theatre company, and of the plays of Jones, Reid, Devlin and McGuinness. She argues that, with much less fuss and fanfare, they have effectively achieved many of the stated ambitions of both the Ulster Literary Theatre and Field Day.

IMELDA FOLEY was born in Derry. She graduated from Queen's University Belfast with a BA Honours in English Language and Literature. She completed an M. Litt at Trinity College Dublin, and later returned to Trinity where she gained a Ph.D in Theatre Studies. She was producer of the award-winning Ulster Youth Theatre for eight years from the late 1980s and is currently Drama and Dance Officer with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

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